Follow Me!

It's Life It's Parenting

5 tips for keeping your car clean with kids

July 3, 2017

I try to keep my car clean often but sometimes I just say whatever because it gets right back messed up with two kids. Now I don’t have babies but I feel like I do! My car stays dirty because of course we eat in it….I tried the no eat rule but honestly I am a busy mom on the go we sometimes have to eat in the car…myself included. Mornings if we get up late….we have to run to Mickey D and get a sausage biscuit for breakfast. That means by the time I get back home from them eating on the way to school there is jelly, orange juice and biscuit crumbs all over their seats. We live in our car and it’s tough trying to keep it clean so what I have done is make the kids clean it out for a dollar….cheap labor and they think a dollar makes them rich so they have to vacuum and clean my car out once a week (each taking turns) for a dollar. My daughter actually does a awesome job when she cleans my son….not so much but it’s much better than me cleaning up their mess. Today let’s talk about 5 things I do to help keep the car clean!

Whatever comes in with you, leaves with you – My daughter brings bags of stuff with her even if we are going up the street. It gets on my last nerve but I make her clean out my car with her stuff every single time she gets out of my car. Get you and your bag and take all of your junk with you. Don’t leave any dolls, jewelry, papers, or crayons in my car. If you brought it in take it back out. We stick to this rule as much as we can. My son doesn’t really bring a lot of stuff with him but on Wed when we have his boxing stuff….when you get out of my car on Wed take your boxing bag with you.

Keep a trash bag in your car – Some people use bags, some people use a small container, some people keep something in the backseat, etc. Whatever it is you use make sure you dump it and clean it at least once a week. I keep a bag in the front seat that is called the trash bag. The kids know that everything goes in there daily. My son is responsible for cleaning it out every Friday evening. You must dump the old bag and put a fresh bag in the front seat. It helps a lot!

Don’t eat in the car – This is impossible for me but I try to limit the kinds of food we eat in the car. Yes in the mornings if we are in a rush we eat Mickey D sausage biscuits but other than that I try to not eat in my car at all. If we have to eat in the evenings we eat inside somewhere or we wait until we get home. Unless we are running way behind we only eat in the car in the mornings. I however eat in the car during lunch most of the times and things go down that black hole……it’s bad sometimes but I make sure I take the time to clean it out as much as possible. The rule though is to try not to eat in the car at least nothing that leaves crumbs.

Drink only water in the car – This is very very helpful because my kids will punch a hole in those plastic cups (especially the ones from Chick Fil A) and juice will be all over the place. In the mornings when we have to stop I make them bring their own bottle of OJ that I buy for quick morning rushes. That way it has a top on it and it’s plastic so there is no hole in the cup causing it to spill the only way it will spill is if one of my kids decides to turn the container upside down. Best thing to do is to only drink water in the car keeps from having a sticky mess.

Vacuum the car out at least once a week – Again this is what my kids do to earn money. It has to be done! Since I have two kids they each take a turn once a week to clean the car and vacuum it. If you don’t have time try to get it done at least once a week. You don’t have to go to a car wash either. Have one of those small vacuums that are portable handy (buy one it’s a life saver) and vacuum your own car without spending any money right at home takes less than 5 min to do a quick vacuum of the car (unless you have a third row like I do and your kids make extra messes back there)

There are also things that I always keep in my car to. I call them the car essentials

  • A water bottle. Someone is always thirsty or something gets in someone’s eyes, or I need to rinse something out. I keep a bottle water in my car at all times
  • Extra clothes. I remember I got stuck in traffic one time and my daughter had to go to the bathroom I couldn’t move and she ended up peeing on herself. I also remember a time we went out to eat and I had on a white blouse (I rarely wear white because I can’t eat) and got the entire blouse messed up. I keep clothes for myself and kids in a bag in the back of the car. In that bag I have deodorant, underwear, pants and a shirt…..just in case of anything (like the snow storm in Atlanta a few years ago that my late husband got stuck in…I had a bag in the back of his car that he told me he would never need lol)
  • Wipes. Please have some wipes in your car this is very helpful when trying to keep your car clean and for wiping sticky fingers or when I laughed the other day at something and spit juice out all over my steering wheel….(someone was telling me a joke and I wasn’t prepared for the laughter that erupted)
  • Hand sanitizer. For when I pump gas at the gas station or for when the kids come home from school and want to touch some of my leftover food or touch me for that matter
  • First Aid kit. Yep I keep bandaids, alchohol packets, finger nail clippers, headache meds, allergy meds, tissue, and all sorts of other stuff in my little first aid kit. It comes in handy a lot especially during allergy season

So how do you keep your car clean? When was the last time you deep cleaned your car or had it detailed?

  • Reply
    Terri Beavers
    July 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve got to start using your tips to keep my car clean. I have a bad habit of letting the kids eat in the car and after reading your post, that is going to stop among other things. It’s always dirty.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    These are really good tips. Our biggest fear is if you bring it into the car you will take it out. It’s kept her car cleaner but it could definitely use like help.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    July 3, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    My kids are all grown and I still can’t seem to keep my car clean. I’m going to blame it on the grandkids, but I need these tips myself and my husband really needs them! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    July 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Keeping trash bag is the best idea. Snacks seem to be what takes over and then they are everywhere. I hate cleaning out the car.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Excellent post and tips. We have a toddler and the car never seems to be clean for more than one car ride after cleaning it. Saving this for reference and sharing for many moms who will love these tips.

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    July 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    These are some great sounding tips, I always try and keep a bag on hand to clean up rubbish after a trip.

