No matter what you do, your car always ends up a mess. Thankfully, our readers are here with ten simple ways to keep your car from becoming a rolling trashbag – from giving it an occasional wax to never eating in there.
#1 Don’t eat in there
If you can avoid eating in your car, you won’t have to deal with all the wrappers, cartons, stains and crumbs that inevitably follow.
#2 Wax it occasionally
It means you have to buy something and it means you have to spend some time after washing your car, but it’s an investment that pays off. Waxing your car occasionally makes washing it the next time easier.
#3 Knock your shoes before getting in
When the ground is wet or muddy, you really can’t help getting dirt and water on the inside of your car – but you can mitigate the damage by knocking your shoes together before you get in.
Sit down on the seat with your legs outside and knock your feet together. Then you just swivel in. It means your footwells won’t be quite so damp and/or filthy.
#4 Keep kids out
If at all possible, don’t have kids and your car will stay much cleaner. If you do have kids, try and contain them in the family truckster and keep your car out of their grubby, dirty, smearing hands.
This may be a lost cause for many of you parents out there, but the rest of you need to stay vigilant.
#5 Clean messes up quick
If you let a spill or a stain linger for any period of time in your car, it quickly becomes “character” and is impossible to remove.
Remember that time when Jim smacked his head on the doorframe and got blood on the armrest? Of course you do, because you didn’t clean it up right away and now it’s a stain you never have the time or the wherewithal to scrub away.
#6 Garage it
While not everyone has a garage available, if you can find some enclosed space for your car, it will stay much cleaner. Mother Nature has a way of bringing every living bird to roost in the tree just above your parked car.
There are a thousand other things the elements can bring unto your vehicle, so clear out your old BowFlex and stick your car in there.
#7 Keep a trashbag in the car
Get either a small trash can or just a trash bag and keep it in your car. It keeps your junk from falling into the tiny cracks around the seats, or from rolling under the seats, and generally getting where you’re too lazy to clean.
#8 Every time you leave, take something out
There are three cleaning regimens that will keep your car clean. Each one requires a different degree of diligence, but they all work.
Every time you stop for petrol, reach into all the cubby holes and pull out the trash so you can throw it out.
Every time you stop and get out of your car for any reason, grab all the trash in your car.
If you stop and your car already looks clean, look around for one thing in your car that doesn’t strictly need to be there and take it out.
#9 Make a routine for washing
There’s no quick fix to keeping your car washed regularly. You have to either set up a schedule for taking your car to a carwash, or you need to start a routine for washing your own car.
Mark it out on your calendar and use the two-bucket method. One bucket has clean water and the other bucket is soapy. Scrub your car clean, soap it up, then wash it all off from the top down. Stay regimented and your car won’t ever stay dirty.
#10 Keep it clean so it stays clean
The easiest way to keep your car from getting dirty is to clean it once and make sure it stays that way. If your car is always clean, you will be more inclined to toss out any trash right away. Similar to the dirty laundry analogy: If you have one pair of dirty socks on the floor, it’s much easier to put that second pair there, then the third, then the…. Eventually it becomes a mess.
Also, if your passengers see a clean car, they will notice and clean up after themselves, not to mention compliment your ride.
This article originally appeared on Jalopnik.