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How to Protect your Car from Children

We love our kids and would do anything for them. But we love our car too and would like to keep it as clean and as new as possible. That means protecting it from the sticky fingers, sand and dirt that inevitably comes when young ones are around.

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your car fresh and clean – even with kids in the back!

Safe Food Rule

It would be nice to implement a ‘no food in the car’ policy, and it’s likely that most of us have even tried this before. But anyone who has kids in the car for long periods of time, or anyone who is forever running late to things meaning meals and snacks need to be eaten on the go, knows that this rule won’t stick for long.

So instead of banning all food, why not try to have a list of ‘safe’ food for the car. Out go the milk drinks that smell if spilled, the brightly coloured chips that stain when smeared on seats and the cheese sticks that melt through everything. And in come the plain biscuits, muesli bars or dried fruit. Sure, it can be a pain picking up what feels like hundreds of sultanas. But they are less likely to squish and melt into every surface.

Up-to-date Insurance

Make sure your car insurance covers interior damage – such as tears in the material – so that even when the kids are wielding toy swords or hauling sports equipment, you know your car is covered. Tears to seats or roof material may also be covered by warranty, so check the policy the next time you get your car serviced.

Car Cleaning

Car care means cleaning it often. If there are food, drink or dirt stains on the seats you need to clean them as soon as possible so they don’t set into the fabric. This is especially the case for things such as fast-food grease stains. In cases of vomit or toilet accidents, it is best to remove the child seat entirely for a thorough clean, otherwise, you risk pockets of fluid that will remain hidden but can smell the whole car out. Use Brisk for fabric cleaning

Keep a glove box full of plastic bags, wet wipes and paper towel – this should cover most emergencies! Each time you exit the car, take out a plastic bag from the glove box and fill it with the items that don’t belong in the car; toys, shoes, socks, rubbish etc. Take it into the house with you, where it is more likely to be put away. Because as good as our intentions are, sometimes it’s out of sight out of mind when it comes to clearing the mess in the car!

Cover It Up!

If there’s a surface, it can be covered! Car seat covers and floor mats are essential if you want to keep your car in pristine condition. You should also put an old blanket or sheet in the boot to keep mud and sand off the interior carpet – simply pull it out and shake it or wash it every couple of weeks.

If you have young children, you can buy a purpose built kick-mat to hang over the front seat, so that you don’t get dirty scuff marks all over the back of the seat.

External Car Cover

Kids can manage to damage your car even when they aren’t in them! If you park your car somewhere in your yard, close to where they play, you might want to invest in an external cover. Wayward frisbees and footballs can do a lot of damage to a car.

While you should always keep on top of your car detailing to make sure it stays in top shape, here are two really clever hacks you can use to keep your car organised and as clean as possible between cleans:

  • If you have children, you will know the drink holders get filled with crumbs and all manner of small trinkets very quickly. A great hack from Kids Activity Blog suggests placing cupcake cases into the drinks holder to capture all of the crumbs and debris. When it starts getting messy, simply lift out the dirty case and replace it with a clean new one!
  • Sick of mess floating around in the car? Keep organised by buying a clear plastic shoe holder – the type you normally hang in your wardrobe. Slip it over the front seat so the shoe holder section faces the back seat. Kids can now use this to keep their loose items neatly stored. This is really useful for drink bottles, pencils, snacks and toys. You could even keep a packet of wipes or tissues in there for them to clean up after themselves.