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23 April 2024 · Tips N' Tricks

Good Clean Family Fun

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In the journey from point A to B, cars serve as convenient transportation for kids. However, kids often see cars as more than just vehicles – as places to wipe their muddy feet, hurl their unwanted Vegemite sandwiches and investigate whether you can squeeze a rainbow slushie inside a car seat pocket.

When young families travel together, one thing is guaranteed: mess. But you can take action to minimise the damage. Here are our top tips:

Removing a car seat cover to wash it can be an inconvenience. But it can be a lot easier and cheaper than toiling away (or hiring a professional) to get crayons, chewing gum or vomit out of your upholstery. Invest in some easy-to-clean car seat covers, or car seat protectors that are easy to get on and off.

Cover the backs

Sick of dirty shoe prints (or worse) on the back of car seats? You can get waterproof, wipe-clean seat protectors that hang over the back of the driver’s and front passenger seats. They won’t stop the annoying kicking, but they will protect the upholstery.

Protect and survive

Protect your car interior and baby seat with a protector spray. You can get sprays for all sorts of interiors – from leather to fabric – that will make them water-resistant and repel all sorts of gooey, gross things that might cause stains.

Embrace organisation

Seat organisers are so much fun! There’s space for your comic book, your drink, your snacks, your iPad and your paint-by-numbers set (OK, maybe leave that one at home). Get the kids excited about getting organised at the start of the trip and pray that they will still see the appeal by the end.

Keep some throwaway mats in the boot

Was the football field particularly muddy today? Are someone’s feet caked in sand? Grab a pack of disposable paper floor mats, and throw them in the boot to use when needed.

Bin it!

We have bins in every room in the house; in the backyard; in the shed. Why wouldn’t we have one in the car? Get an in-car bin, make everyone use it and empty it at the end of every trip (let’s be honest: no one wants to jump in and get a big whiff of a week-old banana peel).

Portable Vacuum

Invest in a portable vacuum cleaner. Guaranteed to come in handy when you have kids eating sausage rolls and dropping crumbs everywhere.

Swipe with a wipe

Have some car cleaning wipes in the glovebox. Perfect for tackling dirt, spillages and stains in a hurry – on everything from mats to carpets to seats.

Lay Down the Law

Prevention is better than cure, so set some rules. No food or drinks in the car would solve a lot of problems. If that’s unrealistic, consider limiting drinks to good old water, and food that won’t seriously stain the carpet if dropped or squashed.

Don't ditch the detailing

Starting every journey in a clean car has a couple of advantages: people are more likely to respect a clean vehicle (well, people over a certain age, anyway) and cleaning up at the end of the trip should be a breeze. So keep on top of things with regular detailing. And if the kids are old enough, get them to take their stuff and rubbish with them every time they get out. It’s a great habit for them to get into.