Hampshire police recently took to Twitter to publicly shame a driver whose car was so messy that they couldn’t actually reach the handbrake. The vehicle in question was so crammed full of cigarette butts, old newspaper, potted plants and plug adaptors that, at the crucial moment, said driver could not prevent it from backsliding into the vehicle behind.
Other Twitter users, obviously, were keen to jump on board the ridicule bandwagon. But let’s be real: many of us have seen far worse instances of hoarding behaviour than this. Some of you reading this might even be just as guilty. After all, it’s easier to throw the wrapper from your KFC over your shoulder than it is to stow it in a bin.
There are reasons to keep your motor clean that go beyond road safety. For one thing, there’s hygiene. For another, there’s the impression you leave on would-be customers. So, we thought this might be a good opportunity to run through some cleaning tips.
Make a Habit of It
Much like going to the gym, tidiness is a habit you have to form over a long time. If you just clean the entire van in one mammoth effort, then you’ll probably start to leave rubbish behind in just the same way before long. Eventually, you’ll be right back where you started. Think of it like this: every time you get out of the van, you’re going to remove three pieces of rubbish. If there are fewer than three pieces in there, then your van will remain forever spotless.
Of course, this covers just the pieces of rubbish you can actually pick up and carry away. What about all of those little crumbs and all that dust? The solution is simple – just give it an occasional once-over with a vacuum cleaner. Nowadays, lithium-ion powered handheld dusters are exceptionally powerful, and they’ll allow you to reach every nook and cranny of your interior without much trouble. Invest in one, and don’t look back.
Your mats are the easiest part of the car to clean. Use a carpet cleaner and give them a deep soak before spraying them with a hose. In some cases, you might be able to simply sling them in the washing machine: just make sure that they’re in a load of their own. Hang them up while you’re cleaning the rest of the van.
Now it’s time to shampoo your seats with upholstery cleaner. Work the stuff into the upholstery using a scrubbing brush, and then dry it with a washcloth. When you’re done, you’ll probably find that all of the dirt that was in your seats has risen to the top – and it’ll need to be vacuumed up again.
Alternatively: Get a Pro In
If you don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of maintaining your van’s interior, then you can always get a professional valet to do it for you. They’ll take just a few hours to get the job done, and when you factor in the time you could spend looking for cleaning solutions and doing the clean yourself, you might find that the money is pretty well spent!