Car Cleaning Tips for Family Cars

From our experience, the family car gets a lot of use! Typically used for the school run, work commute, weekly shopping and all-round family taxi. It’s not surprising that the interior of the family car quickly becomes full of crumbs, pet hair and sweet wrappers. The last thing you want on your morning commute is a seat full of crumbs and toys, so here are our top tips for cleaning the family car.

Family Washing Car Together With Buckets And Sponges.

Car Cleaning

First things first, clear out the car and clean it. Start from the front and work your way backwards, don’t forget to check under the seats! If your family car is anything like ours, the interior often replicates a bin. Crisp wrappers, used baby wipes and receipts galore. Clear out everything that does not belong in the car and put it in its rightful place.

Keeping a small rubbish bag in the car means you can collect all the rubbish in one place. A plastic cereal container makes the perfect bin for your car and will fit neatly in the back.


The family glovebox should only contain essentials such as insurance/registration documents, breakdown assistance details, a pen and small notepad. In the event of an emergency all your important documents are in one place.

Door Compartments

Door compartments in family cars are often filled with plastic bottles, empty wrappers and small toys. Transform the car door pockets by clearing out any rubbish and only keeping the essentials in there such as: wipes, de-icer and an ice scraper.

Seat Covers

Seats in family cars can become messy and harbour smells – you are not alone. From melted chocolate stains to muddy paw prints and spilt drinks, car seats take the brunt of family life.

Investing in waterproof seat covers is a great idea for family cars. The covers can be removed and cleaned, leaving the car seats stain free and preserving the car’s resale value.

If your car seats are in need of some TLC, here are our Favourite Car Upholstery Cleaning Products.

Get Organised

For a family, being organised is one of the best ways to keep a clean family car. So, it’s important to get the family car organised and stay organised. If you have car documents, keep them all together in a wallet, which can be placed in the glovebox or door.

Make the most of your boot with a boot organiser, keep all your essential items together within easy reach. Another must-have accessory for family cars is a back-seat organiser. Perfect for young children on long journeys, an organiser can store food, drinks, games, tissues and more.

Car Wipes

Keep a supply of cleaning wipes in the car for emergencies. Dirty footprints and spilt drinks can be minimised by cleaning the mess up immediately. Keeping car cleaning wipes in the car means you can clean as you go. Baby wipes also work well as an alternative to car wipes.

Regular Cleaning

Regularly cleaning the family car will help keep on top of the mess. Schedule a day once a month to clean the interior and exterior of the car. Even better, get the whole family involved in exchange for pocket money.

Family Car Rules

Creating family car rules is a great way to help keep the car cleaner for longer.

  • No eating in the car would reduce the mess and crumbs in the car, but it’s not always possible with small or teenage children.
  • If the ‘no eating in the car’ rule wouldn’t work for your family, then introduce the ‘no wrappers’ Encouraging all members of the family (including parents) to take their rubbish with them and minimise the mess in the car.
  • No spill cups – if drinking in the car is necessary then invest in cups that will not allow the drink to spill out. Make sure the adults follow this rule too!

Clean While You Wait

As the driver of a family car, waiting is a large proportion of your time in the car. If you find yourself waiting outside the school, leisure centres or play park – use this time in the car to your advantage. Collect rubbish, give the car seats and dashboard a wipe over. Or even go one step further and invest in a small cordless vacuum for the car. Meaning you can collect the crumbs and mud in all the hard to reach car spaces.

Once you have cleaned and organised the family car, you will feel a whole lot lighter. Journeys in the car will be more pleasant and enjoyable. Keeping on top of the cleaning and following the family car rules will ensure the car stays clean and mess-free for longer.

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