Thing is, I loved my car too – so I was always on the look out for ways to short-cut the tedium of a good car cleaning and deodorizing.
With the arrival of my rescue dog, Heidi, I’ve had the opportunity to pull out some of my old car-cleaning tricks and revise them a bit. I’ve also tried some new things that have worked well.
Let me share them with you.
10 Quick Tips to Deal with Fur, Stains and Stink
- The best way to conquer dog hair is with a rubber glove (like a Playtex) to make embedded dog hair JUMP out to be vacuumed. I keep the vac nozzle in one hand, wipe the rubber glove over the rug with the other, then come in for the final grab.
- I’ve read that rubbing a damp towel over the rug and upholstery will cause the hair to tangle up together, making it easy to vac. I haven’t tried it yet.
- Of course – duct tape! Always a great alternative for particularly difficult situations, like when the hair seems to root in those little holes in the leather upholstery, or in fabric upholstery.
- Carry a package of baby or upholstery wipes to attack slobber and mud when it happens. I’d check any other cleaning wipe for bleach before using it on the interior of the car. Always carry a plain cloth rag, too, to soak up water.
- Woolite Fabric and Upholstery cleaner is about the best (I mean it, even though I was the Brand Manager at one time). It works on either surface with a lovely, workable lather that cleans quickly.
- Baking soda – the old standby – is still the best at eliminating odors permanently. I’ve read many recommendations for the Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh baking soda. Sprinkle it on the rugs and leave it overnight, with the windows open a bit. Vacuum in the morning.
- I’ve read that charcoal briquettes will work, too. Place them in the car overnight with the windows opened a bit.
- Having a well-fitting, easy-to-clean car seat cover is essential. I am still using my Solvit bench seat cover that I bought for Zelda – it’s been through many, many washes. Although this seat cover is not water-proof, Solvit Products has others that are.
- Get the right vacuum for the job! I’ve tried using the typical shop-vac, but it’s cumbersome to use. Then I tried my Miele house-vac, but hated to lug it out into the driveway. Just recently I’ve discovered a new Ridgid 4 gallon shop-vac that’s just like a canister vac for the house – a great combination of power and finesse – but built for outdoor use.
10. Keep the stink out of the vacuum! It can be a problem when cleaning up after all sorts of messes. I take a paper towel, spray it with orange citrus or wet it with water and vanilla, then vacuum up the towel. That helps keep down any residual odor in the vacuum.
I’m much happier these days with a cleaner car, and Heidi along with me for the ride!
Do you have any recommendations for car seat covers or other cleaning tips? Please share below, or on Facebook!