How to Keep Your Car Clean [+ Boost Resale Value]

The most common foods eaten in cars are greasy. Warning: Greasy foods will stain your car's interior and likely lower its resale value forever.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Apr 7, 2020

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It’s no secret that your car’s interior gets messy—fast. Having a dirty, disorganized car can not only make your life feel messier and cause unnecessary stress, but it can also diminish your car’s future resale value and could even cause a safety issue for your family if it gets to an extreme.

There are a few simple things you can do to keep your car looking newer for longer and making you feel comfortable every time you sit. Let’s explore some easy ways you can keep your car organized.

black car interior, steering wheel, radio, seats, gear shift, pedals, windows

Pick up Some Cup Holder Liners

Cup holders can be one of the most difficult things in your car to clean. Those crumbs that fall within the nooks and crannies can be almost impossible to get out.

You can buy specifically designed cupholders online or you can use silicone cupcake holders. They can be easily removed and put right in the dishwasher when they need cleaning.

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Have Wet Wipes Ready in Your Car

Having wet wipes in your car lets you clean up any spills that happen right when they happen. Wet wipes are a compact, easier item to have stored in your car.

Wet wipes are very versatile so they keep your car clean in a number of different ways. Primarily, wet wipes can be used for a quick clean of your car, especially the dashboard, cupholders, and steering wheel

You can also rub them over the upholstery to pick up any stray hair. Baby wipes can specifically be a good type of wipe to have. They do not leave behind a strong odor so you and your guests won’t be bothered by a smell.

fries, ketchup bottle, orange background, white paper container

Though it’s Tempting, Don’t Eat in the Car

This can be extremely difficult. You might be on long road trips or have messy toddlers in the backseat. Though their mess might be frustrating, your kids can help your insurance rate.

But let’s be real—eating in the car causes the biggest messes. The most common food eaten in the car is greasy food, which leaves stains.

Eating greasy food in your car can cause stains that will never come out.

If you have to eat in your car, we suggest you stay away from sodas, red sauce, ketchup, coffee, greasy food, and anything else that will leave a stubborn stain. Try to eat things that would be relatively easy to clean up if spilled or dropped.

Think of things like broccoli, water, plain bread, fruit snacks, and some candies, such as red vines. Keep any food that you must eat in containers with a non-spill seal to help keep everything as contained as possible.

Put a Small Duster in the Glove Compartment

Keeping a small duster or microfiber cloth in your vehicle’s glove compartment lets you immediately wipe off the dust that often accumulates on the dashboard. This will keep your dashboard looking nice and will keep the quality of the dashboard lasting longer.

man driving car, tan interior, review mirror, steering wheel, dashboard, radio

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Install Floor Mats

Floor mats will improve your vehicle as few other things can. They keep the carpet clean and even keep your car’s resale value high.

The issue with mats is they can become the messiest part of your car. Shoes are dirty and while having the mats will keep the grime from staining your carpets, the mats still get dirty. Give it enough time and they’ll be covered in mud, dirt, food, trash, dust, and more.

Luckily floor mats in your car can be very easy to clean.

Cleaning mats isn’t all fun unless you’re into that sort of thing. So we suggest shaking out the mats and spraying them down with the hose then letting them dry in the sun. This will keep them clean and ensure your car stays clean in the process!

Keep a Small Trash Can in Your Car

It’s no secret with all of our daily goings-on that it’s easy for your car to quickly get cluttered with gum wrappers, flyers, fast food trash, papers, or candy wrappers. A quick fix to this is to install a small trash can in your car. There are plenty of car trash cans for sale online, or you can simply just use a plastic or paper bag.

Enjoy the Ride, and Keep it Clean!

Say no more to the embarrassment that so often comes when your friend gets into your car. Applying these tips will only take you a few extra minutes a week and greatly change the look of your car. They will also increase the longevity of your car, which in turn will help keep your car’s resale value high.

Author Bio:

Riley Clark is a Content Specialist at Best Company covering car warranty and VoIP. She prides herself on delivering honest, factual, and relevant content to her readers. She goes through books faster than most people go through Netflix seasons and has made it her goal to be outdoors as much as humanly possible.

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