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Being cooped up in a car isn't fun for anyone. There are limited things you can do when you're tied down in a box.
For a child, going from home to the grocery store can seem likes years sometimes. They get fidgety and whiny which is no fun for any parent.
The feeling of wanting to escape is exacerbated when the car smells. Tied down in a smelly box? No, thank you! Here are some ways to keep your car smelling fresh and clean (despite the toys):
Don't Forget Bottles & Sippy Cups
Besides, maybe the smell of skunk spray, the smell of sour milk is unbearable. Especially some that's been in a car on a sunny day. The car upholstery just seems to soak up that lovely smell.
So if you have an infant or young child, make sure all bottles and sippy cups are tightly fastened. Even if a small amount of spilled milk gets left unnoticed by the eye, your nose sure will smell later.
Also, when traveling with kids make sure you check underneath the seats for thrown bottles and cups. No one wants a bottle of curdled milk busting open!
Take Off Shoes At Home
Maybe it's just my kids, but for the life of me, I can't get them to stop taking off their shoes and socks in the car. On a long car trip, yes. On a 5 minute trip up the road, no. They just can't seem to tell the difference but my nose sure can.
The smell of dirty socks and sweaty shoes is worse now that my son's feet have started to smell. Throw in him playing baseball for a few hours and they out right reek. I think I am going to have to glue his socks and shoes to his feet!
Make DIY Burlap Car Air Fresheners
Sometimes we just can't avoid smells but we can try to cover them up. These DIY Burlap Car Air Fresheners are quick and easy to make, only having four ingredients which can be found at Walmart.
1/2 cup rice
20-30 drops essential oil
6 x 12-inch piece burlap fabric
string or ribbon
In a small bowl, combine rice and essential oil. Stir until rice is thoroughly coated. You can use any essential oil you want. I used grapefruit because it's a nice fresh scent, especially when heated by the sun.
Place rice and essential oil mixture in center of the burlap fabric. Pinch burlap fabric in the center and fold up the sides. Tie tightly with a ribbon.
Set them in car cup holders, under the seat, or in the door. When the scent gets too weak, add a few more drops of essential oil and it'll be new again!
Change Your Cabin Air Filter Regularly
If you can't manage to do the other tips, this one is a must! Like most people, you probably don't even know your car cabin has a filter. I didn't until it was suggested at an oil change. We thought, okay sure if our car needs it. Then they ended up charging us $100 for it! My husband is now completely upset that he got duped into that considering how easy it is to install yourself.
1. Open up the glove box and remove all of its contents. Press the two push tabs to remove the back of the glove box (Some models have a release string in the upper right-hand corner)
2. Find and remove the cabin filter access door by pressing two push tabs
3. Slide out old filter and replace with a new FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter
FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filters clean the air passing through your car's ventilation system. This means all of the dirt and dust from the road, pollens, and lord knows what lurking around outside can be removed from the air entering your car, up to 98%* worth! Something that is a must for our family, allergies run rampant this time of year.
To help hide the smell of sour milk and old food, FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filters use the natural deodorizing qualities of ARM & HAMMER® baking soda.
Say goodbye to the smell of stinky shoes and socks, and hello to freshness. See if your vehicle takes FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filters and then head to your local Walmart's automotive department to buy one. That's where I found mine. Your car will smell SO much better!
4. Reverse steps and enjoy cleaner, fresher air!
See, it's something everyone is totally capable of doing themselves and not worth the money in labor for someone else to do it. Just follow the recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual and you're golden!