Car Cleaning With Kids

Children are one of the greatest joys in life, however, with a busy family, a mess is inevitable. One of the worst affected places when it comes to crumbs, wrappers and rogue toys is the car and if you've spent a good chunk of your hard-earned money on the car of your dreams, it is unlikely that you will want it littering with rubbish.

Keeping your car clean with kids may feel like running a race that you're never going to win, but the opposite is, in fact, true. With some handy tips and a little bit of organization, your children can be free to enjoy a car ride and your car can be kept spick and span.

Tips For Keeping The Car Clean With Kids

One of the most important things, when faced with the mammoth task of maintaining a clean family car, is not to let things build up. After each journey - no matter whether it is a simple trip to the shop or a long road trip, take out any rubbish and remove items of clothing and toys. This can make those deeper cleans a lot easier to manage. In addition to this, there are many other things you can do to make keeping the car clean a breeze.

Get The Kids Involved

It's super important to encourage your children to keep their space clean and there is no reason that this shouldn't extend to the car. Cleaning and tidying can be fun for kids when it is done as a family activity and you can even opt to offer a reward for their help - a trip to get ice-cream or an afternoon at the park, for example.

For younger children, simple jobs like taking their toys out of the car and putting them away in the house is more than enough, but for older kids and teenagers, you might allow them to help with washing and polishing both inside and outside of the vehicle.

Think About Food

Of course, when travelling long distances, eating on the go is unavoidable, but this doesn't mean that a huge mess needs to follow. If you are bringing snacks from home, consider keeping these in containers with lids so that spillages will be reduced. However, it is also important to think about which foods will be allowed in the car - dry snacks such as breadsticks and biscuits may create crumbs but vacuuming these up is far easier than trying to remove a strawberry stain or a mark caused by something sticky.

Use The Right Cleaning Products

Bleaches and other highly toxic cleaning products may yield excellent results and effectively kill germs, but when used in confined spaces, they could pose a serious health risk. What's more, if any residue is left on surfaces which the children touch, these could be easily transferred if the child puts their fingers in their mouth, it simply isn't worth the risk.

Instead, make sure to use cleaning products that are safe for children inside the car interior. Not only will this eliminate the risk of potentially devastating health problems but it will also mean that, if the kids are helping to clean, you won't be worried about the products they are handling.

Have A Trash Bin

Whilst it is completely impractical to have a full-sized bin in the car, it is wise to have some sort of small container - or bag, in which to dispose of those sweet wrappers, old bits of food and baby wipes. Once a week, you can empty it into your main bin and rest safe in the knowledge that you won't be finding any more surprises under the seats or in the door pockets.

Keep Things Fresh

It's no secret that having kids can be stinky work, especially when they are still in nappies. This can translate into lingering odors in the car that, when left untreated, can be difficult to eliminate.

There is an overwhelming range of car air fresheners that you can pop in the car for ongoing freshness, however, these may not tackle more pungent odors and a slightly more aggressive approach may be needed.

Baking soda is a great way to soak up odors that are coming from wet patches or areas where a spill once occurred - think sour milk patches and the like. It's as simple as rubbing the baking soda onto the affected area and leaving it to work its magic. After a few hours, you can vacuum up the remains and enjoy a fresh-smelling car that feels like new.

Organize Your Space

We all know that kids need entertaining, especially on those longer road trips. If you fail to provide them with something to do, you will be faced with an endless torrent of 'are we there yet?' or 'I'm bored.' Taking along some activities is essential if you want to keep your sanity.

Coloring books and crayons, sticker packs and small toys are all great distractions from what would otherwise be a long and painful journey but these can get lost around the car and not rediscovered for months.

Organizers that can be attached to the backs of the front seats provide a way for the kids to easily access their favorite toys and a place to keep them safe and tidy. They are inexpensive and easy to install not to mention super effective.


Having kids and keeping the car clean are not things that usually go hand in hand. It's not uncommon to hear parents apologizing about the mess when giving a lift to friends and family, and if this sounds familiar, you certainly aren't alone.

That being said, there are plenty of easy ways to keep the car at it's best despite those little ones travelling with toys, food and other items. Organizing your car and removing rubbish as it builds up are some of the most effective ways to achieve this and with these handy tips, your car can become your pride and joy once again - second, of course, to your little darlings.