  • Reply
    Bren Pace | Designs by Virtual Bren
    July 3, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Meh, isn’t having a clean car overrated? With two furkids mine is never spotless. There is always hair on the seats, slobber/drool stains, and nose art on the windows. πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    Katie Kinsley
    July 4, 2017 at 12:14 am

    My husband and I just talked about this the other day. We both definitely agree that there will be no food in the car – we don’t even eat in the car ourselves as it is.

  • Reply
    Christy Maurer
    July 4, 2017 at 12:59 am

    It is definitely challenging to keep the car clean with kids! Your tips are ones that definitely help. Keeping a little trash bag is something I always try to do.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 3:09 am

    The drink only water in the car rule is great. I don’t know how many times my car has smelled like milk from a forgotten sippy cup.

  • Reply
    Maurene Cab
    July 4, 2017 at 3:31 am

    I know how kids can be very messy sometimes. I always make it a point to put a little trash bin inside the car.

  • Reply
    Mimi Green
    July 4, 2017 at 11:18 am

    This is one of my greatest struggles. I’ve got a lot of essentials like water, wipes and a small portable potty for my daughter. She is 5 now and hardly needs it these days but it’s great to have.

    I have a take everything with you rule and that is a big help.

  • Reply
    Neha Saini
    July 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    It happens sometimes when we use to go on family trips. Some of my little siblings or nieces-nephews used to create mess in car. So I think keeping the trash bags are best way to keep the car clean. And I also avoid eating in car.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    It takes a lot of discipline and patience to remind kids to practice such things to keep the car clean. I remember my mom telling us every time not to eat inside the car especially those greasy food.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Giving rules with the kids I guess will be one of the best idea to keep your car clean. And yes, cleaning it once a week and making sure there is always a trash bag.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Pass
    July 5, 2017 at 9:13 am

    This is the bane of my existence with my kids. They turn my car into a rolling trash can. I always emphasize the take whatever you brought in the car with you, but it’s such a battle. About once a week we head to the car wash that offers free vacuums and clean it out. I feel so much better when it’s cleaned out.

  • Reply
    Rose Cottrill
    July 5, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Our SUV is always messy, I have to take all these tips to keep our vehicle clean. We do vacuum it regularly though.

  • Reply
    Lori Vachon
    July 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Good grief, sometimes I look around in my car and wonder what family lives in there! The weather is nice today I may set the kids up in the driveway and get them cleaning it up!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Keeping your car clean can really be hard with kids
    But you gave some good tips here
    It’s really good to have wipes with you in the car

  • Reply
    July 6, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Although I am not a mother as of yet, I will definitely bookmark this page and come back to it and I’ll have to share with some of my mommy friends. I probably should get myself in the habit of adhering to some of these rules now.. especially eating in the car..

  • Reply
    July 6, 2017 at 6:24 am

    These are great tips! Now I don’t have kids, but I’d love to hear your insight about how to keep the car clean with a husband lol.

  • Reply
    Tatanisha Worthey
    July 6, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Whenever we get a new car, we apply all of those rules. Then over time, we start eating in the car, etc. Thankfully, with older kids, the eating in the car it not as messy as it used to be. I am pretty good at keeping my car clean (except in the winter time. I’m not vacuuming a car out in zero below weather! lol).

  • Reply
    July 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I don’t have kids but I definitely need these tips to keep my car clean. It’s so hard because I’m always on the go but I need to keep a trash bag in the car!

  • Reply
    Joyce Brewer
    July 6, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    It’s impossible for us NOT to eat in the car. We’re always on the go. I make our son clean out his crap. I also vacuum out the car at least once a month.
    I used to pull up to the vacuums you pay for – but I’m cheap. So I attached an extension cord to my vacuum at home and drag my vacuum outside!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Smith
    July 7, 2017 at 12:54 am

    These are great tips. Surprisingly, with my 6-year-old, my car is clean. I would love it if my husband and daughter didn’t eat in the car, but we road trip a lot, so that makes it tough.

  • Reply
    Jay Colby
    July 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    These are all great tips, because we’ve all struggled with keeping our car clean.

  • Reply
    Tiffany H.
    July 7, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t have kids, but you think I did. I tend to have everything in my car and I eat breakfast which means there is usually a paper plate or aluminum foil somewhere in the front seat. I used to drive for Lyft which helped me clean more often. This post reminds me I need to clean out my car asap. I do think its a good idea to keep a trash bag and an extra pair of clothes. You never know when it will come in handy.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    I think these are good ideas for adults too. Minimal eating in a car will help out a lot!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I need to send this email to my friends actually.
    New rules for riding with me!…The wipes are a standard requirement in my car already though.

  • Reply
    Bernadette Siazon
    July 11, 2017 at 9:07 am

    We do not encourage eating inside the car. That’s why our old car still looks decent even if it’s a decade old.

  • Reply
    Bernadette Siazon
    July 11, 2017 at 9:08 am

    My husband and I do not encourage eating inside the car. That kept our car clean even if it’s a decade old already.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Tyree
    July 15, 2017 at 8:33 am

    My poor SUV. Ugh. My daughter is almost 5, and everyone we leave she’s gotta take a bunch of toys or books in a small backpack. I don’t get it. But she always ends up leaving toys in the car. I def need to remember to vacuum (speaking of, it needs one now). I need to be like you and leave a bag in theee for trash tho. I’ll have to have the kids clean it the car today. Thanks for the reminder! Lol

  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Great post! Definitely going to follow these rules. My kids are so messy in the car.

Leave a Reply

error: Are you trying to steal something? Tsk Tsk Tsk