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    29 Ways To Clean & Organize Your Car And Actually Keep It That Way

    Whether you're kinda messy or a hard-core neat freak.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Easily remove that gross bug splatter from your front grille with the magic of a used, damp dryer sheet.

    Our readers swear this works, and so does Solo Travel Girl! (But if you've tried this before with no luck, this highly-rated bug remover from Amazon seems to work wonders.)

    2. Slough off the thin layer of clouded plastic dimming your brights with a headlight restoration kit.

    It comes with a polisher that attaches to your drill, for near-professional results.

    Promising review: "Jeez! My headlights haven’t looked this great since I bought my 2003 Toyota truck! The process was much easier than I anticipated. Everything you need is in the box except for water, a bucket, and some elbow grease. At first I thought the product was not going to work but then I applied the the Plast-X cleaner and polish β€” stunning results! Although they only last about a year, I feel an annual re-cleaning of the headlights should be even easier if done regularly. I have enough left over to do at least one more cleaning." β€”Gregory J. Owczarski

    Get the kit on Amazon for $19.18.

    3. Deep clean your cupholders by fitting a sock over a cup, spraying the sock with an all-purpose cleaner, and rubbing it around in the cupholder.

    You could also put the sock on your hand, spray, and use your hand to get in the crevices β€” your call. From the Krazy Coupon Lady.

    4. Then line your cupholders with silicone baking cups to catch all the future crumbs and stickiness β€” all you have to do to clean them is pull 'em out and rinse.

    They're also totally dishwasher safe. From One Good Thing by Jillee.

    Promising review: "I've found several different uses for them. I've got a couple in my car drink holder to keep the car clean. I've got one by my bed that I'm using as a coaster. I've got another that I dump my morning pills in from my pill organizer because it's hard digging those things out one at a time. I might just use some to bake in tomorrow. Who knows?" β€”Tawanna

    Get them in sets of 12 from Amazon, in whichever size would work best for your car: $9.97 for a smaller cupcake size, or $9.97 for a jumbo muffin size.

    5. Keep a Swiffer duster in your glove compartment, so you can pick up the dust on your dash the moment you notice it.

    Maybe not the ~exact~ moment: Please don't dust and drive! But when you're safely parked again, just pull it out and give your dash a quick wipe down. From Four Front Doors.

    Get a Swiffer Duster starter kit from on Amazon Prime Pantry for $4.47. Or if you prefer something reusable, get a microfiber duster on Amazon for $9.99.

    6. Or stash some Flubber-like reusable detailing goop to pick up every bit of dust and dirt in all your dash's nooks and crannies.

    You simply dab it around your dash and it takes all the dirt and grime with it. And as long as you keep it out of the direct sun, it won't melt, even in Arizona summers. (It also works in cold winters!)

    Promising review: "Best cleaner for dust on electronics and in cars! It took the dust out of the cup holders, around all buttons and dials, in the slot for the gear shift, air vents, etc. I'll buy more if this ever loses its stickiness." β€”AbbyNormal

    Get a jar on Amazon for $8.81.

    7. Sort your manual, registration, maintenance history, and other papers into a document case β€” you'll always be able to find what you're looking for in a snap.

    Promising review: "It has more than enough space in it to hold all sorts of documents and books. And it has a heavy duty fabric finish, and the zippers seem solid. I don't think there will be any problems down the road with the quality, but I also rarely use what I'm storing inside this. The only downside is that there isn't a pocket large enough to fit the manual itself, but it still fits in and zips up nicely, so I can live with that. Overall, excellent product." β€”Nicholas

    Get it on Amazon for $12.99.

    8. Stop picking up the spilled contents of your purse or shopping bags after you make a sharp turn β€” put everything on a pair of headrest hooks.,

    Plus it'll give you a spot to put your purse besides the passenger seat or the floor, especially when you have other passengers.

    Promising review: "What a great idea! This is the handiest contraption ever. You simply raise your headrest about 1/2" and clip this to the headrest's post. It is firm and secure. My handbag's often heavy and this doesn't make it tilt at all. I gave one to my daughter who uses it in her car, too. She loves it as her car doesn't have much floor space as her center console is wide and she often has passengers. Great value for something so useful!" β€”Just My Opinion

    Get a set of two on Amazon for $5.95+ (available in black and beige).

    9. Spray your floor mats with your favorite laundry stain remover and throw them in the washer β€” they'll look almost new with very little effort on your part.

    Just let them air-dry after. From All Things Thrifty.

    If you don't have a laundry stain remover already, get a bottle on Amazon (add-on only) for $4.15.

    10. Or if your mats seem to be beyond repair, swap them out for a new set of no-slip rubber floor mats you can cut to a custom fit.


    When these get really muddy or sandy, you can just hose them off in the driveway.

    Promising review: "Look good with a little trimming great fit. Quality is very good. Can't do better at this price. A friend, who hadn't held out much hope of mats being very good for such a low cost, ordered a set for his car after seeing them." β€” manhattanshopper

    Get the set of four mats from Walmart for $22.50+.

