Thursday, March 20, 2014

21 Monthly Clean Home Challenge: Clean Out Cars

Welcome back to the Monthly Clean Home Challenge daily task!  I am on a quest to maintain a clean and organized home in less time and the goal is simple; four daily tasks, four weekly tasks and one additional quick task each week day. 

In no particular order, here are the individual tasks I am tackling each day this month:
  1. Make cleaning supplies
  2. Cycle clean appliances
  3. Clean out cars
  4. Clean out microwave
  5. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
  6. Wipe down trim/doors
  7. Clean out one drawer
  8. Clean out fridge
  9. Clean out freezer
  10. Vacuum under furniture
  11. Vacuum mattresses
  12. Clean oven
  13. Clean out one closet
  14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
  15. Wash windows
  16. Scrub grout
  17. Clean out one cabinet
  18. File paper piles
  19. Purge bathroom toiletries
  20. Clean out pantry

Today I am chatting about the extra task:  Clean Out Cars

I have been waiting for this day for so long!  It is the first day of Spring today, and I received the gift of a 40 degree day and sunshine!  That made it perfect for my daily task; cleaning out the car!

I actually really enjoy cleaning out the car.  I know, call me crazy, but I love to open all the doors, turn on some tunes and bring back that new car smell.  OK, I haven't mastered that last step yet...


For this task I filled a spray bottle with distilled water and vinegar, but this time I reduced the vinegar to about 25% vinegar/75% water.  A car is a smaller space than a home, and the vinegar smell seems to linger a little longer in the confined quarters.  The water/vinegar would be paired with a glass polishing cloth {just like I did for the windows in our home}, along with a microfiber cloth for the remainder of the interior.

In our vehicle we keep a small auto-vac and some dusters {not shown above}.  Today I also broke out the leather care, which I typically only use on the seats a few times per year.  Also not shown is an empty laundry basket.

Step 1 was to take the laundry basket and do a sweep of the car to collect anything that no longer needed to be in there.  I found some notes, receipts, Legos, catalogs, hats and mittens, etc... Everything was tossed into the laundry basket to be brought back into the house.


I also purged the center consoles.  The one in the back seat holds activities for the boys and baby wipes; the one in the front holds our dusters, a notepad & pen, Kleenex, chapstick, a container with toll change and our car wash coupons.


Step 2 was to do a quick dusting.  We keep the dusters right within the car so that we can quickly run them over the dashboard as needed.


Step 3 was to make the windows shine.  I followed the same steps as I did for our home's interior windows, spray and polish.


I then sprayed down everything else that was not leather.  The doors, the dash, center console, etc....  {I was sure to spray right into the microfiber cloth when working near anything electronic}


The microfiber cloth brought everything back to a quick luster.  I also used it within the cup holders and odd compartments throughout the vehicle.


Step 4 was to do a quick vacuuming.


A short while ago we purchased an auto-vac as something compact to keep inside of the car for quick cleanups in-between major car cleaning sessions.  Now that we have had it, I don't know how we lived without it.  With three boys, the car is always full of dust, dirt and crumbs.  Always.  The auto-vac plugs into the charging ports within the car, meaning no need to pull out extension cords and shop-vacs each time we want to quickly clean up crumbs from a travel snack.  I have a feeling I will also appreciate it after those sandy day trips to the beach.  The vacuum came with attachments, which fit nicely in-between the seats.  Here is a little before, during and after for you.


If you were to want to deep vacuum the entire vehicle, this is probably not the most efficient choice to do so.  But for quick car cleanings, it receives a thumbs up from this mama!

During this step I also quickly shook out all of the floor mats.

The final step {step 5} was to go over the seats with the leather care paired with a clean microfiber rag.  I love how it smells and how they look new and conditioned.


And after today, we have a nice, clean and clutter free vehicle again!  Woohoo!



By the time this car was done, I hit my time quota for the day and was starting to feel cold {yes, I am a HUGE freeze baby}, so I called it good!  The other car will get some love the next time we get another warm, sunshiny day.



Looking for something?  Check out my favorite cleaning products below:



21 comments:

  1. I have been loving these posts!!! Has me so ready for spring. Today I cleaned out our van and then I checked out the blog and saw it was car cleaning day. My first thought was "Yes! I am right on track." :) I wanted to ask what is the plastic container in the back seat (last picture)? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!

