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28 Ways To Make Your Car Less Of A Trash Heap

Scrubbing out stains with a DIY natural cleaner, decluttering the trunk, collecting loose change and dollar bills, and 25 other ways to clean and organize your car.

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1. Throw empty snacks bags and water bottles into a portable trash can instead of letting them tumble around under the seats.

amazon.com

Promising review: "Where has this thing been all my driving life? My last car wouldn't have looked as messy as it did if I would have purchased this sooner. This is large enough to hold at least a half-eaten breakfast from Starbucks including a venti cup. It isn't too big that the person in the backseat feels like they have has a garbage bin under their nose. The fact that it came with spare garbage bags was a bonus! VERY easy to install and move from seat to seat if necessary! It still leaves your car looking as stylish as it did before you bought it!" —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

3. Gather all your important docs (like vehicle registration and insurance card) in a visor organizer so you can always find them in a pinch.

amazon.com

Promising review: "I bought this to have easy access to the things I need. I got this one because of all the spaces it has, the pen holder, and the deep pocket. I wanna have my registration easy to reach if I ever need it, and I'm always searching for my pens. Then I hang my sunglasses on it, too, so all around it makes having the things I need super easy to find and get. Plus, it helps keep my car organized which I absolutely love." —Jessica Keller

Get it from Amazon for $10.97 or Walmart for $14.63.

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4. Prepare for toll booths by straightening out crumpled dollar bills and storing them in a toothbrush holder in the center console compartment (along with other essentials).

5. Suck up any crumbs, pet hairs, or spills with a powerful little wet/dry vacuum instead of driving to a gas station and using one of those coin-operated machines.

amazon.com

This vacuum has a 2.5-gallon storage tank and a two horsepower motor! It automatically shuts off to prevent overflow. It comes with a 10-foot cord with wrap, a 6-foot, 1.25-inch hose, a reusable cloth filter, a reusable foam sleeve, a 2-in-1 utility nozzle, a crevice tool, a deluxe car nozzle, a blower nozzle, and a detail brush! Note: this vacuum must be plugged into an electric outlet; it can't be plugged directly into the car!

Promising review: "This little vacuum is surprisingly powerful for its size. It meets all my car needs. It’s lightweight, compact, and easy to stow away; the cable could be one to two feet longer but not a deal breaker for me. No more going to the gas station with quarters or the free vacuum areas at car washes only to find most of the equipment is broken. DYI must-have for cars. Oh, and for the low-low price. Unbeatable. Purchase, you won’t be disappointed." —Travis Davies

Get it from Amazon for $35.96 or Jet for $29.97. Or, check out a cordless handheld vacuum!

6. Eliminate stubborn stains on the carpet and upholstery using a DIY all-natural cleaner.

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Get the supplies from Amazon: a three-piece funnel set for $2.72, a three-pack of clear spray bottles for $8.87, and a scrub brush for $5.99

Or, get a carpet and upholstery stain extractor from Amazon for $8.99.

7. Banish bad odors from your car quickly and effectively with a bag of bamboo charcoal. It'll take the stink right out!

amazon.com

Bamboo charcoal is fragrance-free, chemical-free, and non-toxic! Each bag is reusable for up to two years. To rejuvenate and reactivate, place the bags outside in the sun once a month for about an hour.

Promising review: "I had a gallon of milk spill in my car, and living in a very hot climate, well you can imagine the stench. I have tried everything but nothing worked. My kids refused to drive with me. So then I bought this Moso purifying bag, and the smell has disappeared overnight. Can't explain it. Not sure how it works. Buy it, trust me." —Timothy Parker

Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in two colors).

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8. Or, DIY a reusable air freshener and make your car smell like your fave essential oil!

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Get the supplies from Amazon: a 24-pack of clothespins for $6.40, a 500-pack of pom poms for $6.99, a six-pack of essential oils for $11.99, and a mini hot glue gun for $4.27

9. Install a cover to protect the backseat from pet hairs, dirt, and scratches your furry friend might leave behind after a ride.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "This seat cover was the best thing I have purchased since I got my dog! It keeps my brand new car seats from getting scratched, full of hair, wet (if my dog's feet are wet), and it also protects my seats from the sun! It’s easy to take on and off, and the couple times my dog puked on it, it was easy to wash (just throw it right into the washing machine and the dryer). There are also elastic straps to secure it into place, so it will fit any back seat! Great buy, especially for the price! You cannot go wrong with this!" —Erin R.

Get them from Amazon: the waterproof backseat cover for $11.99 and the quilted cargo cover for $24.88

11. Line the cup holders with silicone cupcake liners that you can easily empty out and wash when they get dirty.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "Funny thing is, I didn't order these for baking. My friend wanted them to put in the cup holders in her car. Those cup holders are difficult to clean but not when you have the baking cup in them. You just take the baking cup out and wash it, then put it back. This works great, especially if you have little ones in your car." —Jennifer Simpson

Get a 12-pack from Amazon for $7.88.