    11. Seal those gaps between the seat and your console with a handy cover, so you never drop your phone (or snack, or literally anything) down there again.

    They're made from neoprene and filled with a foam that'll squish into the gaps for most cars, and will be pretty easy to clean. And because it loops over the seatbelt latch, it moves forward and backward with the seat!

    Promising review: "I have to admit, I thought it was more of a joke when I got this for Christmas. Little did I realize it would be one of my most favorite gadgets ever! I don't know if I realized just how many things went missing in my seat gap. It has really saved a lot of things from disappearing into that black hole. It was easy enough to fit into my car and it's soft! It's just like an extension of my seat, it fits every curve!" β€”Tessa Forbes

    Get a set of two (one for the driver's side, one for the passenger's side) on Amazon for $19.99.

    12. Pick up all the pet hair embedded in your upholstery with a few spritzes of water and a squeegee.

    Then you can just vacuum up the bigger pieces. From CareaBearaSara. If ya don't have one already, get a highly-rated squeegee from Amazon for $7.99.

    13. And hang a waterproof backseat cover to keep your back seat clean, dry, and hair-free even after the muddiest hikes.

    Promising review: "Oscar's a big lab and he gets very messy when I take him to the park and lake. My last cover broke pretty quickly so I replaced it with this one. It's great. I love the non-slip bottom. It's waterproof and protects my car from mud, hair and saliva (he is a drooler). And the seat belt opens are large enough. My last one had small openings which made is difficult for my daughter to get her seat belt in. This is a great product, great quality, great price." β€”Junior Sports Fan

    Get it on Amazon for $19.99.

    14. Clean all the stubborn crumbs and crud out of your seat's seams and door's crevices with a multi-functional detail brush.

    Promising review: "Great item! If you take care of the brushes they will last. I have used mine on at least four or five cars. I use one for wax residue on the outside of the car and the other one on the inside to dust vents and get the fine dirt out of the texture in the dash. I maybe lost a couple "hairs" on the first use but I rinse and take care of them and have not had any problems. They are soft enough to use on the paint!" β€”Casey Jo

    Get a set of two on Amazon for $4.46.

    15. Coax out even the most impossible, years-old, set-in upholstery stains with a powerful carpet cleaner.

    Just spray, scrub a little with a toothbrush, and blot it up β€” no vacuuming or rinsing required. It works on a wide variety of stains caused by dirt, rust, food, oil and other gunky things!

    Promising review: "I had terrible rust and oil stains all over the seats of my car. Other cleaners actually made the stains darker. I lived with it for almost five years. I tried this after a friend recommended it. I sprayed it on and literally watched the stain run right off my seat. It was amazing! I thought I was going to have to pay hundreds of dollars to replace the seats in my car because nothing else would work. This stuff really is awesome!" β€”Brittany

    Get a 32-ounce bottle on Amazon for $11.18.

    16. Mist your leather with a 1:10 dilution of Woolite and water to lift up years of dirt.

    Vacuum first, of course. Then spray, scrub with a soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush), and wipe with a microfiber towel. To mix a spray bottle–sized batch of the solution, try 2 tablespoons of Woolite to 1 1/4 cups of water (and double as needed). From I Sew, Do You?.

    Get two 66-load bottles of Woolite for $15.69, a three-pack of spray bottles for $5.75, and a 24-pack of microfiber towels for $12.49 (all from Amazon).

    17. Or opt for an all-purpose car ~super cleaner~ you can spritz over your leather, fabric upholstery, and carpets to make everything look as good as it did the day the car rolled off the lot.

    Promising review: "When I sprayed the cleaner on the light beige interior of a 25+ year-old car, the interior turned to its original color. After years of detailing, I had assumed at this point, the color was set and that's it. Well, not with this stuff. While cleaning I literally said out loud, "No way, no way," because I was in disbelief at how amazingly well it worked." β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it on Amazon for $16.99 (includes a microfiber towel).

    18. Prevent those annoying streaks on your windshield by running a rubbing alcohol soaked paper towel down each of your wipers whenever they get a little dirty.

    19. A plastic cereal container doubles as a sealed car trash can that empties easily and keeps smells at bay.

    Depending on your make and model, it might save you floor space and fit neatly in your door. From Organizing With Carole.

    Get a set of two airtight cereal containers (so you really won't smell the trash) on Amazon for $19.99.

    20. And on your next family road trip, give every row of seats their own spot to toss trash with mini Command Hooks and plastic grocery bags.

    Erika Bragdon /

    You could also use your least-favorite reusable bags here, if you don't keep plastic bags around; most of those are machine-washable. From Living Well Mom.

    Get a pack of two clear mini Command Hooks on Amazon for $3.88.

    21. Tidy up your kiddo's backseat areas with a sturdy organizer that can hold an iPad, water bottles, coloring books, snacks, and naturally, plenty of (but not too many) toys.

    The slots for water (...or soda...) bottles are made of neoprene, so when drinks sweat, the mess stays contained. It'll also help protect the back of your seats if your kids tend to kick (although hopefully you find a way to convince 'em to stop.)

