Follow These Six Simple Tips To Keep Your Vehicle’s Interior Clean During Road Trips

Partially because of the current health crisis, road trips have been making a comeback. Even though it’s not as fast as flying, traveling by car is a great way to avoid close contact with many people and it also provides unparalleled levels of freedom and flexibility.
BMW i3 Interior 12 photos
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Taking Pictures During a Road TripScenic Road TropMercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach InteriorDirty Alfa RomeoRoad TripBaseus A3Eating Inside the CarEPAuto Waterproof Car Trash CanDirty ShoesWeatherTech Rubber Floor MatBLACK+DECKER Dustbuster
If you enjoy driving long distances, a road trip is one of the best ways you can spend your vacation. Traveling through a scenic route can be a wonderful experience and one of the main advantages is the ability to stop and explore the surroundings whenever you want to.

However, one of the drawbacks is that your vehicle’s cabin can become a mess really fast, especially if you have kids on board, so here are six tips to keep it clean.

Establish a set of Rules. Whether you’re traveling with your family or friends, the best way to avoid making a mess inside your vehicle is to establish a set of rules before you leave so that everyone knows what is and isn’t allowed.

With the risk of being met with rolling eyes, instruct your passengers to avoid climbing inside with dirty shoes, ban smoking, eating, or using lidless cups.

Eating Inside the Car
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Avoid Eating Inside the Vehicle.
This is by far the quickest way to make a mess so, depending on who you’re traveling with, you can simply avoid eating inside. If the weather or route doesn’t allow it or you’re traveling with kids, you can at least limit the types of food that can be eaten while on the move.

Buy a car garbage can. Among the huge variety of road-trip accessories, you can buy these days are garbage cans designed specifically for in-vehicle use. You can get one from Amazon for as little as $10 which is a very small price to pay for a clean interior.

Sure, you can also use a paper or plastic bag to manage the trash, but these can easily spill over if your passengers are not careful so getting a purposely designed garbage can is a far better idea.

EPAuto Waterproof Car Trash Can
Photo: EPAuto
Buy seat covers. If you don’t want to ban eating inside the vehicle or you have kids on board, another good idea is to buy a set of seat covers. While they won’t protect the entire upholstery, they will keep the seats clean which is important, especially if your car has an upscale interior.

Prices for a set of covers range from just under $50 and can go all the way up to several hundred, depending on the materials used, their thickness, or certain features like added bolsters or waterproofing.

Use rubber floor mats. As you explore the surroundings, it’s impossible to keep dust or dirt off your shoes. However, a set of rubber floor mats are much easier to clean than the conventional carpeted ones. Furthermore, they do a better job of protecting the carpeting beneath them and some of them come with raised edges that will contain mud or liquids.

WeatherTech Rubber Floor Mat
Photo: WeatherTech
There are many aftermarket alternatives to choose from, including universal or purposely designed mats for your vehicle’s make and model. Prices start around $40 and can go over $200 for some high-quality variants.

Get a car vacuum cleaner. One of the most important accessories you can buy to keep your ride clean is a portable vacuum cleaner. There’s a wide variety of these devices our there, from the cheap and compact Baseus A2 to more capable variants like the Black+Decker Dustbuster.

Tidy up at every stop. Even if your passengers follow strict rules and you brought several road trip-oriented accessories, keeping the cabin clean for extended periods is nearly impossible. The garbage will eventually fill up and the rubber mats will collect dust and dirt so it’s essential to tidy up as often as you can. Whether you stop to eat, fill up with gas or enjoy the landscape, take a few minutes to take out the trash, clean the floor mats, and vacuum the seats.

So, there you have it. It might be hard to keep your vehicle’s cabin sparkling clean during a long-distance road trip but if you follow these easy tips, you can certainly limit the mess and make the whole experience more enjoyable.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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