40+ Car Cleaning Hacks That Make Hitting The Road Easier

By Navkiran K

If you’ve ever felt like your car was starting to get on your last nerve, we understand. But with these car cleaning hacks, hopefully, you’ll find that your vehicle is a lot more tolerable than before. Many of us know that the inside and outside of our cars need to be cleaned regularly. However, we often have no idea what products or tools are best for doing this. There are tons of different tricks on how to clean every part of your car. And don’t worry about having time or money. Some hacks save on both. This list will help you with all your car cleaning needs by providing ideas that everyone should know. Be sure to read through them all; there’s no way anyone will be able to say their car is too hard to clean again.

1. Use Foam Brushes To Dust Away Your Car’s Vent 

Air filters in cars get dusty over time. You need to keep your car’s vent clean so that you don’t bother anyone with a dust allergy, and it is healthier for everyone. But you can’t clean them with a plain rag.


Use a sponge brush soaked in a cleaner if you need some extra reach to clean out the vents. Or you can buy an inexpensive foam brush from the craft section in almost any store. Now, you can clean your car’s vents and keep it smelling nice too. 

2. Get Car-Cleaning Slime

Have you ever tried to clean your car but couldn’t reach the narrow places where all that dirt and dust gathered? With slime’s natural malleability, you can easily pick up any dust and dirt in your car’s nooks and crannies.


This gooey, stretchy cleaning tool has been advertised as better for picking up particles and lint than the ordinary cloth from inaccessible areas. You can clean areas like vents or the crevices on wheels without making too much of a mess. 

3. Utilize Coffee Filters For Dusting Purposes

Dusting is easy once you get the inspiration to actually do it. You don’t need to buy expensive car cleaners, either. A cheaper way to get this done is using coffee filters because they can easily pick up dust without spreading it around.


The lint-free material of the coffee filter is excellent for cleaning car consoles, dashboards, and other parts. Try it yourself and grab some filters from the kitchen today; they’ll make your car interior sparkling clean in no time at all. 

4. Buy Compressed Air To Clean The Vents

Do not let the dust bunnies make you feel bad. A can of compressed air is an easy way to get rid of any particles. It’s also good for getting rid of those tiny bits that hide in cracks or crevices.


The way it operates is the can sprays air out at a high rate of speed through a thin straw, which allows you to direct the airflow anywhere there might be gunk that needs cleaning and makes the more nitty-gritty parts of car washes easier. 

5. Wipe Up Animal Hair With A Squeegee

Do you have a pet who sheds? Have you tried using different things to get their fur out of the car? Sure, it is always possible to vacuum the car. However, you probably don’t always have your vacuum with you.


The best way to get rid of it quickly is with a spray bottle and squeegee. You only need to spritz the water on the seats and then use a hand squeegee to get all of that unwanted hair up in moments. 

6. Clean Your Vinyl With A Magic Eraser

We know it’s hard to believe, but you can get rid of those gross stains on your leather or vinyl seats with only a bit of scrubbing. All you need is some magic eraser, and it will take care of any mess. 


Make sure you don’t use an abrasive cleaner like a magic eraser on your clear coats. This will wear down the protective layer and dull the paint over time. This cleaning hack only works for the interior of the car. 

7. Condition The Interiors With Vaseline

It is easy to keep your car in good condition with Vaseline. You can use it for conditioning the seats, dashboard, or even vinyl/leather interior surfaces. Not only does it moisturize the seats, which prevents cracks, but it is quick and inexpensive too. 


If you want to keep your leather looking as good as new, try rubbing a cloth with petroleum jelly and buffing it up. Use the same method on door seals or other exposed surfaces that might freeze during the winter months.

8. Clean Cup Holders With Old Sock, Travel Cup, And Windex

Cup holders get grimy. Sometimes people who spill something in a cup holder forget to clean it. Maybe you spilled coke in there a long time ago, and you forgot about it? Well, don’t worry. You can get that cup holder grime-free.


