Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cleaning The Car

We are a one car family and a few weeks ago, I had had enough. I'd had enough of the constant flow of mess every time I stepped into our vehicle. I was over pushing junk out of the way just to get my daughter into her carseat. I HATE a messy car and I was so over it. God bless my husband but he is one of the busiest people that I know and working in the trades as a plumber/steam fitter is not a clean job. He uses our minivan as though it were a pick up truck and I was beyond ready to take that back.

And so I did.

He was out of town for the weekend so I took it on myself to clean, scrub, vaccuum and organize our van. It was my gift to him and a sanity saver for me. Cleaning vehicles is so zen for me. I get in such a mode and it's honestly theraputic. I love it! I am that nutso with my Q-tip cleaning the vents. This project literally took me an entire day. In fact, I brought out the vacuum at 9:30 pm. I was committed!

Here are a few tips and pics that I took throughout the process.

Our van was dirty. So very very dirty. The photos do it no justice. But rest assured - I got in there with a new container of Clorex wipes and went to town. While I don't have any real after photos (I finished around 11 pm!) I can tell you that it looked amazing and smelled wonderful. I felt like I was driving a new vehicle!


While I don't have any after photos, I can assure you that these doors shine like the top of the Chrysler building!

In the midst of my cleaning, I took a trip to the dollar store. I needed some organization in our vehicle and I scanned the store for things that would make our van more efficently organized. I found this awesome GPS case for $2. Seirously, I feel like this could have been $20 at Best Buy.

The hubs had all sorts of things to contend with in the car including duck calls, hunting gear, tools, boots, dog training gear...and on and on.

I decided to gather together all of the loose pens, stickers, and other utensils that I found in the van. I also purchased a pair of scissors (because you never know when you'll need them!) and a little pencil case to hold all of the items. Contain, contain, contain. It's the name of the game!

I also purchased two clear square containers to hold loose change and other doo-dads like keys and such. These little dishes now sit in the console.

There have been a few times when we've been out that I needed to write a note and I've been without paper. So, I decided to but a little pad of paper to keep in the van. It tucks neatly into the lid of the console. Not sure what that spots original intended purpose is, but it holds our cute notebook well!

I then bought a small makeup bag to hold toiletries that we may need while out and about. That includes some pain medication, a lint brush, womanly things, a diaper and some wipes. You just never know. Better to be safe than sorry. This was stored in the pull out drawer under the passenger side seat. I also added an umbrella to this drawer.

Also in our console, I put another long, clear acrylic container from the dollar store. This holds things that we don't often need to access but my hubby likes to keep on hand. More duck calls, energy shots and I also added a bottle of our Scentsy room spray. My it finally smells good in there now!

Just some of the clothing I took from the van.

 This shot was taken mid clean up. I had removed most of the junk from the back end of the van. Some of the bins were going to be used for dog training supplies and duck hunting gear. I also bought shoe box sized containers for holding and containing smaller items.

Here are some takeaway tips:

* Don't let the thought of cleaning your vehicle scare you. Turn on the car radio and just jump in.
* Remove as much as possible when cleaning things out. It's easier to start with a clean slate. Can anything go back into the house? Into the garage? Sort those items out and put away.
* Use Clorox cleaning wipes to give the interior a good clean.
* Have a few garbage bags ready. I use one (or two) for trash. Another I use to put things that I'll need to put away. And still another is for important papers/mail/documents that need taken care of.
* Use small containers to organize your loose ends. Get containers to hold loose change, doodads, toiletries, ect..
* Remove car mats and hose off (if rubber) and/or vacuum.
* Vacuum your car out! If you make a habit of doing this once every two weeks, it won't be a major production.
* Don't forget to clean your windows. There are some great glass cleaners out there. I like to use newspaper to wipe off the glass cleaner from the windows.
* Q-tips work great for getting into vents and crevices.
* Get a car wash. My local car wash was actually give away free washes the day I cleaned our van. Score! I got a $15 wash for free!!
* Make it smell great! I used a squirt of Satin Sheets Scentsy room spray and added a new Scent Circle. It smelled wonderful.
* BIGGEST TAKEAWAY TIP: Maintain it. When you go inside, take the garbage with you. We added a small garbage can to the car and even my hubby uses it. Empty the trash can when you get gas. Have your kids bring in their junk from the car. If you take a few minutes a day to clean your car, it won't be a giant chore at a later time.

I did this big clean a few weeks ago and I'm happy to say that it's still looking great. The hubby just got back from another weekend away and the van is less than ideal but he went out tonight to straighten things up. I'll vacuum it later this week and we'll be good to go. It feels amazing to have such a clean vehicle again.


Abbi Jordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abbi Jordan said...

Nice post i now know how to clean the car so thank you so much..:)
junk car quote

Erwin Calverley said...

I’m glad you did that, Mandi. :] Like you, it disturbs me seeing messy cars. And that is not exclusive to my car. It is fairly important to do this at least once a month, if you’re a busy body. Plus this is not as technical as oil changing. What happened after your husband came back from the trip? I hope things didn’t go back to how they were before.

-->Erwin Calverley


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