Keeping the family car clean. Or not.

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car clean, family car, car wash
I think we need to use one of these.

We recently went out for the day as a family. We were going somewhere quite special and would need to make the correct impression on arrival. This created extra work for me because the car was in a horrendous state and needing cleaning inside and out.

To be quite blunt, it was disgusting. A banana skin was quietly decomposing in the driver’s footwell, pistachio nut shells were scattered down by the handbrake, old school work was piling in the side pockets and I dread to think how many raisins were under the kids’ car seats. It seemed like half a vineyard was stuffed under them.

That poor, poor car seems to double up as a dustbin. Every couple of months it reaches a point where I can take it no more and I disappear out of the house with a bin liner and re-appear half an hour later with the same bin liner full of rubbish and hands that have cleaned up such vile filth they need to be disinfected.

Okay, yes, I’m exaggerating slightly. There is no vile filth in our car. The thing is, I feel ashamed. When I’m walking down the street I can’t help peering in to other people’s cars and each vehicle seems immaculate in comparison to ours, even when the car is obviously kept by a family with young kids. We also have a neighbour who pressure washes his two cars every single week. I dread to think what he must make of our lax standards.

I just find it so difficult to keep the car clean and tidy. Whenever I drive somewhere it usually involves collecting or dropping off children. When I get home the priority is to bundle them into the house after which they invariably need looking after. If a packet of raisins has been spilt over the back seat, well it can wait tomorrow before it is cleaned up.

So tell me, is your car a dustbin like ours? Does it get cleaned inside and out on a regular basis? Most important of all, are you secretly judging me?   

Photo credit: Philip Halling. Image reproduced under Creative Commons 2 agreement (see disclosure page for more information about Creative Commons) .

8 thoughts on “Keeping the family car clean. Or not.”

  1. I love this post, especially as I removed my car seats yesterday and was shocked at how much cr*p was down there! I do sometimes have clean car envy but it’s difficult to keep clean if you are doing any sort of daytrip/long car journeys. But I did try and ban raisins, breadsticks and crackers but the alternatives were just worse! And if its not food it’s mud. So no, I can’t judge you, I’m in the same car (pardon the pun)! #bloglovin

    1. Ah, long journeys. Yes, these are superb for messing up a car in my experience. We occasionally drive London – Scotland and back and by the time we get home the car is like a rubbish tip.

  2. Tom @Ideas4Dads

    It is a consistent battle to keep our car clean. We have just bought a people carrier and already the no eating/crafting/pooping rule in the car has gone out of the window!!

  3. I can really identify with what you’ve said here about having a dirty car. Our 14 month old son is pretty good at making it look messy and my wife and I are even better at not cleaning it as often as we should.

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