To clean them, use a little Windex and an old sock pulled over a cup that fits the holder. Wet the bottom of the cup holder for about three seconds to loosen any dirt build-up. Then twist your cloth-covered cup around like you would when cleaning your drinking glasses. 

9. Brush Out Grime And Dirt Using Toothbrush

It’s simple to get most of the dirt and bits when you’re cleaning your car, but some stains just won’t budge without elbow grease. Luckily for us, toothbrushes work wonders in getting rid of pesky residue between the seams of your seats. 


The toothbrush will get that dirt out better than a vacuum. The bristles are made of soft material, which means they’ll be gentle on your car seat as well. And, you’ll have a mess-free, germ-free vehicle in no time at all. 

10. Make Your Dashboard Shine With Olive Oil

Washing leather is a delicate task. If you place the wrong thing on it, the leather will stain. Traditional wipes and sprays are expensive and full of chemicals. Instead, try using paper towels and olive oil to make the car’s dashboard neat and polished.


Just make sure to clean off any leftover oil with paper towels. Rub the oil in circles on the (leather/faux leather) seat cushions for an easy way to keep it beautiful that won’t damage the material as other cleaners would.

11. Get Dirt Out Of Small Cracks With Screwdriver 

If you want to ensure that your car is always a clean, happy place, then it’s time for that deep interior cleaning we all love to avoid. You’ll find dirt and grime in hard-to-reach areas, but with this straightforward screwdriver hack, they’ll be much more accessible.


A cloth over your head screwdriver, go around any area that needs cleaning with ease, voila! Your vehicle will be sparkling brand new in no time flat and without breaking a sweat or back for it too. 

12. Make A Homemade Stain Remover For Carpet

Don’t you hate it when your car’s floor mats are disgusting? We know we all do. But you don’t have to go to a place and pay for them to be cleaned when you can do it yourself at home.

What you should know about cleaning with hydrogen peroxide | Hello Homestead

All you need to do now is take some hydrogen peroxide and lemon essential oil and spray this stain remover on the trouble spots. Toss them in the washing machine with laundry detergent, and use the gentle setting for an easy cleanse. 

13. Sprinkle Baking Soda On Your Car Seats 

You know that awkward moment when you get in a car, and it smells weird? Well, with this straightforward hack, not only can you keep the car smelling fresh but also sanitize it as you drive across town or state. 


Use baking soda to make your car smell good like you would in your fridge. First, sprinkle some on the carpets and upholstery. Then leave it for a while, and vacuum your car like you normally would. Your amazing-smelling vehicle is ready. 

14. Wipe Your Windshield With A Microfiber Fabric

Sometimes your outer windshield is clean, but the inside is so filthy it obstructs your vision. To fix this, start by cleaning with any damp material and then wipe it dry using a microfiber cloth that leaves no streaks behind. 

Streak Free Microfiber Glass Cloths (8 Pack) | 6 Lint Free Cloths + 2 All  Purpose Microfiber Towels — Microfiber Wholesale
Microfiber Wholesale/amazon.com

This method of cleaning is better than using traditional window cleaners. It’s so great to drive with a spotless windshield, no matter what time of day it is or how bright outside. It really helps when the conditions aren’t the best.

15. Remove Dead Bugs From Bumper With Dryer Wipes 

Looking for a method to keep your car looking fresh and bug-free? Here’s the hack. Use dryer sheets and water to remove dead insects from your car’s bumpers with ease. Gently rub the surface to get anything undesirable to come off.


You’ll save so much time by not going anywhere near that gas station carwash. And by not paying someone else for one quick wipe down, you’ll save cash too. In addition, you can guarantee the job is done to your satisfaction.

16. Buy A Microfiber Mitt To Clean Your Car

The best thing about washing your car at home is that you save a bit of money. You can use water and any soap to clean the car. If the car has dirt or scratches from an automatic machine, use microfiber mittens.


