Our car is almost an extension of our house. We spend a ton of time in the van going from place to place which means that it gets messy. I get it professionally detailed for Mother’s Day each year but these car cleaning hacks are my secret to keeping it clean the rest of the time!
This post is sponsored by Refresh Your Car®! but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
9 Easy Car Cleaning Hacks
With one kid in dance and one kid in baseball, I drive around a lot of sweaty kids and all of their gear. In between driving from school to practice and wherever else we need to go, we have to eat and someone always seems to have left a paper or two behind.
So basically I’m a pro at having a messy car. But it doesn’t have to be a losing battle. Figuring out a few car cleaning tips that work best for you on a regular basis makes it easy to keep your car cleaner and keep it smelling great too!
From knowing the best way to clean car windows and having the best car interior cleaner to knowing how to make your car smell good, our favorite car cleaning tricks will help you make it happen!
1. Makeup Brush & Sponge Brush
When it comes to car detailing hacks, it really is all in the details and you probably have some of the best tools right in your house!
Grab an old makeup brush from your makeup bag and a sponge paintbrush from your craft supplies. They make the best brushes for cleaning those hard to clean parts of the car, like the vents, console, and other little areas! Just make sure you use clean brushes or you might end up with blush all over your car!
2. Coffee Filters & Compressed Air
If you’re looking for more easy ways to dust the vents and other areas of your car, try coffee filters and cans of compressed air.
Coffee filters are cheap and work really well. You can even keep some in your car for when you find yourself sitting in the dreaded car rider line! Wipe down your dashboard and vents while you wait!
If you need a deeper clean, using a can of compressed air every so often really gets those vents cleaned out! It’s more of a deep cleaning option when it comes to car cleaning hacks so I don’t do it that often. But it works so well!
3. Refresh Your Car
One of the biggest things about my car is how it smells. If there is a smell hanging around bugging me, it doesn’t matter how clean my car might be. But figuring out how to make your car smell good is so easy with help from Refresh Your Car!
They offer an amazing variety of products to help freshen up the car. The Mini Diffusers and Vent Clips are super easy to use and come in a huge variety of fragrances.
Check out some of the scents you can choose from:
- Perfect Peach
- Fresh Linen
- Cool Breeze
- Island Coconut
- Fresh Strawberry & Cool Lemonade (one of my favorites!)
- Wildflowers & Love
- Alpine Meadow & Summer Breeze
- Lightning Bolt & Ice Storm
There really is a scent for everyone!
Refresh Your Car offers innovative scents, long-lasting fragrance and affordable price! It makes them perfect for our busy family life!
4. Magic Eraser & Cleaning Wipes
There are some other great things to pick up at the store to help keep your car clean and smelling fresh. When it comes to more of a DIY car interior cleaner, I actually depend on my Magic Eraser and cleaning wipes. They’re both easy to store in the car and are great for keeping the interior looking good after I’ve had it detailed.
They’re magic really! It’s true.
5. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Just like a makeup brush, a toothbrush can do a lot of great things and is one of my favorite car cleaning hacks. You can use a toothbrush to get into the cracks and crevices that also need some scrubbing. The makeup brush trick is great for dusting, but sometimes you need a little more elbow grease.
Don’t forget to grab the toothpaste too. It works great for cleaning headlights! Rub it in circular motions and wipe off with a gentle cloth for sparkling headlights!
6. Spray Bottle & Squeegee
My spray bottle with water in it is one of my car cleaning hacks that grew out of me using it around the house. I use it to spray down hair all the time before we brush it and to get pet hair off the furniture.
Pair a spray bottle with water and a squeegee for an easy way to get pet hair off of car seats. I’d like to say I always remember to cover the seats before we take the dogs in the car but it’s just doesn’t happen! But all you have to do is spray some water (just a bit, don’t need to soak it) on the seat and then pull the squeegee across to get that pesky hair off!
7. Old Socks & Silicone Cupcake Liners
Drink holders are one of the messiest places in our van. They just seem to attract and trap all sorts of crumbs, fluff balls, and everything else! Cleaning them used to seem like a useless endeavor until I discovered that I could use a sock! Put a sock over the bottom of a cup and spray it with some all-purpose cleaner. Put the cup in the cupholder and twist. Then twist some more. When you lift it up out of the cupholder, it should be a lot cleaner!
Then use silicone cupcake liners to keep your cupholders clean! Put them in the bottom of your cupholders to catch all the gunk. Then you can take them out and clean them much easier!
8. Newspaper & Dish Soap
Even more magical are a few more mundane things you can find around your house. If you need to clean your car’s windows or windshield, they are your secret weapons.
A newspaper is clutch when you’re looking for a good windshield cleaner. All you have to do is crumple some newspaper into a ball and then spray it with some window cleaner. Use the ball of newspaper to wipe your window and windshield clean. (Please note that you shouldn’t use this car hack on tinted windows.)
Don’t forget to clean the interior of your windshield too! I feel like sometimes it’s even dirtier than the outside!
This is where dish soap works wonders! All you have to do is mix up a little cleaning solution:
- teaspoon dish soap
- few drops of vinegar
- warm water
Then put a cloth in the solution and wipe your windshield. You’ll get a clean windshield in no time. I really think it’s the best way to clean car windows!
Dish soap is also a key ingredient in a mixture that works great as a general car interior cleaner. Put this mixture together:
- Club soda
- Dish soap
It’s an amazing chemical free combo that you can use pretty much anywhere in your car! Plus it’s easy to put together! It works great in a little spray bottle in the car just in case new stains pop up! You can take care of them quick!
9. Cotton Swabs & Screwdrivers
For many people figuring out how to clean a car is about the exterior but I’d rather have the interior looking good because that’s where I spend a lot of time. If you’re looking for some easy car interior hacks for getting into those tight spots, break out the cotton swabs and screwdrivers! You probably already own both of them and they are great when it comes to detailing your car on your own.
The best car cleaning tips don’t always mean a trip to the store to buy cleaning supplies.
Use damp cotton swabs to get our dirt in hard to reach places. You can also use a Phillips head screwdriver with a cloth over it for a longer tool that can reach even more nooks and crannies!
The most important thing about all of these car cleaning hacks is that you really just have to find a few little things that make up the best way to wash a car for your family. For me, it’s all about the little details and how my car smells. Keeping things like the vents and cupholders clean is what makes me feel like my car is under control.
Adding in great scents from products like Refresh Your Car vent sticks is the other one of my favorite car cleaning tips. They work great to cover suspicious smells left behind by young baseball players!
You can find a store that sells Refresh Your Car products near you using the store locator!
For even more easy cleaning tips, check out our Living Room Cleaning Checklist too!