      It is a cereal container that we use for holding trash.

      xo!

      Delete
  2. Dear Jen,I am completely different person thanks to Your fabulous blog!I cannot describe how thrilled I feel when I see any new post on your blog!I did almost all of your monthly cleaning tasks which you've done so far and am especially proud of my shiny oven cleaned by using your instructions!Love you,love you,love you!!!Please,write for us EVERY DAY,it's such a blessing to have people like you share the secrets of home keeping,parenting and organizing.Once again,can you share the secret how you clean your sofa as well as a little bit of Easter eggs,house and table decorating before Easter time so that we can all get prepared better using Your precious advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are wonderfully sweet Anastazija! I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind! As far as keeping the sofa clean; I spot clean our sofa with water and a mild soap as needed. Otherwise, I just use our vacuum attachment to occasionally vacuum under all of the cushions.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  3. I too love a clean car! The dirt and mess the winter brings is driving me crazy. I can't wait for a warm day to give mine a thorough cleaning.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any suggestions as to how to a.) clean the mud off of minivan rubber floor mats, and b.) organize a center are between a minivan's front seats where there is no console? I love my minivan, but there's nothing between the front seats to store stuff in! I currently have a plastic milk crate there that slides all over the place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just use the bristle of our ice scraper to brush the dirt, salt and mud out of our mats. Seems to work well in-between vacuum sessions. Could you possibly add rubber furniture pads to the bottom of your crate to prevent it from sliding around?

      xoxo!

      Delete
  5. The car looks great. But I'm crushing on that nail polish color!!

    ~Megan

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this whole challenge. If anyone needs to clean their car, it's this girl. I had a blender bottle incident which resulted in the entire dashboard being covered in almond milk, protein powder, and peanut butter haha.

    Thank you so much for showing great, natural ways to get things clean!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know this isn't part of the cleaning, but I'm crushing on your nail color! What brand/color is that? Thanks! :) xoxo Ruth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks Ruth! It is OPI's Italian Love Affair {NL127}.

      xo!

      Delete
  8. I really don't like to clean the car, but I love how it looks when I am finished! I always enlist my kids' help with it, since that first step of taking out all the stuff that doesn't belong is something that generally belongs to them.

    One question I had was how do you keep your floor mats clean? With the winter brings a lot of sand, salt, and salt stains on my floor mats, and it's particularly bad this year. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole!

      I try to shake out the mats frequently, but if they get really salty, I just use the bristle side of our window scraper to brush them clean.

      xo!

      Delete
  9. The smell of clean leather on a warm day with the windows down. I can't wait! Thanks for sharing! I love you blog!

    Erin
    upsideofchaos.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have definitely given me some good ideas of cleaning supplies to keep in my car. Sometimes I feel like I live in there, so some of those things would be really helpful (and a trash can)! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A few years ago one of the first things I found on Pinterest was the idea to use a cereal container as a trash holder in the car. You can see it in the final photo above; it has worked SO well for us! Whoever came up with the idea needs to be praised for their awesomeness. :D

      Delete
  11. I love it! How powerful is the suction on this vacuum? I feel like I would love it, but I read lots of reviews that said it is really weak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely does not have the power of a shop vac, and as I mentioned in the post I would not recommend the vacuum for deep cleanings, but it is fabulous for quick clean-ups of spills, sand, crumbs and dirt.

      xo!

      Delete
  12. I hate cleaning cars. I feel like I need to be an acrobat to reach some of those areas! This is a great help for people like me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jen, I hope you can keep us motivated with your wonderful blogs. This past month has been so great and I have accomplished so many tasks that I don't think I would have completed if it hadn't of been for you!!!! So PLEASE keep up the great blogs!!! Love always, xo

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for this post! I was literally itching to start cleaning my car - and I finally cleaned, vacuumed and washed it :). It's now spic and span. Your blog has made me look at cleaning/organizing in a whole new different way; it's no longer a boring chore, I feel pumped up getting ready to clean and organize (and I think part of it the reason is making it pretty). And yes, after taking baby steps - I feel I've gotten so much better! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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