It makes sure every inch gets clean without the worry of leaving behind marks from harsh cleaners like bleach which could damage its finish over time, or abrasive scrub brushes. Microfiber mittens are also very handy for holding a lot of liquid. 

17. Clean Your Car With Hair Conditioner

Who knew that hair conditioner could be so transformative? If you wash your car with this, we’re sure its wax finish would look as amazing as if you’d gone straight down to an expensive body shop. We bet no one could tell the difference.


You can buy a conditioner with lanolin in it and use a washcloth to buff out any unwanted grit. This will not only make your vehicle shiny but also help you avoid those water spots generated by rain and dew. 

18. Ensure To Roll Down The Windows

Cleaning your windows can be a tedious chore. Make sure you roll them down and give all of that grime a good scrubbing with soap or spray cleaner before wiping off any residue so that the whole window ends up shiny. 


For some reason, we forget to clean the very top of our window. Therefore, roll yours down so that grime can be removed from up high as well. This also prevents streaks when there’s rain and makes your car look cleaner for longer. 

19. Wipe Your Headlights With Toothpaste

These days, cars come with plastic headlights. Plastic lenses on the lights get dirty and become dull. They also might become foggy after a few years because of UV rays and dust. This is similar to the plaque on teeth that toothpaste removes.


To keep your headlights clear and fog-free, use toothpaste. If you use the kind made from baking soda, it will be easier to remove stubborn grime. You can apply the paste with a rag and scrub the headlights before rinsing with water. Using a toothbrush is another option.

20. Eliminate Car Stickers With A Hair Blower

Removing stickers is more complex than putting them on. If you need to get rid of an old bumper sticker, you’ll need a hairdryer, razor blade (if the sticker is on glass), a stiff plastic card, towels, some cleaning solution, and patience.


Use a hairdryer. Bring it close to your car’s sticker so that all parts of the sticker are warm. Now, use a plastic card to peel off any stubborn adhesive residue slowly. Finally, clean up with soap and water solution.

21. Use Baby Wipes To Clean Car Windows

Window washing is not always the most popular housekeeping task, but you can get clean windows without all that scrubbing with newspaper or paper towels. You might be astonished at how well one square baby wipe can do the job.


This works because the alcohol in these wipes will keep your windows clean and streak-free. So on future trips, make sure to pack a few packs with you for when a wipe down is needed most. Thank goodness for this invention

22. Use Shower Caddy To Organize Your Car

It’s a fantastic idea to keep things that you need in your car organized. Imagine seeing these every time you open up the trunk. You’ll feel a warm glow inside, knowing everything from your car snacks to bug spray has its place. 


With all your stuff so accessible and neat, you wouldn’t have to go fumbling through your purse trying to find that box of bandaids. You could just reach in with one hand and get what’s needed without any hassle whatsoever. 

23. Polish Wiper Blades With Rubbing Alcohol

The wiper blades of your car often get clogged with dirt, rocks, and other debris. This can cause the wipers to streak across windows when it rains, making them ineffective at their job of cleaning off grease or water spots. 


Cleaning your car blades is a breeze with this simple trick. Just fill a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe off any residue from the rubber strip on your wiper blades. Just one wipe down should do for most of us.

24. Hang Your Belongings In Car With Carabiner

A carabiner is an excellent way to keep your belongings organized and within reach without cluttering the floorboard. They are great for driving around town because you can hang things you need and not have them flying around your car.


It’s the ultimate accessory for all travel needs that keep you safe and sound while on the road. They attach easily to the headrests so that you can always access whatever you need, whether it is your umbrella in a sudden rainstorm or those crucial car snacks.

25. Glove Box Organizer In Car

This simple hack will help you keep all of your essential car documents organized and easy to grab. If needed, you can put things like a parking money pouch, insurance papers, registration details for mechanics, or roadside service contacts.


With this one organizer in place, it’ll be more accessible than ever before when troubleshooting any issue with vehicle maintenance. Everything is right there at hand instead of spreading out throughout your car and making essential things challenging to find.