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12. Strap on a pair of kick mats for keeping the backseat free of muddy little footprints.

amazon.com

These water-resistant kick mats fit most minivan, SUV, and sedan seats.

Promising review: "These kick mats are kinda a lifesaver. My car has cloth seats, and they were getting pretty dirty from my almost-two-year-old kicking them all the time. With these kick mats, my seat is nice and clean. I also happen to have a black interior, so these fit the bill perfectly. If and when it ever bites the dust, I'll certainly order another set." —Scott Kielty

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $17.99, Jet for $15.99, or Walmart for $17.01.

13. Fill the gap between the seat and the console using a pipe insulation tube and prevent coins and French fries from falling into the unreachable crevice.

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Get a pipe insulation kit from The Home Depot for $1.92 (3/8"x3/4"x6'). Or, get a pair of seat gap fillers from Amazon for $19.99 (as seen on Shark Tank!).

14. Eat your drive-thru meal on a tray instead of your lap so taco bits don't fly everywhere.

amazon.com

This tray measures 11"x16.5"x0.79". No eating and driving though!

Promising review: "This fits the steering wheel of the 2014 Accord V6, which comes standard with the leather-wrapped wheel. Does not mar the wheel when attaching even under load. Works really great. Can use it like the stock photos suggest, for meals and writing. Handy when you need to sit and take notes or stop on the side of the road for a sandwich without having to get out of the car or making a mess." —Comp Expert

Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in two colors) or Walmart for $10.60.

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17. Polish off the interior and exterior of your prized vehicle using a pack of microfiber cloths.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "I bought these to use on my car, both after washing and to remove dust or scuffs on the inside. Pollen is heavy in Central Florida. Dampen one of these slightly, and it comes off no problem. If your towel leaves little fluffies after a car wash, a quick wipe down with these, and it looks spotless. They even work when people get deodorant on the side of my cloth seats. A firm wipe-down with these, and it takes it right up. I bought this color choice to match my car, and they fit nicely. Overall, I'm very happy with these, and my car looks great after washes now!" —Mikey Chinchilla

Get a 12-pack from Amazon for $14.98 (available in 13 colors).

19. Wind up AUX cords and charging cables and put them in a travel case to prevent a tangled mess from forming in the console.

amazon.com

You can also use it pack a first aid kit!

Promising review: "I love to travel with my kids but got tired of trying to keep up with the electronics and the cords. Now they all fit easily in one place —in the carry-on or in the center console of the car. My husband travels a lot, so he got one for himself." —Angela E.

Get it from Amazon for $10.49.

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21. Connect storage bins with binder clips to make a trunk organizer.

The Family Fudge / Via youtube.com

Check out more DIY organization ideas and hacks from The Family Fudge!

Get them from Amazon: a six-pack of storage bins for $16.87 (available in five colors) and a 24-pack of medium binder clips for $5.46

22. Or, buy a trunk organizer that'll double as a grocery carrier after a trip to Costco.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "Small and compact when closed, it opens to a roomy compartmentalized carrier. We've used twice; once at a farmer's market where everything comes in a separate little bag. PERFECT for this. The other time was at a grocery store where we put our freezer items in a cooler and many other items in the trunk organizer, and it all stayed put for the 30-minute drive home. We bought TWO. Great items and great price." —Jan Powers

Get them from Amazon: the left one for $21.95 or the right one for $19.95

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24. Restore your leather interior to a brand new state using a bottle of leather cleaner.

amazon.com, amazon.com

This leather cleaner comes with a microfiber cloth!

Promising review: "I bought this product to use on my car seats. I have a newer car with light gray leather seats, and I noticed the dye from my black pants has been transferring to edge of the seat when I sit. This product removed that dye in seconds and didn't take any original color from the seat at all. I highly recommend this product!" —Kika

Get it from Amazon for $15.98.

26. Hang a mesh organizer on the backseat headrests to corral everything that's cluttering up the trunk.

amazon.com

You can also check out how to DIY one yourself!

Promising review: "This is worth every penny! If your car/SUV didn't come with any kind of storage netting to keep things in place, this product will keep your car organized, and most importantly, stop things from flying around!" —MelissaGNY

Get it from Amazon for $12.65.

27. Lay down some rubber floor mats to protect your carpet from slush and mud.

amazon.com

These are designed to fit most vehicles and can be trimmed to get a perfect fit!

Promising review: "These mats are well worth the purchase. They're thick, well-made, and have little teeth that ensure they don't move. I was doubtful, but they actually keep the mats in place. FINALLY. I have paid more or around the same amount of money for mats that didn't even come close to comparing to these. Gonna buy them for my truck as well. I'd gladly pay twice what these cost as great as they are." —Vanessa Rutherford

Get a four-piece set from Amazon for $19.99.

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28. Make a tissue holder out of a disposable coffee cup instead of having to use those crumpled napkins stashed in the backseat pocket.

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Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed