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How to Keep Your Car Like New – Even With Kids!

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How to Keep Your Car Like New - Even with Kids! @ AVirtuousWoman.org

This post brought to you by PERK. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Virtuous Woman.

I’ve raised five kids of my own. The oldest is twenty-four and the youngest is twelve. Three of my kids still live at home. I know something about keeping a car clean even while regularly transporting kids around town and cross country!

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5 Tips to Keep Your Car Like New

1. Cover the Floors. We use cheap, sturdy rugs on the floor of our car as well as in the trunk. They work better and cover more floor space than your typical floor car mats. Every day or so, we shake the rugs out and replace them. How to Keep Your Car Like New - Even with Kids! @ AVirtuousWoman.org We’ve also trained the kids since they were little to always make sure the rugs under their feet are neat and that their feet are always over the rug. For years, when the kids were little, we would have them remove their shoes if they were wet or messy in any way. That way their dirty feet didn’t press against the back of seat, walk across the seats, or end up on the windows. How to Keep Your Car Like New - Even with Kids! @ AVirtuousWoman.org I know it may sound like extra work, but really, it saves your car in the end – which means better trade-in later!

2. Avoid Messy Snacks. The younger your kids, the more likely they will spill snacks or rub messy hands on their car seat. Some foods just aren’t car friendly. And water is easily cleaned up if spilled whereas juice and soda leaves a sticky mess and can stain carpets.

Some good choices are:

  • granola bars
  • dried fruit
  • Cherrios
  • multi-grain chips and hummus
  • string cheese
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • grapes cut in half
  • carrot sticks

Of course, if a spill does happen, clean it as soon as possible! And, keeping a supply of hand wipes in the car is perfect for cleaning hands and faces after snacking.

3. Don’t Let Little Hands Touch Everything. Kids love to fiddle with the air vents in the ceiling, hang from the hand holds, pull on the ceiling fabric, or climb up in the back window. We have always had a hands off policy. It’s not hard to train your children, it just takes consistency.

4. Use PERK Air Fresheners for your Car. We all love that new car smell. My  husband is especially dismayed when that new car smell fades! PERK auto air fresheners offer long-lasting fragrances that smell wonderful. Their innovative designs allow you to create your own fragrance combination. Plus, they offer a “new car smell” fragrance that will make any dismayed husband happy! How to Keep Your Car Like New - Even with Kids! @ AVirtuousWoman.org I love how you can clip or hang PERK air fresheners wherever you prefer in your car. The clip design makes it easy to clip on the rear view mirror, gearshift, headrest, grab bars, and more. How to Keep Your Car Like New - Even with Kids! @ AVirtuousWoman.org And like I said, they come in a variety of delicious fragrances, including favorites such as Golden Vanilla, Caribbean Colada and New Car. How to Keep Your Car Like New - Even with Kids! @ AVirtuousWoman.org You can purchase PERK products most stores where auto air fresheners are sold: Walmart, Target, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Meijer, Kroger, Pep Boys, Publix, CVS, and more. You can download a $1 off PERK coupon here. Keep reading to find out how you can win a six month supply of PERK Air Fresheners {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}.

5. Clean Out the Car Every Time You Get Home. When we arrive home from a trip, before anyone is allowed to do anything else, everyone has to help clean out the car. Every piece of trash and every belonging is taken inside or thrown away. The only exception to this would be times when we arrive home at, say, 2:00 am. In that case, we clean out the car first thing in the morning.

We keep a small whisk broom and dust pan under one of the seats and use it to sweep out crumbs on the seats and debris on the floors every time we see a quick sweep is needed. Once a month or so, as needed, we wash the car, vacuum, and clean the interior. This is a great chore for kids! When we were still using car seats for babies and toddlers, I regularly took the covers off and washed them. Those things can get pretty grubby and smelly if they aren’t washed on a regular basis! And, speaking of car seats, it’s a good idea to put a folded towel or mat under the car seat to protect your upholstery or leather seats.

By doing these things your cars will always look and smell fresh!

Enter to Win Closed

Update: Congratulations to Lynne McKenney!

The nice folks at PERK have offered one of my readers a special gift basket which includes the following items:

  • 6 month supply of PERK products/fragrances
  • 1 PERK travel mug
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Be sure to visit their website here: PERK Fresh Link and check out PERK’s Facebook page!

Leave a comment below and a random winner will be chosen on Friday, July 31!

Do you have any more tips for keeping your car in tip top shape with kids?

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29 Comments

  1. I am going to have to try some of your suggestions! I am all in favor of keeping the cars we have nice!
  2. These are great tips! I love the tip about keeping a mini broom under the chair to sweep out crumbs. Also, emptying the trash after every outing is a MUST!
  3. This is an awesome post! My husband and I just spent three hours cleaning out our van the other day and I really need to keep it looking nice! ;-)
  4. One thing to help keep car clean is to have a roll of paper towels and a pack of baby wipes so when an accident happens you have the tools in your car to clean it up. I also keep a couple of those plastic grocery bags in the glove box for clean up. Also make cleaning the car a family chore.
  5. Thanks for the tips. I try to keep the car cleaned out. It is always a big job when I let it go for a few days. A clean car is just more enjoyable to ride in.
  6. I just cleaned out my car the other day and it was so refreshing to get it done. Getting in my car now makes me happy. I've got a road trip coming up too!
  7. I struggle with the clean the car every time you get home. I am such a procrastinator. I've never heard of the Perk air fresheners. I'll have to give those a try. Thank you Melissa for more great posts. I do follow you even though I don't always post. Your daughter's art work is gorgeous. :-)
  8. ...and then there is the teen phase; feet marks on the dash, gum wrappers and emtpy drink cans, eyelash curlers left on console and of course, the rearview mirror turned toward the passenger seat. UGH. My clean car regime = clean car results in your next ride somewhere. :) It works! Love your blog, thanks for all the great ideas.
  9. Great tips. Having a mat under my daughter's car seat was one of the best decisions we made. I will buy a small broom and dustpan for my car. I have seen those in the dollar store. I like the rug idea as well-especially for the trunk.
  10. I never thought to use rugs in the car- I've got a few that have been in the closet forever that would be perfect! My tip is to always keep baby wipes in the car- they can be used to wipe down anything from the car seats to the kids!
  11. A lot has to do with routines and taking the time to clean it up regularly, doesn't it? It feels so much easier to just put off cleaning out the car "until next week" but the added time being dirty does have an effect. I love the idea of keeping a wisk broom in the car. I am co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty link party this month and would love to have you stop by for a visit. The next party opens at midnight on Friday. www.alaynascreations.co
  12. Great timing.... just bought a brand-new Subaru and am so glad to get these reminders and tips to help me keep it sparkling!
  13. Thanks for sharing all of this advice on keeping your nice and clean while you have kids! I really like the idea of having a tough rug under the seats to protect from dirt. That would definitely help protect the floor a ton when my son comes in the car after a soccer game. In fact, I should probably deep clean the upholstery first before using rugs so that I actually have something to keep clean!
  14. Thank you those are wonderful suggestions. We have four under 6 so our van gets pretty unsettling very quickly. I am going to check out the perk air freshener.

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