26. Buy Specialized Headlight Wipes

Calling all car lovers! Please do not settle for anything less than perfection when it comes to your ride. You won’t believe how these specialized sheets can take care of any streaks in minutes and restore the finish to perfection. 


If you don’t have time for a whole cleaning, try these headlight wipes. They come with three large clothes that’ll remove streaks from lights, and it will be so much cheaper than visiting the auto shop or using their expensive products. 

27. Get Ice Pop Makers

Head over to the nearest grocery store, or your pantry, and grab some ice pop containers to organize the little things you want to have easy access to in your car. You can’t go wrong with these small, easy-to-use, durable organizers. 


These cleverly designed molds will be the perfect size for all of those items like coins, hair clips, and more. A tiny bit of organization goes a long way when you need everything with ease; this hack makes life easy peasy. 

28. Keep Loose Change In Old Containers

Although the market is full of car organizers for every taste and style, don’t settle on one that’s too expensive. This simple trick will make finding loose change in your vehicle easier, especially when paying at toll booths or parking facilities. 

cz.pinterest.com / Kristin Szerszen

The best part? You don’t require any special tools or skills. You can do it easily with a candy or gum container, preferably with a lid you might already have around the house. You can now stop spending time searching for loose coins in the car.

29. Invest In Acrylic Trays

If you don’t want to invest in an ice pop maker, then acrylic trays are also an excellent way of keeping your car neat and organized by putting loose odds. They come in different sizes, so there’ll be one that works just right.


There’s definitely a good chance you have one or two of these stuffed in a junk drawer in the bathroom or kitchen. And even if you don’t find one, you can grab one at a dollar store for pretty cheap.

30. Cereal Box Trash Can

The best way to be sure that your car is always pristine? Keep a trash can around. Using a cereal container is an inexpensive option that is also less hazardous than a plain bucket. They can keep any mess from flying all over the car. 


Throw out any wrappers, bottles, and other objects in the sturdy car trash can. And use the strip of hook fastener on the bottom for added stability. This is helpful for everyone, but especially for those who have kids in the back seat.

31. Make Your Own Car Kit

Keep all of your cleaning supplies in this super easy-to-make car kit. Whether it’s hand sanitizer, garbage bags to clean up a mess, wipes and paper towels, or bug spray and sunscreen, you will be prepared for whatever comes your way.


So, pop it on your trunk and drive relaxed, knowing that no matter what comes along, there are always these handy items waiting for just inches away. Because who doesn’t need a bit of extra peace during these hectic times?

32. Attach A Back Seat Trash Bag

If you travel with children, this back seat trash bag will make life much more pleasant. It will hold any amount of garbage you have with ease. It has a sleek design, so it doesn’t take up too much room inside your car. 


It’s perfect for long road trips when everyone is just chilling but won’t stop eating snacks anytime soon. With a snap of the fingers, you can keep the mess contained in one place so you can focus on what matters most, driving.

33. Silicone Cupcake Molds In Cupholders

Cup holders can be gross because they often don’t get cleaned, making them a breeding ground for little dust bunnies and germs. No need to worry, though. There is a solution, you can use something from your kitchen, and it will work.


You can keep your cup holders clean and smelling good with the use of cupcake molds. Just place them at the bottom for easy access, then empty any dirt or residue now and again so that they stay fresh forever.

34. Make Room For Snack Basket

With this fantastic idea, you can store all your favorites travel snacks your family needs in one place. You’ll be able to grab drinks and food for yourself when you’re in a hurry and running late, or offer an after-school treat to your kids.


This is the perfect way to stay on track with your diet too. The best part about this basket? It helps you save money by eating from home more often and avoiding unhealthy options when out and about running errands.

35. Put Essential Oils On A Wooden Clothespin

It’s incredible how rapidly and easily you can make your car smell fresh with a few simple steps. Sprays only last for a little bit, while the most potent smelling items last days or even weeks. This is much cheaper in time and money. 


