boy looking at a map on a family road trip

How to Keep Your Car Clean During a Family Road Trip

Keeping your vehicle from becoming a disaster while traveling with kids

While all of us at Collision Center of Andover know what weather and accidents can do to the outside of your car, we know there’s another force of nature that regular keeps many of you from maintaining a nice interior.


a toddler strapped into a car seat for a family vacationKids can make the task of keeping a vehicle clean seem impossible. And of course, some of us adults can also be guilty of regularly contributing to the clutter.

Working to keep your car clean on a regular basis is challenging enough. A road trip with the whole family packed in the vehicle for many hours over many days means your car may resemble the inside of a trash can before returning home.

Whether you’re headed across Kansas or across the country, here are some tips to prevent the inside of your car looking like a disaster on your next family road trip.

The 2 items that can make car clean-up easy (or at least easier)

  1. A trash bag
    Or several! Make sure you have enough small bags (grocery bags work well) to last the duration of your trip. You’ll want to be sure there is one in reach of each person in the vehicle. This way, all the cups, receipts, wrappers and miscellaneous trash that gets accumulated along the road trip have a place to go.
  1. An activity bag for each kid
    You might consider this a miscellaneous bag. Fill a bag (backpacks work great for this) for each kid with items that will help keep them entertained along the way. Some great things to put in an activity bag include:
    • Crayons, pens
    • Notebook, coloring book
    • Books
    • Hand-held games
    • A few toys (hot wheels, Barbie dolls, etc)

    Beyond this bag serving the purpose of bringing the items along that will help keep kids entertained in the car, it will also serve as the holding place for those items to return to. After all, crayons and notebooks that get taken out will need a place to go when your child discards them for another activity. Using a separate and designated activity bag, instead of putting these items in the luggage with your clothes, means that those luggage bags can remain tucked away in your trunk.

The right cleaning supplies for a family road trip

photo taken from the backseat looking at parents in the front seats of a vehicle driving on a highwayWhether you’re exploring Kansas or states far away, being on a trip should be an enjoyable time, not one you spend worrying about a dirty car, but a little bit of quick, on-the-spot cleaning (as needed) can go a long way. At the time of a spill, even having just the bare essentials will help you address the spill right away, when it’s something that can be easily wiped away. This may keep you from having to deal with time-consuming deep-cleaning after you return home.

The basics of being ready to handle quick little messes include just two items:

1. Wipes
2. Paper towels




Put your stops to use

a child putting on their seat belt inside a vehicleStaying on top of the mess can be as simple as “old mess out before new mess in”. Use the stops you make for a fill-up or a fast food break as moments to make a quick vehicle clean-up.  Have the kids fill up the trash bags you’ve brought along with whatever trash they’ve accumulated before the next round of food and drink enter the vehicle.  Have them look around and put any of their books, crayons, or toys that are lying around into their activity bag.

Want to make sure your vehicle is travel ready before your trip? Whether it’s a day trip exporing new towns across Kansas or you’re heading across the country, it’s always good to make sure your vehicle is well-equipped to handle the trip. Schedule an appointment with us for us to make sure your car is ready for your next road trip.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *