It’s not unusual to see a shiny and very impressive car and then to glance inside and see what looks like a garbage scow.
That can be off-putting to friends, family and colleagues, many of whom might wonder what such a state might indicate about your wider lifestyle!
So, here are a few tips gleaned from professional luxury limo hire companies about keeping a vehicle clean.
1. Keep dirty people out of it. OK, partly a joke but it has a serious side. If people have muddy boots and shoes on, it’s not unreasonable to ask them to remove them before getting in. Even if you have good mats, mud can still get onto your upholstery. So, keep a plastic bag or box in the boot ready for dirty shoes. A limo hire company couldn’t ask their paying guests to do so but you as a private driver can!
2. Don’t allow eating in the car. Crumbs are a nightmare to get out of nooks and crannies, even with an industrial strength vacuum.
3. Be cautious about liquids. Sometimes hydration is important when driving but ask people to use a cup rather than swig out of bottles in order to reduce spillage risks.
4. Only allow water to be consumed. If someone drops a cup or bottle of water in your car, then it’s a minor nuisance. If they drop a cup of sticky sweet red fruit juice (etc.) then it’s going to be a much bigger staining and removal challenge.
5. Don’t allow pets in your car. If you’ve ever spent hours trying to get pet hair off your seats and carpets, then the sense of this recommendation will be self-evident.
6. Keep a sick bag at hand when travelling with younger children. A child can be fine one second and in the blink of an eye, they’ll start vomiting for no obvious reason. Your notice is likely to be minimal and pulling up isn’t always possible in time. A receptacle of some sort could save your upholstery and a very unpleasant cleaning job afterwards!
7. If you can, choose leather or faux-leather upholstery. It’s much easier to clean and often harder to stain. In fairness, some modern fabric seats are good too but still probably not as ‘wipe-able’ as leather or simulated leather.
8. Keep an emergency seat cover in the car. This is invaluable when your kids have come back covered head-to-foot in mud and you can’t exactly ask them to sit undressed in the car for the drive back home.
9. Don’t allow smoking in your car. There is no position on health here, just one of safety and practicalities. It’s very difficult to get rid of holes in upholstery or carpets caused by a dropped cigarette or cigar.
10. Keep a rubbish bag. Empty wrappers and tickets always seem to mysteriously find their way onto the floor of a car and under seats etc. Soon, the car can look like a truck on the way to the tip. So, keep a bin bag and insist people use that instead of door pockets etc.
Don’t worry, you won’t lose friends over your new standards and they just might appreciate that lift a bit more in future if they think that your vehicle is no longer a health hazard!