How to protect your car from kids’ mess?

Updated Aug 15, 2018 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Here are 8 effective kid proofing techniques for parents who are also car owners in the Philippines.

Doesn’t sound right, right? Especially when one of the reasons you bought your new SUV is for your kids to have more legroom and comfort during your short and long journeys. Why would you need to protect your car from your kids and their friends? Here’s why.

Much as we love our kids and them being the reason why you’re driving a bigger car now, at some point they won’t be able to help themselves but to act just like any normal kids do – be hungry and messy, sweaty, dirty, out of control creative, among others.

With these random doings, we as parents should always be prepared and do our part to maintain our car interior's cleaness. We don’t want to end up with lots of unnecessary trash or wet seats or colors scattered all over our car’s interior.

Being a mom myself, I could definitely identify with this fear of getting the car in a total mess especially when you have a little man/woman on board. So, here are some helpful tips for all car owners, especially for those who are parents to successfully kid proof their respective cars.

1. Talk to them seriously

As parents, this is always the first thing we do every time we go for a ride with our kid. Before we walk into the car we always tell our kid to behave in the backseat, put his seatbelt on and try not to create any mess. We always remind him that getting a car cleaned is not easy and may cost money so he keep his place at the back as clean as possible.

Talking to your child and making him realize the effort it needs to clean up the mess should do some trick.

mom talking to kid

It always helps to talk to your kid about being responsible by keeping his side of the car clean

2. Place an easy to clean and water proof seat cover

This totally answers most of our car interior dilemmas. Be proactive and buy some protective seat covers so in case of unexpected mess, your car seats will be safe from all possible liquid contacts and even crumbs from food takeaways along the way. Seat covers can also provide protection for your car seats from dirty feet that kids love to raise at the back of the front passenger and driver’s seats.

stain and water proof car seat

Installing seat covers can definitely protect our car seats from getting dirty and wet

Usually, faux leather seat covers can be easily to clean and mostly doesn’t absorb any liquid. Stains are also easy to wipe off from faux leather seat covers and it usually just requires a dab of cloth soaked in warm water and detergent to clean it off. More useful tips can be found in our post on how to make peace with your car seats

By having this protection in the back, you can focus on driving and not get stressed out by your kids’ mess.

3. Don’t forget the thick, rubber floor mats

If you have kids, you will not only deal with spilling drinks, food crumbs and trash but you will also deal with dirty shoes. Imagine picking your kid up from school after a P.E. class where they played soccer on the school grounds. May it be wet or not, their shoes will still accumulate dust, dirt or worse, mud. Some would ask their kids to change their shoes or at least cover them before entering the vehicle.

rubber floor mats

These rubber floor mats will protect your car floor carpets from muddy shoes

But what if they didn’t bring any extra clean shoes or slippers or there’s no plastic available to cover the dirty shoes? As parents, again, being proactive can totally lighten up our load. Equip your vehicle with thick, rubber floor mats that can absorb dirt, mud and wet shoes. So when you get home, all you have to do is remove the floor mat and dust it off or clean it and let it dry.

4. Install an organizer in your car

You know those hanging at the back of the door organizers you have at home? You can use them as well in your car. Not only that it will keep your things organized inside your vehicle, but installing them at the back of the driver and passenger’s seats can prevent your kids from putting their feet up – which can cause stain on your car seats.

Also, showing your kids that you are organized in your own vehicle can possibly motivate them to follow that cleanliness and will drive them to put scattered things in a proper place.

car organizer

Car seat organizer keeps your car neat and at the same time keeps your kids' feet off the car seat

5. Use a cookie sheet to serve as your kids’ table at the back

Try to DIY a kiddie table in the back seat to keep your kids busy while you drive to your destination. They can put little toys in there and even make their art masterpieces along the way. So instead of crayons lying around the car backseat, this cookie tray table will hold all the art materials he needs for his drawings. With this set up, there’s less possibilities of getting your car seats stained with colors.

cookie tray as kid's table

You can improvise and use a cookie tray to serve as your kids' table in the backseat

6. Put a DIY trash can in the backseat

If your kids see a cute DIY trash can on their side of the car, they will have no reason to keep unnecessary trash or leave any rubbish on the floor. They will be motivated and trained to put all their trash directly in the trash bin. That’s a start of a good discipline that they can carry within themselves as they grow up.

diy trash can in car

You can put a creative DIY trash can in your car to keep the car neat

7. Prepare a spill proof food container for your little tots

If your kid is in such a young age, instead of dropping by a drive through to buy them snacks for your journey, prepare a healthy, easy to handle meal for him or her and put it in a neat food organizer. That way, he or she just needs to pick up the food and if he or she doesn’t finish it, put it back neatly in the lunchbox.

spill proof lunchbox

Spill proof lunchboxes is a good way to feed the kids while maintaing cleanliness inside the car

8. Make car cleaning a part of your family bonding

This can be a good idea for family bonding and exercising a sense of responsibility out of your kids at a young age. Including them in cleaning your car weekly will make them realize that keeping a car clean isn’t an easy task and therefore push them to do their part in keeping the car interior spic n’ span.

family washing car

Washing your car with your kids is fun!

Follow for more helpful car tips and advise!

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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