5 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean at the Beach

August 1st, 2016 by


Summer is in full swing and you might be planning a trip to the beach. As you may have experienced, the ocean can be a messy place and it seems like everything is just waiting to dirty up your car. Here are some common annoyances people experience after a trip to the beach and the best ways clean or prevent them.

1. Sand

You try your hardest to wash off every last speck before returning to your car, but the truth is there’s simply no escape from sand. It’s more than likely going to wind up in your shoes, clothing, hair, and bags–all of which will then end up in your car.

So how do you get it out? The key is patience. Use your vacuum’s hose extension with a brush head attachment. Slowly move the head over the surface of your car’s mats, rugs, and seats. This will help agitate the sand buried deep down, but prevent it from flying all over the place. If you have removable mats, take them out and clean underneath. Again, it’s important to go slowly. This way it also gives your vacuum enough time to suck up the particles.

2. Saltwater

Much like road salt in winter, salt water can do some damage to the exterior of your vehicle. The closer you are to the ocean, the more salt will likely be in the air. This is known as sea spray. Salt is corrosive and causes metal to rust. Make sure to thoroughly rinse off your car when you get home–especially your undercarriage.

3. Seagulls

Anyone who’s ever been to the beach knows these guys are everywhere. Apart from being loud and stealing your food, seagulls also leave behind a lot of….residue. Bird droppings of any kind are hazardous to your car’s exterior. Apart from being unsightly, they a can wear on your car’s paint job. People used to think it was due to the acid in the droppings, but new findings suggest it is actually due to your car’s paint expanding and contracting in the heat around the droppings. Try to wash off any these gifts from above as soon as possible to prevent damage.

4. Sunshine

As if what happens when you mix sunshine and bird droppings wasn’t enough. Not only will intense sunshine make the inside of your car extremely hot, it can also do damage to both the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Sunlight can fade both plastic and upholstery, as well as your car’s paint. If all possible, try to park in the shade. It’s also a good idea to invest in a windshield sunshade so you’re not roasting when you get back in the car.

5. Sweat

It’ll be hot at the beach, and hot temperatures lead to sweat. It’s important to rinse off or cover up before returning to your vehicle. Sweat can be absorbed by your seats and can make your car smell after a while. It’s a good idea to keep some baby wipes to wipe down seat belts and leather seats. Also think about investing in an odor eliminator (not an air freshener) like this.

The same goes for after swimming in the ocean. Unless you want your car to smell like a boat, make sure everyone rinses off before getting in.

Keeping these things in mind will let you enjoy your fun in the sun, surf, and sand without worrying about your car the whole day. What are your favorite cleaning methods for a day at the beach?

Posted in Tips & Tricks