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Any parent knows that keeping your car spotless when you have little ones in the back can feel like an impossible task. Sticky fingers, cracker crumbs and spilled drinks can soon lead to a messy backseat and a build up of small debris in every crevice. Fortunately, there are some tricks for keeping your car clean when you have kids – here are the top tips.

Lay a rug on the backseat

Place a durable rug or towel under the kid’s car seats and cut openings in it for seatbelts. Then when mess happens, simply remove the rug and shake it out – or put it through the washing machine. A thin bathroom floor towel is perfect for this, particularly if it has a non-slip rubber back. The rubber will keep the towel in place and ensure any liquid doesn’t seep through, protecting your car’s upholstery from damage.

Place cupcake liners in cup holders

Cup holders have a tendency to catch crumbs, chewing gum, used tissues and other undesirable items. Take some paper or silicone cupcake liners and place them inside the cup holders. If messy bits find their way into the cup holders, you can just remove the cupcake liner and empty it into the bin, or replace it with a new liner.

Give yourself storage options

A shoe organiser or a remote control caddy can be used to hold toys, sunscreen, drink bottles, tissues, snacks and all the other items that have a tendency to roll around the backseat or fall on the floor. Just hang it over the front seat back or lay it under the car seat where kids can easily access their things.

Give kids food and drink containers

As much as you might try to limit food in the car, kids will still need to snack on long drives or when they are grouchy. Stock up on spill-proof snack containers for toddlers – these have flaps to stop bits of food from spilling out. Older kids can use a plastic art tray to hold their snacks and catch any crumbs. Try to limit snacks to things that can be vacuumed up if they get spilled, so that means no yoghurt or sticky lollies.

Protect surfaces from kid’s shoes

If kids get in the car with muddy shoes, they’re likely to mess up the carpet or kick the backs of the front seats and leave dirty footprints.  Protect the carpet floor by covering it with cheap plastic carpet liner or rubber mats, and invest in a commercial car seat kick-mat to protect the backs of the seats.

Keep wet wipes in the glove box

Stash some baby wipes or cleaning wet wipes in the glove box. Then when you’re sitting in the car waiting for the kids to finish school or for someone to do up their seatbelt, you can quickly grab a wet wipe to mop up a sticky spot or wipe the dust off the dashboard. Wet wipes will also come in handy if you have a major spilling incident or a drink bottle explodes in the car.

Regular tidying

You can limit a surprising amount of mess in the car by establishing good habits with your kids. Keep a re-usable plastic shopping bag in the car, and whenever you get home, ask the kids to put all their toys, clothes, snacks, and any other items in it. If everyone in the family tidies up their seat before leaving the car, you can avoid the build up of toys, food packaging and sports equipment that normally happens. Teach kids that if they bring something in the car in the morning, they must put it back at the end of the day.

Keeping the car clean not only looks nice, but it helps you drive safely too. Dirty windows and mirrors can reduce visibility, and items rolling around the car floor can distract you while you’re driving. As well as keeping your car clean, you should check your windscreen for any damage. Small chips or cracks should be fixed before they spread into larger ones and compromise the safety of your vehicle.

Autoscreens is a family-run windscreen repair and windscreen replacement business based in Perth. With over 25 years of automotive experience, Autoscreens has the expert skills and knowledge to repair all windscreens efficiently and cost effectively. For a free quote, call the 24 hour hotline on 0400 200 086

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