Last week we told you how to do a used car interior inspection, and we thought, why not follow that up with some tips on how to keep your car interior clean during winter? Yes, this information applies year round, but if you live in an place where winter brings inclement weather, extra attention needs to be paid to the interior during these harsher months. What we bring into our vehicles during the winter can significantly effect the overall value, whether by damaging the carpet, interior trim pieces, or simply making a mess of what was a pristine space. People have a tendency to let ourselves go a little bit during the winter, and that mentality easily spills over to our vehicles, which for many people are an extension of themselves. Just as we fortify ourselves for winter, we must do the same for our vehicles, and just like with a human body, good health starts on the inside.
Winter floor mats are a good start, and while many brands will tout the grime trapping channels their mats have, the best option will always be a deep pocketed tray style. What really separates an quality floor mat from a cheap one, is the type of rubber used. If you live in a place where winter brings extreme cold, make sure your mats are made from rubber that will stay flexible no matter the temperature is. You’ll want to make sure to avoid cheap plastic mats all together as they will crack under pressure and ultimately end up being a waste of money. Shelling out for a good set of winter floor mats is just another way of protecting your investment, just like shelling out for a good set of snow tires. If your cheap out on tires, the overall safety factor of your vehicle drops, and if you cheap out on floor mats, the overall protection of your interior drops. They are the first line of defense in protecting the largest swath of your vehicle’s interior, the carpet.
For as much as people think they’re taking care of their car interior, it’s almost guaranteed they’re not doing nearly as much as they should be. All one needs to do to see this is look at the seasonal patterns of humans, and an ugly truth makes itself known, we accumulate stuff during the winter. Whether actual things, or just mental junk out there floating around in the ether, the winter months add heft to our lives, sometimes quite literally. We need to keep a handle on what we put in our bodies, and we must do the same for our vehicles, lest either take on a rather unflattering appearance. Fully cleaning a car interior daily just isn’t realistic for most people, but once each week should be perfectly manageable. Removing all loose trash, or items that you don’t need every other day is a good place to start. Once you make a habit of keeping an interior clean, you’ll be amazed how much more enjoyable being in your vehicle is.
Much like our bodies, our cars tend to take a beating from December through March. In addition to the visible grime that we bring into our vehicles, we also introduce all kinds of invisible filth. Sickness runs rampant during colder months not because there are more germs floating around, but because we’re less prepared to deal with them. During the winter people don’t take care of themselves as much as they do during the summer, and with immune systems running on empty, it’s easier for people to get sick. It’s not a bad idea to keep sanitizing wipes in your vehicle year round, but they’re a necessity during the winter. Regularly wiping down the steering wheel, door handles, seat belt buckles, and other often touched surfaces might sound boarder line OCD, but doing so at least once a week will significantly reduce the “yuck factor” of your car. After all, it’s great if your interior looks clean, but it’s way better if it is clean.