Your car is one of the most significant investments you will make, and they are so much more than a monthly bill on wheels to get you where you need to go! Your car is an expression of yourself, and you don’t need to have one of the fancy exotic brands or leather seats and a sunroof to make a statement. Maintaining your car and keeping it clean is about so much more than just preserving the resale value, it’s about creating and sticking to the daily routines that will carry over into other aspects of your life.
Here are four quick and easy tips that take 30 seconds or less to do, but will make a world of difference in keeping you and your car feeling brand new.
1) Avoid The Gym Locker Effect
We’ve all been in cars that smell like an old gym locker, and it can make even the most beautiful vehicle unpleasant to ride in. Unfortunately, if your car is always looking (and smelling!) like a gym locker, you may get used to it and not even know! Clutter from fast food meals, mid-day outfit changes, and the musty gym bag in the trunk not only take up room and look unorganized, but they can smell bad too! The situation gets even worse in the summer when high temperatures can turn your car into an oven! Make a habit of always emptying your car at the end of the day; it takes only a few seconds if you keep up with it and don’t let things pile up!
2) Tell Dust To Hit The Road
One of the most common problems that face car owners is the dust that builds up on the dashboard and other flat surfaces. Beyond looking dirty, dust can negatively affect the quality of the air you are breathing and, if left long enough, can clump up and collect in unwanted places. Even though you likely won’t have any noticeable build-up daily, it’s a good idea to keep a cloth or car wipes easily accessible for daily wipe downs of your dash and other flat surfaces.
3) Cup Holder Etiquette
Nothing is more disgusting when driving in a car than reaching for the cup holder only to find sticky, gross coins stuck to the bottom. Although this sounds barbaric, it is the sad fate of many car cup holders. The truth is that these convenient tools often become mini trash bins, home to spare change, old wrappers, and leaky fast food cups. Be conscious of what you set in your cup holder, and wipe it out with an all-purpose cleaner regularly!
4) Shake It Out
The most susceptible place in your car to collect dirt and grime is your carpets. The carpet condition is important for resale and will be easily noticeable when riding in the car. (after all, we look down to place our feet when we get in!) Diligence goes a long way here; shaking the carpets out takes only a few seconds and will make a world of difference. Rubber floor mats are also an excellent investment as they don’t cost much and will go a long way to preserving your floors!
5) Wipe Down Your Windows
Stopping to fill up your tank at the gas pump is an inevitable part of owning and driving a car. In the past, I used to stand around, staring at the bill slowly rack up and wondering why it was so expensive to use a car I had already paid a lot of money for. In the past few years, I decided I might be a little more productive with my time, and started cleaning my windows. Initially turned off from the idea as I drove away with streaks of window cleaner dripping down my windshield, I stayed committed and quickly became a master at cleaning my windows. Now? I treat it like the pitstop of a Nascar race. How fast (and well!) I can clean my windows has become a game that is infinitely more entertaining than watching the numbers slowly creep up. The best part? My car windows are always clean and I’m never left dealing with the window grime unexpectedly.
The saying goes that “a clean car is a happy car,” and I couldn’t agree more! Try the tips above, and you will realize just how easy it can be to maintain your car in a condition you can be proud of! The fact that all of these steps take 30 seconds or less should be the icing on the cake, especially when you realize how much more enjoyable your car rides will become!