It’s that time of year again — the holidays! Whether you’re staying at home and hosting a family get together, going to a friend or family’s house, or staying in and celebrating with your housemates, chances are that you’ll be transporting some food and gifts. We at VIP European Auto Interiors want you to enjoy your holiday and avoid any unfortunate spills or accidents. So we compiled an updated list on how to protect the interior of your car using proper car storage for holiday travel or storage.
How to Travel with Gifts
Traveling with gifts is fairly straightforward. If you have room, put them on the floor in the backseats, or secure them with seatbelts. We had had great success in putting gifts in laundry baskets, which can fit nicely into the back seats and trunks of most cars, and are easy to secure. We especially recommend doing this if you have any fragile gifts. You can line the basket with blankets or tuck it securely between other gifts.
In the unlikely case that something breaks, falls over, or slides to a stop at a quick speed, having gifts secured will prevent any scratches and will allow for quick cleanup.
Proper Car Storage for Liquids
From soda to perfume, liquid is the last thing you want spilled during a car trip to your family’s
Ensure everything is closed, the lids are screwed on tight, and everything is upright. If you can’t transfer things in passengers’ laps or cup holders, consider putting them into a cardboard box or plastic tote that you don’t regularly use.
If anything does spill or break, you can toss the box without worry.
If you do spill, here’s how you can clean it up.
Cleaning Up Soda
No matter where it spills, soda is sticky! Getting it out of a seat or carpet can be a nightmarish experience. The faster you can clean it, the easier it will be to get out.
For fabric spills, use water, clean cloths, and dishwashing liquid. If you can remove the carpeting, take it out of your car for optimal cleaning. Use a dry cloth to blot up as much of as soda as possible. Wet the cloth and apply the dishwashing soap to the cloth. Run water and wring the cloth until you see bubbles. Scrub the fabric until all traces of soda are gone, including smell. Rinse it clean as well as you can. Leave your car windows down for it to dry overnight.
For leather, the process is the same. You’re going to want to limit the amount of water to avoid stains. Once clean, use a leather conditioner to protect the leather’s natural oils.
If you spill soda on the carpet, you’re going to want to use water, clean and dry cloths, dishwashing liquid, white vinegar, and a brush. Here’s how you clean it up:
- Use a clean cloth to blot up as much of the spilled soda as possible.
- Mix one tablespoon dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar with a cup and a half of water.
- Use a clean cloth or sponge to rub and blot the stain with the dishwashing liquid and vinegar solution.
- If the stain is particularly stubborn, use a bristle brush to really scrub the solution into the stain.
- Wipe up the solution with a cloth or sponge that has been dampened in clean water. You want to be sure to wipe up all of the dishwashing liquid and vinegar solution.
- Blot up the water with a clean cloth or towel
How to Clean Spilled Perfumes
Spilling perfume may not seem that bad, but the smell will linger in your car long after the perfume dries. Like with soda, the sooner you can clean the spill, the better.
There are two popular ways to clean up perfume spills. For the first method, you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Lavender or other extract
- Large bowl
- 2 plastic containers
- Box of dryer sheets
Dab up any excess perfume with a cloth or paper towel. Mix 4 tbsp. of white vinegar and 4 tsp. of lavender or other fragrant extract in a large bowl and stir it. Distribute the mixture evenly over the spill with a spoon.
To help absorb the smell, place one plastic container on the floorboard under the brake pedal of your car. Place the other plastic container in the back seat of your car. Place two dryer sheets under each seat of your car. Close your car’s doors and windows.
Leave the plastic containers in your car overnight.
The second option is as follows. You will need one of the following:
- Baking soda
- Ground coffee
- Kitty Litter
Sprinkle one of the above items over the stain and leave your car doors and windows open to naturally help diffuse the smell. Though this process is simpler, please remember that all over the above ingredients have a distinct smell and can stain the interior of your car. Only use ground coffee on dark interiors!
Let it sit overnight and vacuum in the morning. Shampoo the carpet after to ensure there isn’t a stain.
Traveling with Food
One word: Lids.
For longer trips, secure the food carrier in your lap, near your feet, or in a laundry basket. Always line the basket with a towel first to avoid any leaks. Never place a dish directly on your seats! Even with lids, there can be leaks!
Insulated cases, bags, or coolers, these are perfect for transporting holiday meals. If you’re travelling with a slow cooker, use bungee cords to anchor it to the car’s floor or trunk. Place towels under it and secure the top before travelling.
Repairing Your Car’s Upholstery
In most cases, a spill can be cleaned and treated before it leaves permanent damage or a lasting smell. There is a myriad of cleaners for the interior of your car, so research the best carpet cleaners of 2019 to make sure you meet your vehicle’s needs.
If something does happen on the drive that you can’t clean out, it can be a hassle to repair. Replacing carpeting can be demanding and often requires professionals who routinely do this type of work. VIP European Auto has you covered. We can update your car’s upholstery and install new carpeting.
VIP European Auto works with leather to vinyl and other materials and does custom work to meet your vehicle’s specific needs.
Get a free estimate to see how VIP European Auto can gobble up that carpet stained by this year’s Thanksgiving casserole and make your car feel like new.