How to Keep Your Car Clean with Kids

clean car


There are a lot of things that seem never ending when you have kids, from diaper changes to the line of empty juice boxes. But for me, the biggest never-ending struggle is a dirty car. My kids seem to bring a mess wherever they go, and it all accumulates in the car. After some trial and error and frustration, I’ve learned that it is possible to have a clean car with kids. Here’s how:

Clean as you go. It’s easier for me to do a few little cleaning steps every day than to spend a few hours cleaning the car once a month. I use this list of quick car cleaning tips and check a few things off every day or two, so at least part of the car is clean.

Prepare for clean. I keep a trashcan and multiple backseat organizers in my car. When everything has a place, it helps the car stay cleaner. As my kids have gotten older, they’ve learned where things go, so they can put their crayons and snacks in the proper organizer compartment instead of throwing them on the floor. Give yourself the tools to keep your car tidy and organized.

Have a mobile cleaning kit. Take advantage of those moments stuck at a red light or waiting for your kids after school. I keep a small bin in the car with glass cleaner, leather wipes, a dusting cloth, and a few other cleaning items. When I have a little downtime in the car, I clean what I can within reach, and it makes a huge difference.

Get kids involved. We’ve created fun games and ways for the kids to get involved in keeping the car clean. Whenever we stop for gas, my kids rush to pick up as much trash as they can to throw away in the gas station trashcan. We also have races of who can put their toys away the fastest, and I occasionally give them surprises if their area is clean. Because they don’t know when I’ll be checking, it’s motivation to always be clean.

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