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You already know the struggle. You decide to take your beautiful, young puppy to the park. He’s jumping around your feet in excitement and can’t wait to go for a ride in your car. You put him on a blanket in the back seat but he jumps from window to window, and soon you’re seeing his fluffy hair floating everywhere in the car. When you finally get home again, it’s like there was a winter storm on the inside of the car. Not to mention the mud that he tracked on the carpet. It’s a mess. If you have pets, then you’ve probably experienced something similar to this. It’s near impossible to keep your car clean if you plan to tote your pets in the back seat. The good news is that there are tips and precautions that you can take that will keep your car clean and fresh.
1. Put Down Plastic Over the Floor and the Seats
Have you ever seen the furniture that they show in older movies? They cover it with a soft plastic that fits around the shape of the furniture to keep it fresh from odors and to keep it clean from the dust. You can do a similar thing for your car. There are disposable plastic seat covers you can buy at Walmart, auto stores, online, etc. for relatively cheap, that you can put on with relative ease. I usually go with Walmart so that I can get 100 covers for about twenty dollars. The plastic is thicker and meant to be durable. It will help to keep the dog hair from clinging to the fabric of the seats, and protect the interior from dirt or other things tracked in from your dogs paws.
Also, make sure to keep plastic floor mats in your car when your dogs are riding with you. You can get the type that can be pressed onto the floor with a sticky side like tape, so that you don’t have to worry about your pet tracking mud across the carpeting. You might feel silly at first while you’re wrapping everything in plastic, but you will come to be so glad that you did. It ensures quick cleanup on your end, and helps your car interior to stay nicer in the long run. This ultimately helps for when you decide to put up your beloved Scion TC for sale, so you won’t have to worry about advertising any pet damage.
You may be worried about the plastic tearing from your dog’s paws, and although there might be some tears, it will still help to keep the majority of the mess under control with easy cleanup. Plastic coverings are great for temporary purposes, like a muddy hike outdoors, since this plastic solution isn’t necessarily aesthetically pleasing long-term. For other options, you can coat your interiors with a water and stain-resistant fabric guard. You can even have a protective coating applied to your interior, although this solution will cost a bit more at first. The coating bonds to the surface that it is applied to. and there are different types of coatings designed for specific surface types to match whatever type of interior your car has. You might find this to be the option best suited to you since interior coatings are durable, long-lasting and very difficult to wipe off.
2. Keep a Freshener on Hand
Few things are more distinct than the smell of dog. Though we love them more than anything, dogs can pick up the nastiest of smells. Unlike cats (who are pretty good at grooming and keeping themselves smell-free on their own), dogs need constant grooming and bathing to keep them from getting the typical dog smell. Worst of all, your car can end up smelling like a wet dog for days after you’ve taken him for a ride. A great way to solve the problem is to keep a car air freshener on hand. You can get them cheap at any store and any gas station, and they come in a variety of scents. Hang one from your rearview mirror and let the scent fill your car. It will easily cover any pet smells.
3. Vacuum Regularly
It is best to keep a heavy duty vacuum at home to use routinely and whenever something comes up. The key to keeping the hair off without having to get it professionally cleaned every month it to do it on your own an extremely regular basis. If your dog travels in the car with you every day, then you should try to vacuum out the car at least every week – your goal is to vacuum everything out before it becomes a real problem. To do that, go out and get a vacuum that specializes in getting at the fine hair of pets. There are a lot of different brands that you can choose from. You can also keep a lint roller or two on hand to give your car a quick freshener whenever you feel like it.
The key to keeping your car clean is that you don’t give it enough time to get dirty. Make sure that you’re cleaning your car regularly and keeping your pets groomed. If you can do both of those things, you won’t have a problem keeping the car clean. And even with preventative measures, our beloved pets may still find a way to make a bit of a mess. You can even consider getting a car detail once or twice a year. Professional detailers have the right tools and experience to effectively clean your car and keep it in top shape. With these tips you stay worry-free while always having your dog or your other pets as your co-pilot!
Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .