Very little in this world beats taking a car ride on a beautiful day — with a favorite song on the radio and the windows rolled down — a dog in the passenger’s seat eagerly taking in the sights and smells. Pets truly make the best ride-along companions… until the trip is over, and it’s time to clean out the interior of the car. The best way to keep the car free from fur and odor? Don’t take the pets for a ride. But for many of us, that isn’t an option. The good news? With the help of interior car detailing pros, you can make your vehicle look as good as it did when it first rolled off the lot.
In the meantime, here are seven tips for making the car more pet friendly so you can bring your furry friend along, but leave the fur at home!
1. Groom before you go. One of the best ways to cut down on pet fur — and the ensuing interior car cleaning — is to thoroughly brush your pet’s coat before hitting the road. Not only will your dog love the attention and grooming, but it will minimize the dog hair left on the seat. Use a grooming/de-shedding glove for additional support. Want to take it a step further? Give your pet a bath before you leave! Using good pet shampoo, really scrub your pet. This will make a big difference in your car.
2. Harness or crate.Not only is it a good idea to minimize the space in your vehicle where a pet can roam (thus cutting down on the auto detailingafter the trip), but it’s also paramount to consider pet safety. Harnessing or crating can add a measure of safety for your furry friend, especially in the event of a sudden stop or an accident. Even a fender bender can wreak havoc for the pet who isn’t properly restrained. And although crating the dog isn’t as fun as seeing him or her enjoy the iconic trip down Route 44 — head out the window with tongue flapping in the breeze — it can save heartache and regret.
3. Try seat covers.If harnessing or crating isn’t an option, consider using seat covers. Specifically, pet seat covers are durable (and stylish!) protectors that come in all shapes and sizes to work with the interior of your vehicle to keep it looking its best. Find a machine-washable cover, and life becomes even easier. Simply put the cover down before taking your pet on a trip. Then, at the end of a trip, toss the seat cover into the washing machine, and it’ll be ready to go when wanderlust strikes again. Be sure to select a non-slip, pet-specific seat cover to withstand the movement of an active animal.
4. Wear a pair. Plastic gloves (typically found in the cleaning aisle) are nearly magical when it comes to fur removal. Simply put on the gloves and run your hands all over the car’s interior after a trip. Pet hair will cling to the gloves. To remove the fur from the gloves, simply submerge your hands into a bucket of water, and the fur will float to the top. Easy and effective.
5. Use a vacuum. The sooner you vacuum after a trip — before the pet fur has had a chance to weave its way into the fabric of your vehicle — the better. And if the regular hose isn’t sufficiently picking up the hair, try a pet hair or rubber brush attachment for better success. If you need a heavy-duty vacuum with more power than your vacuum affords, find a full service car washand use theirs. (Need help? Find a car wash near me.)
6. Try a little softener. For the most stubborn pet hair that will not respond to the vacuum cleaner, add a spoonful of fabric softener to a bottle of water and spray the carpet/fabric seat surfaces of your vehicle. Fabric softener contains ingredients that will loosen the fur and allow you to ball it up and vacuum it away. (Bonus: It will leave your car smelling fantastic.)
7. Take it to a professional.Sometimes the best decision is the easiest one. If you want your vehicle to be good as new and you don’t want (or can’t) expend the elbow grease to make it happen — or if your efforts are leaving you frustrated — take it for a professional detail car wash. They will know what to do to remove even the most stubborn unwanted shedding and make your car look brand new.
While cleaning fur out of the car is a mundane and thankless task, it shouldn’t prevent you from taking your furry friend along on your travels. Cleaning the car is a small price for your pet’s companionship. For the most stubborn dog hair — or in the event you don’t want to spend the afternoon with a vacuum — we are here to help. Contact CobbleStone Auto Spa for your post-travel needs. We offer a comprehensive list of services that can help clean up the car from any pet damage. Happy trails!