    Promising review: "It's helping keep the minivan under control! Two big sippy cups fit in the drink holders, and they won't sweat all over the floor. The whole thing is nice and stiff, not saggy. There's a big plastic back piece, so I expect it'll stay stiff and strong for a long time. Lots of pockets for markers, pens, activity books, etc. We don't have car tablets, but the clear pocket is nice for other stuff, too. My toddler tells me about the moose every time she gets in the car now!" β€”M. T. Jaegerman

    Get it on Amazon for $21.99.

    22. Or turn a medium plastic caddy into a backseat entertainment center so the kids can keep themselves busy with minimal clutter.

    Plus, if you have more than one car, you can quickly move everything back and forth. From Simply Kierste.

    Get a similar caddy on Amazon for $14.99.

    23. And keep a couple of small caddies on hand to make fast-food dinners at least a tiny bit more organized and less messy.

    From Lookie What I Did.

    Promising review: "Drink in one of two of the smaller sections, fries in the other, burger or nuggets in the large β€” or whatever. This makes it easy to pass meals to the rear seating without spills. Easy to balance on your lap. Wipe them out with an alcohol wipe to clean up or, if necessary just throw them in the dishwasher. Perfect, perfect, perfect! Best value for the money I’ve spent lately!" β€”Christina

    Get a set of six similar caddies on Amazon for $10.19.

    24. Easily change songs and just generally know what's going on with your phone by mounting it on a near-universal phone holder that clips directly onto your horizontal AC vents.

    It will hold almost any type or size of smartphone you can throw at it. Just. do. not. text. and. drive.

    Promising review: "I've gone through several similar pieces. None made it to a great rating. Finally found what we were looking for. Easy to take your phone on and off. It's sturdy, not cheap feel, it's good quality! Easy to take off with one hand. Not too much weight for the air vent (I was concerned about this) but not a problem!" β€”Tullos

    Get it on Amazon for $14.99.

    25. Store your reusable bags in one bag with a carabiner on it, so you can hook it both on your car and on your shopping cart.,

    What pressing problems ~don't~ carabiners solve? From Organizing Junkie and Organizing Made Fun.

    Get them from Amazon: a pack of two stroller hook carabiners (pictured left) for $8.99 or a pack of six regular carabiners (not for climbing; similar to what's pictured right; six colors) for $7.99.

    26. Then repurpose an empty cleaning wipes container to hold plastic bags just in case of wet swimsuits, muddy shoes, or other messes that reusable fabric bags won't contain so well.

    Like unexpected barf. Learn how to roll the bags so you can endlessly pull them out via Tater Tots and Jello. (I'd just kinda stuff them in there, though.)

    27. Secure the random bottles and other small things that roll around in your sedan's trunk with an easy-to-install Velcro storage wall.

    According to reviewers, you have to install it with the logo facing in, not out, but it works well otherwise, if you have a sedan.

    Promising review: "My new car did not come with any side panels in the trunk (it's just one solid open space) so there was no place to put anything. I ordered this and was skeptical of the Velcro, wondering if it would stay when full of items. It does! It sticks really well to the sides and the floor, and not a single item has rolled out or out of place. I have a sweatshirt, big bottle of washer fluid, oil, and some tools and they stay snug and in place. It's super easy to install, and I am very pleased with the product design." β€”Cassie

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    Or opt for a compact plastic bin with non-slip feet and two handles that make it easy to tote back and forth from your house to the garage.


    That way you can load stuff up inside, then bring it out all at once. Also completely works to just organize the stuff you keep in your trunk all the time.

    Promising reviews: "A great tub for the car. It will work nice for grocery items, especially for things like rotisserie chicken that could get messy." β€”SweetPea142

    "This item is soooo versatile and can be used in the car, the garage, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, pantry, office....endless possibilities! I love the compact size and the air vents on the front. Portable too with the convenient handles on each side. A MUST-HAVE in my book." β€”Bluest

    Get it from Walmart for $7.39.

    28. If you like to keep a bunch of stuff in your trunk (or just want groceries that don't flop around the whole way home), try an expandable organizer with multiple compartments.

    This comes with two straps you can use to tie the organizer down to any hooks your trunk has already, so it doesn't slide around when you make a sharp turn. When it's partially collapsed, you can also secure it to your front seat (or tbh any seat) to keep that space organized, too!

    Promising review: "I love this thing. It is super well made and fits A TON of stuff. I'm using it basically as an emergency kit. I was able to fit literally anything I need in the event of an emergency, including a change of clothes (with shoes), toiletries, a blanket, makeup, snacks, and I still have room to toss shopping bags in while I'm out so they don't roll around in my trunk." β€”Erica Edwards

    Get it on Amazon for $23.97 (available in black, tan, or gray).

    29. Feeling up to a Saturday project? Build a pop-up shelf to add serious square footage to your van or SUV's trunk.

    Get the tutorial on Instructables.

    Want more car products? Check out some of the best car accessories under $100, game-changing things for your car, and products you need if you basically live in your car.

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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