Car gone to the dogs? Here’s some advice for pet parents to keep your car clean

2017-04-25 11.59.04

Is there anything more enjoyable in a dog’s life than riding in the car with the windows down, ears flopping in the breeze? Well, maybe treats. But for those of us who allow our furry friends — dogs, cats, rabbits, et. al. — in the car, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep the car clean and smelling fresh.

We worked with our friends at Meguiar’s to come up with some helpful tips for all the pet parents out there, or if you just happen to end up with a four-legged creature in your car.

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  • Protect your interior surfaces: Your pet can be a great road trip buddy, but slobber, spilled food/water and pet hair can easily spoil your precious leather seats. It’s imperative to take precautions before inviting a cuddly critter into your car by using a product , like Meguiar’s ® Gold Class™ Rich Leather Cleaner & Conditioner, which not only helps protects your leather, but it also gently, cleans and adds rich, luxurious moisturizers. For quick clean ups on surfaces like rubber, vinyl, and plastics you would use a product like Ultimate Interior Detailer to clean and offer protection. Meguiar’s ® Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is the choice for immediately removing stains that may have affected floor mats, fabric seats, and other carpeted surfaces.
  • Maintain streak-free visibility: The cutest member of your family may enjoy pressing its wet nose against your car window, leaving an evident smudge on the glass. By simply spraying your window with a quality glass cleaner, like Meguiar’s ® Perfect Clarity Glass Cleaner and wiping with a high quality microfiber towel the blemish will be gone in no time and your four-legged friend can go back to being cute as ever.
  • Get a grip on shedding: Some cuddly critters tend to shed and leave behind hair, causing a mess in the interior and potential allergens for some of your human passengers. Meguiar’s recommends brushing with a firm bristle brush and vacuuming all cloth surfaces regularly to get rid of the leftover fur and have your interior looking just like new. Remember, frequent car care is easy car care.
  • Clean painted surfaces promptly: There’s nothing more blissful than cruising down the road with a dog – its head out the window, tongue sticking out and ears flopping in the wind – but the drool that lands on the car’s paint can cause serious damage if not taken care of in a timely manner. To quickly handle the mess without having to wash your entire car, you can use a product like Meguiar’s ® Ultimate Quik Detailer to easily remove the drool before it becomes a more serious issue. Since regular washes might not be a priority during the busy summer months, Meguiar’s experts also recommend keeping a bottle of Ultimate Waterless Wash & Wax in the trunk. This handy product is easy to use: simply mist and gently wipe away with a clean microfiber towel to remove drool and road grime, while also adding protection while on the road.
  • Neutralize odor: Pets of all kinds leave behind unpleasant odors that can linger inside cars for long periods of time, which is where Meguiar’s ® Whole Car Air Re-Freshers come in handy. The odor-eliminating technology permanently rids the affected area of the odors and leaves behind a desirable scent of either Sparkling Berry, Spiced Wood, Spring Blossom, Citrus Grove, Summer Breeze or New Car.

CHECK OUT: Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Refresher Review

  • Nip scratches in the bud: Cats love the warmth of lounging on your car’s hood all year-round, but this becomes a favorite nap spot during the summer. Be careful not to startle your furry friend, or you could experience the unpleasant scratches their claws can leave on your surface coat. For a quick fix to surface scratches inflicted on the clear coat, apply a small amount of Meguiar’s ® Ultimate Compound to eliminate the defect.
  • Prepare for hair: Pet covers can be especially useful for pet owners with large or extra shaggy friends hitting the road. Meguiar’s recommends utilizing one of the many great options on the market to protect both leather and fabric seats if you plan to have your pet join you on the road.

If you like to have a clean car, there’s no reason why you still can’t take your pet with you regularly. We tend to favor Meguiar’s stuff, as we’ve had good luck in the past — they’ve also provided us samples before — there are lots of cleaning supplies out there to keep your ride clean and fresh. So if you end up with a Hugo in a Rogue Sport like we did earlier this year, you can make sure you clean up his slobbery drool.

Chad Kirchner
the authorChad Kirchner
In addition to Chad Kirchner's work here, he's a freelance automotive journalist for outlets around the world.

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