It can be hard to keep your vehicle clean with kids. I am a huge car guy and love when I see a nice shiny car that is spotless inside and out. However, when raising 4 kids, it is almost impossible to keep our family van clean. Over the years, I have found 5 easy tips for keeping your vehicle clean with kids.
1) Keep extra grocery bags in the car.
The dilemma after you unload the groceries…do I recycle the bags or just through them away? This is where my lovely wife and I have a difference of opinion. I say “chuck em” in the trash, but she adds to her endless supply of grocery bags, under our kitchen sink, because you never know when you will need 1,000 half ripped plastic bags from Wal-mart.
However, a good solution is to keep several bags in the glove box of your vehicle at all times. This is free way to always have a trash bag in your car. Not only are they great for every day trash, they are great for the mishap accidents. Like the muddy clothes after your 4 year old thinks it will be a great idea to slide down the muddy hill & lets not forget the “nuclear explosion” dirty diaper.
2) Store electronics together
Recently we purchased a van that has a built in storage unit under the console. I swear when they designed the van, they had my family in mind. We keep our electronics, head phones, DVD’s, and even books in that storage area. Having a designated space for electronics will help when you son is yelling in the back “I can’t find my leap pad.” or ” It was here yesterday.” If you have a designated spot for them, they will not get lost. If your vehicle does not have storage space built-in, you can buy a cheap container at any store for a few bucks. I recommend getting one with a lid. This is what we did in our prior van.
3) Back seat storage
Most vehicles have behind the seat storage compartments built in. Back in the day, I remember everyone called them “map holders,” because that is where everyone kept their maps. Now, our maps are on our phones. (If you don’t have this, you can buy one on Amazon)
What we keep in ours:
– Flip Flops for the kids (extra shoes are a must)
– Wipes for quick messes (or dirty hands/faces that need cleaned quickly)
– Travel pack of tissues
4) Keep some cleaning supplies in the car
In the trunk of my car I keep a small box of cleaning supplies. This list includes baby wipes, cleaning wipes, paper towels, protectant wipes, wheel cleaner/shine. All of these products will help with keeping the car look new and help keep that “new car” smell. I found out years ago, that baby wipes do an excellent job of getting small stains out of the fabric out your seats. Not only that, they also work great if you need to get your hands clean.
5. Avoid eating in the car
This is hard! My wife & I have different views on this one, because she doesn’t mind it nearly as much as I do, but it will keep your car like new. One cup of spilled milk or melted chocolate and your car is on its way to messiness. It is hard to clean these things, so if you DO have to eat in the car, keep it easy things like crackers or goldfish (things that can be swept up easily).
Keep it clean…
Every Sunday, we work TOGETHER to clean out the car. We go to church, go out to lunch, come home and clean out the car. Each child gets a job (washing a section of it, taking the stuff inside that has collected in the car, or cleaning the dashboard) and we all pitch in to help.