How to Keep the Inside of Your Car Clean


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Cars aren’t just for transportation any more.  For many people, like my husband, they serve as an office, too.  For others they’re a place to do homework or watch movies.  Whatever the purpose of your car, it is possible to keep it clean and organized.

Just like your home, your car needs to be cleaned and de-cluttered on a regular basis.  But finding the time is tough – at least it is for me.  So the way I keep my car clean is by cleaning as I go.

Some things have to be scheduled or planned – like washing the outside of the car or vacuuming the inside.  But de-cluttering can be done every time you use your car.

Here are a few things to consider:

1.       If you park in the garage, keep a trash can in the garage to make it easy to dispose of trash while you’re still in the garage.

2.       Keep a trash bag or container in the car for trash and dump it regularly.  If you use a container, it will probably need a lid so paper doesn’t blow around if the windows are open.

3.       Every time you get out of the car, grab something to take in or throw away.

4.       When you go into a store, take some trash with you and toss it in the store’s trash can as you’re walking in. Of course, I would only do that if the trash can was outside the doors or right inside.

5.       Don’t take anything in your car that you don’t have to.  Often when I’m shopping and I only buy one or two things, I tell them I don’t need a bag.  That means one less thing to throw away.

6.       If you have times when you’re waiting, don’t just sit there and play games on your phone – gather up the trash in the car and throw it in a nearby trash can or pile it for disposal when you get home.

7.       If you’re getting out of the car after a shopping trip and there’s “clean” trash in the car, stick it in your shopping bags and bring it in with the good stuff.

8.       Get organizing containers designed for your car to help you keep the clutter contained.  There are TONS of things available and not only will they make your car cleaner, they’ll make it safer, too.  It’s not good to have a lot of loose items in your car in case you’re in an accident.

9.       Don’t be a perfectionist.  I’ll be honest – my car is not perfect.  It needs vacuumed and a wash.  But there’s hardly ever any trash in it.  I really do clean as I go.  So even if you can’t make your car perfect, which even if you get it perfect it won’t stay that way, you can still make it better.  And better is all we’re going for.



10.     If you just can’t make yourself clean as you go, then schedule a time once a week when you go out with a trash bag and clean it out.  Don’t make it a big deal.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and do what you can.

What’s your car like?  Do you keep it clean or do you care?


  1. When I was in my twenties, working full time and going to school at night full time, it felt like my address was 93 Ford Escort…needless to say, there was much junk and garbage in my car. Even later in life, I was pretty bad about car hygiene. I think having our daughter riding around in there was the thing that got me to pay more attention to cleanliness in the car. Most of the time, it’s in need of a wash and a vacuum, but the junk and trash no longer rides with us!
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me recently posted…Soup of the Week – New and Improved Butternut Squash EditionMy Profile

  2. With the exception of the outside and the driver’s side needing to be vacuumed my car is pretty much spotless. I hate having a messy interior (which I find odd when you take a look at my desk at home) so I’m fussy about removing all trash from my car. On a rare occasion a napkin, tissue, or receipt will linger but it’s usually no more than a few days.

    These are great tips though for keeping the inside of the car clean! It never ceases to amaze me how or why some people let their cars get so filthy. I understand kids and all but food wrappers, empty cups, and just trash in general makes me wonder if they take pride in their cars. Even my desk on its worst day isn’t that bad! LOL.
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  3. I do this all the time..My husband on the other hand is the messiest person alive when it comes to the car!
    Everytime we are in his car, it’s like I have to clean it out with some much garbage! How does he collect all that crap?!!

    It drives me nuts so sometimes I refuse to ride in it.

    Visiting from #sitssharefest

    Keep it Touched,
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    • My husband is the messy one, too – but only with his truck. He’s not like that at all when it comes to the house, thank goodness. His truck is a work truck and it’s his office, too, so I guess I’ll cut him a little slack. But still . . .

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