Take a wooden clothespin, dab your favorite essential oils on it, and stick the clothespin in your car air conditioning vent. Voila! Now you’ve got yourself an affordable car freshener alternative. It is a pretty ingenious hack if you ask us. 

36. Use A Command Hook

A great way to keep trash off your passenger side floorboard is by using a command hook and hanging up that bag for easy disposal. Snacks always accompany long trips, but you can avoid having a huge mess next to you when driving.


After finishing any food (whether it’s chips or something more substantial), simply put it away with the use of these nifty hooks so as not to leave any mess behind. Now you will not have any trash on the floor. 

37. Car Humidifier To Keep Your Car Smelling Fresh

After cleaning your car, add some essential oil or water drops and then put them in an aroma diffuser. The ultra-fine mist will keep it smelling great as it floats around the interior, making driving more refreshing than ever before. 


Additionally, you can use 50ml of water for 2 hours so that you can go on a long drive. It also has two USB ports, so this is perfect if you have a phone or tablet that needs charging while driving.

38. Get A Mini Car Vacuum

Portable vacuum cleaners are a good choice for your car. They don’t break, and they’re lightweight, so you can take them wherever you go if you want. When your car needs a little help from all those dirty shoes, this will come to the rescue.


This cleaner has powerful suction and leaves no debris in between those cracks behind and in between seats that seem impossible to reach. It’s also super easy to use, saving time that would have been wasted with other cleaners or methods.

39. Buy A Pet Seat Hammock To Keep Your Car Clean

As a pet parent, you know how important it is to protect your car seats. You don’t want fur or claws messing up the interior. With this cover, you can stop worrying about making your car stay clean and perfect.


This cover is made of a material that protects your car. It will not come out of place, and it keeps pets from spreading fur all over your upholstery. There are colors to match any pet’s personality, and it is waterproof.

40. Purify Air In Your Vehicle With Leftover Candle Wax

Yet another super-easy way to freshen up your car’s vents is to get that best scent of all time. Put a candle into every cup holder you have. You can pick your fragrance, and if you can find the perfect-sized candles, you can also protect the holders from getting filled with grime.


When the candle melts due to hot weather or after being left unattended for some time, it will give off a fantastic fragrance. The wax can also release fragrant smells without being heated, so you can enjoy a nice-smelling car even in the cold winter months.

41. Remember To Check Your Filter

If you observe a persistent foul odor in your car even after trying out one of the above options, it might just be an issue with the filter. Check to make sure everything is good there and get them changed if they’re dirty.

in.pinterest.com / Anjali Kini

If you are not sure if the filters inside your car are clean, you might be able to smell mold. Filters keep the air free from particles that can make people sick. Clean your filters so they don’t cause any problems.

42. Windshield Glass Cleaner

For some people, their outer windshield is pretty clean, but the inner one is covered in filth. A great way to get rid of this hazardous mess so that you can see better would be to use a windshield glass cleaner. 


A clean windshield can make a significant difference in your ability to see obstructions on the road. So, if you want convenience, try this very easy-to-use car windshield glass cleaner. Keep it near you or inside the trunk for long journeys.

43. Use Pineapple Skins

There is a way to get your car smelling like an island paradise. Simply take some of the rings from fresh pineapples and keep them in a plastic bag on your dashboard or another convenient place. Replace these when needed.


Don’t worry if your friends think you’re a bit weird. You can put the bag someplace not as visible but still have the fragrance waft around so they can smell it. Bring two bags, because it will take some time for sure.

44. Fix Bad Odors In Your Car’s Air Conditioner With Lysol

You can get rid of all your air conditioner’s bad smells by spraying it with Lysol disinfectant spray. This is an easy and effective way to ensure everything inside runs smoothly, without worrying about annoying and unpleasant odors coming out. 


First, shake up the can for at least 60 seconds, then leave for 2 minutes to cover all openings evenly and thoroughly before turning on your unit again. This will get rid of all those powerful summertime stenches and sanitize the vent simultaneously.