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Top 10 tips for a cleaner car

There’s nothing like the smell of a new car; that pristine interior and shiny exterior are so satisfying. Yet all too soon, you’ll find that your immaculate new car doesn’t look so brand new anymore – especially if you have kids or a dog to help mess it up.

You may think you have to live with the mess and you will never have a clean car again – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are our top ten tips for keeping your car clean:

  1. Don’t eat in the car – it may be very tempting to keep going while you have your lunch, but you will inevitably end up with spills, food stains, greasy marks and empty packaging cluttering up your car. Stopping for a break is always better for your digestion, and your concentration, than cruising through the drive-in.
  2. Ban chocolate – if you have kids in the car for a long journey, banning eating is not always possible (or popular). However, you should be strict about chocolate, as it is one of the easiest things to drop and one of the hardest things to clean up once it has melted everywhere.
  3. Protect your upholstery – when you first get your car, use a leather or fabric protector spray, such as Scotchguard, to help keep that new look. Many of these will add water and stain resistance.
  4. Invest in car mats – a few extra pounds on car mats will help keep your foot wells looking good. Not only that, but they are so much easier to take out and clean too.
  5. Designate car toys – get your kids to choose certain toys that live in the car. This stops them bringing everything they own every time they go out, creating havoc in the back seats.
  6. Install seat back organisers – these handy multi-pocket tidies will help keep everything in its place, especially if you have kids.
  7. Keep wet wipes handy – wet wipes are your first choice for most accidents and can stop spills and smudges becoming permanent stains.
  8. Keep the dog off the seats – if you can’t install a dog cage or dog guard to keep them in the back, make sure your seats are covered with a blanket or seat protector before you put your dog in the car.
  9. Protect your paintwork – clean off bird droppings and tree sap as soon as possible, and wash away salt residue from gritted roads. All of these are corrosive and will damage the shine of your paintwork. For dried droppings try placing a damp warm flannel over the dropping and leave for a while, this will make removal much easier.
  10. Keep on top of things – it is so much easier to clean out your car for a few minutes each weekend, than it is to tackle a mountain of mess every few months. Keep used shopping bags handy in the boot to clean out any rubbish, and vacuum your carpets regularly.

With just a few simple rules, and a bit of forward planning, there’s no reason why your new car shouldn’t stay looking that way for months or even years.

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