My car is not just a car: it’s a nap mobile, a dinner purveyor, a deliverer of kids to 101 activities… It contains and moves around a lot of garbage and several pieces of VERY precious cargo, so it goes without saying that my car is an important part of my life.
We all know that we need to have our cars serviced, and we need winter tires, but there are some cool hacks out there that I would never have thought of that can make our cars just that little bit safer, more comfortable and ready to take a load of kids and their gear, their snacks and their loud voices wherever it is you need to go.
1. Foggy headlights?
Get a tube of toothpaste, apply to a rag and rub onto your headlights. Apparently, whitening toothpaste works best: it contains some mild abrasives that are okay for teeth, so I’m going to assume will be okay for your headlights. Give your lights a good going over with the toothpaste rag—a little elbow grease is in order here—then wash the residue that remains, and dry your lights. Your headlights should be shining clear
2. Got dents?
A plunger might be just the ticket for the tiny dent you got at the grocery store parking lot. Make sure the plunger is clean (enough said here) and the surface of the car and your plunger are both dry. Apply the plunger over the dent, give it a push and a pull. The force will be enough to pull out small dents. Anything bigger will need a professional!
3. Park smart to avoid the frost!
Parking your car in a spot that you know gets the morning sun (that’s facing East, in case you weren’t sure!) will give your car’s windshield a head start on thawing from the overnight ice and snow before you even get out there! Of course, this only works if you don’t have to be leaving for work at the crack of dawn, in which case, all I have for you is a reminder: don’t forget your coffee cup on the roof!
4. Frozen lock and no hot water?
Give it a squirt with your alcohol based hand sanitizer. If it iced up due to moisture accumulating and then freezing overnight, the alcohol will help break down the ice.
5. Is your garage a tight squeeze?
Make sure you don’t bang the door edges on the walls—or that your kids don’t either—by gluing or bolting half a pool noodle (cut lengthwise) onto the garage wall exactly where your door meets wall. Instant shock absorber!
6. Want that ‘fresh out of the dryer’ scent in your car?
Put dryer sheets on the vents at the back, under the seats and in the trunk. This is particularly useful in an open trunk, where there is a risk that the hockey equipment smell might creep up to the front of the car! The sheets will help to soak up any stinkiness and leave a fresh scent!
7. Trash management
It’s hard to keep trash off the floor of the car: snack packages, cup sleeves, bits of doughnut. Make it easier to stay on top of it by getting plastic cereal containers with the flip top opening. Line it with a plastic bag and tuck it in the back, on the floor, where everyone can reach it to pop in that empty juice box or coffee cup.
8. Over the seat organizer for all the odds and ends
A plastic shoe organizer that you would buy to hang on the back of a cupboard door works remarkably well in the car too! Hang it on the back of your passenger seat and you’ve got waterproof plastic holders for everything from wet goggles and extra diapers to colouring pencils and magazines.
9. Keep your cupholders tidy
It’s inevitable that coffee or cocoa will spill out of your cup and into your holder at some point. A sharp turn, a hard stop… You can make those small spaces easier to clean by lining them with silicone cupcake liners. Easy to remove, easy to clean up and the car stays pristine. Relatively speaking, anyway. Just don’t look in the backseat!
10. If the fur has been flying
If your dog sits in the back seat, you’ll probably find that blankets or not, there is fur on the upholstery. Rather than trying to roll it off with a lint brush or roller, get a spray bottle of water and a squeegee. Spray the seats lightly and run the squeegee towards the front of the seat. The rubber should pick up most of the fur more quickly and effectively than any lint roller on the market!
11. Hot pizza delivery, right in your own vehicle!
This one was cute, so I thought I’d add it in: if you’re picking up pizza—or any takeout—for dinner, put the box on the seat and turn on the seat warmer. Seriously! Your pizza will stay toasty until you can get it home to the waiting baby birds!
You might also want to know how to create a car emergency kit.
If you spend as much time in your car as I do, ferrying a variety of people here and there, you will find at least one of these hacks useful and I’ll bet you have one or two of your own. Care to share?