Winters are long here, so by the time the weather starts to warm up, our minivan is crusty with salt and needs some serious cleaning, both inside and out!  It feels so good to get the car clean and organize.  Spring cleaning doesn’t just mean cleaning, it also means making sure you have what you need in the car for warmer weather as well.

Prepare your tools

Grab a bag for garbage.  I also suggest an extra bag or box to throw everything in so you can sort it out.

You’ll also want a vacuum and something to wipe up messes, like a wet rag, paper towels, wipes, etc.

Alternately, after you have cleaned out the interior of the car, you can head over to the car wash to vacuum.

Empty out the car

I usually take a box and fill it up with everything from the car.  I go through cup holders, doors, console, etc. and take out everything.

Then you can sort through what you want to keep, toss, put back, etc.


Get vacuuming!  I vacuum every bit of the car, from the pockets of the door to the console to everything else.  I vacuum the seats and all the nooks and crannies, all the spots where the kids have dropped their snacks and made messes.  Pull out the mats and vacuum underneath.

Wipe everything down

I take a wet rag and wipe everything down – the dashboard, steering wheel, seats, etc.

Wash mats

I soak my mats, and scrub with a brush and soapy water.  Rinse them off and allow them to dry.

Change out seasonal items

Here’s where you can get rid of your winter needs, which could be things like gloves, hats, etc.  We like to make sure we have summer essentials in the car, like sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, and so on.

I stock the car with plastic bags which are great for so many things – muddy sneakers, garbage, gathering things, and more.