Car Care: Kids in cars means mess
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AA Motoring offers tips to protect your car from messy kids
You can’t avoid the general wear and tear on your car from the elements but regular maintenance makes it more manageable. Inside, it’s a different story and there are some things that are even harder to control.
If you’ve got kids or you’re a helpful grandparent, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help protect your car from those messy little monsters.
When you’re travelling with kids, the back seats usually end up accumulating the most mess, especially if you have a toddler who won’t behave unless strapped in the back seat with a biscuit in hand. Before you know it, the back seat becomes the scene of an unexpected biscuit factory explosion.
The best protection for this is a hard-wearing seat cover, particularly on the lower seat squab. If you can get one in an easy wipe material, such as vinyl, that’s even better. If you haven’t been using a seat cover and it’s already too late for the seat squab, you can use one of the upholstery cleaning machines found at most petrol stations.
Once done, you again have a clean slate, which can be preserved with a protective cover.
There’s no escape for the driver and passenger seats, either. These are often prone to wear and tear on the back as kids kick them or slide past them as they rush in and out of the vehicle. Again, we recommend buying a cover or a car seat kick mat that protects the back of the front seat.
A vehicle’s carpet is another area that can suffer. If you have slightly older children who are into sports, you’re probably fed up with that fact that they don’t bother wiping their dirty boots or trainers before hopping into the car after a game. Original mats that come with a car are often carpet and, although they may offer some protection, they’re generally not as good as heavy-duty rubber mats.
Rubber mats may not look as good but they’re easier to clean and maintain. If the odd soft drink spills, the mats can be easily hosed or scrubbed down, offering great protection in the long run.
Some of the mess can be created outside of the car as well. During the summer months, watch for sunscreen getting on the paint work of your car. Some sunscreen products react with the paint, leaving small hand prints and white marks on the body work. If you spot them early, they’re usually easy to remove with a quick polish. The longer the sunscreen stays on, the harder it is to remove.
It pays to be prepared when you’re travelling with kids. Have paper towels or cleaning wipes on hand for spills, and small plastic bags for rubbish.
We recommend having regular clear-outs of rubbish, as it can be far easier than taking on fewer, more extensive cleans.
Cars are made to be used and enjoyed by the whole family. If you don’t want to spend your weekends cleaning out your car, these preventive measures will go a long way in reducing your cleaning time.
It’ll also help relieve some of the stress and worry that comes with having kids in your beloved car.