It means trips to day camps, local swimming pools, parks, beaches, cottages, camping or the extended family vacation road trip. But these will do more than just forge memories for your family — they are also likely to leave your car looking like a disaster zone. Little finger prints all over the glass, crumbs on the seat and carpets, unexplained stains for which no one will assume responsibility and the odours from a mix of food remnants, spilled drinks and sweaty days in the summer sun can make your car an unsightly mess.
“We love our kids — we really do — but they are also messy little creatures,” says Megan Currie, Marketing Manager for Armor All Canada. “But you shouldn’t leave your car looking like a hurricane just passed through it.”
Megan offers the following tips to not only clean up those stubborn messes, but to also protect it from future mishaps:
• Clear the glass. Some household cleaners contain ammonia, which can harm the delicate surfaces of your car, and the glass is no exception. Specially formulated automotive glass cleaner easily wipes away those fingerprints on the inside, and the road grit and bug splatter on the outside. Keep yourself prepared for the next face-pressed-up-against-the-window smudge with handy glass wipes that you can keep in the trunk for clean up on the go.
• Get the stains out. It is best if you can tackle the stain right away, but kids don’t always notice or tell you when they have dribbled fruit punch onto the back seat. If you catch the spill in time, blot it with a paper towel to try and soak up the excess liquid. If it has set, soak the area with water and then try to dab some of it up. Then spray the area with a specially formulated car upholstery cleaner and dab away to work it into the stain. For best results, place paper towels over the cleaned area and cover with a weight such as a brick. This will serve to wick away excess moisture and any remnants of the stain.
• Suck up the crumbs. Vacuum your car regularly to pick up all the remnants of cookies, crackers, fruits and vegetables that didn’t quite make into your child’s mouth. For those stubborn, ground in stains like tracked in mud or crusty salt stains left over from winter, a hardy carpet cleaner will do the trick.
• Clear the air. Keep your car smelling fresh all summer, despite what the kids track in and leave behind. A vent mounted air freshener will circulate a pleasant aroma throughout the cabin and cover offending smells. Or go for the classic mirror-dangler for a long-lasting and refreshing burst of clean fragrance.
• Protect. There is nothing like the original. Armor All Protectant will clean off the splash marks from wayward drinks and revive your interior surfaces and get them looking like the day you drove it off the lot. Stay prepared for future messes (you know they are coming!) with pre-moistened wipes you can carry with you.