How to Keep Your Car Clean with Dogs in the Family

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There’s no better image of happiness than a dog sticking its head out the window, its tongue and ears blowing in the wind. But dogs can be a little messy. A great way to keep your car clean with dogs is to use prevention tools like:

  • Seat covers
  • Old towels/blankets
  • Crates
  • Door protectors

But life happens—and those tools aren’t always available. So, keep reading to learn how to keep your car clean with dogs as traveling partners. You’ll see how having a car wash package from Take 5 makes a huge difference, too.

Clean Car With Dogs

4 Ways to Remove Dog Hair from Your Car

Dog hair is perhaps the most common struggle every car owner and dog parent faces. It just seems to be everywhere!

Despite seeming like a never-ending problem, there are four methods to remove dog hair from your car’s interior.

1. Vacuum

A vacuum works wonders in removing dog hair from your car’s interior. Getting a vacuum cleaner that offers a variety of brushes is most helpful, as it reaches into all the nooks and crannies of your car—not to mention some vacuums have pet-specific attachments.

2. Wire Brush

This cleaning method only works for fabric seats (leather seats would get scratched up). A wire brush works on stubborn fur because it grips it and doesn’t let go. You can use it on its own or as a final step after vacuuming.

3. Lint Roller

Just like it works on clothes, a lint roller will remove dog hair from your car’s upholstery. Get a bunch of inexpensive rollers and spend some time rolling them over every surface of your car.

Bonus: This method works on both loose and embedded dog hair.

4. Rubber Gloves

Put on rubber gloves and drag them over your car’s seats and floor. You’ll see hair start to cling to the gloves; just make sure to remove the fur between swipes for the best result.

If that isn’t working, try spraying them lightly with water—that should help pull up the fur.

How to Clean Dog Drool off Your Car’s Interior

Dogs and drool go hand in hand. Whether it’s due to excitement or carsickness, you’ll definitely be cleaning drool from your car.

How you can clean dog drool off your car’s interior depends on the type of upholstery you have.

For Leather Upholstery

For the most part, all you have to do is use a wet wipe. The sooner you wipe away the drool, the better the result. Ensure the wipes you use are leather friendly (some can have chemicals that cause cracking).

For Fabric Upholstery

With fabric, white vinegar is your best friend. Although acidic, it’s safe for most materials—and eliminates many stains, ranging from grass to dog drool.

Make sure to blot at the drool, not scrub, so you don’t make the stain worse.

How to Clean Dog Throw-Up from Your Car in 4 Steps

Cleaning dog vomit is no fun, and it’s important to clean it up quickly. Not only will vomit stink up the car, but it also creates a stain that’s almost impossible to get rid of.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You need several tools to properly deal with dog vomit—and it’s easier to have all of them within reach as you go. Make sure you have:

  • Rags or paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Leather cleaner
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Water
  • Vacuum
  • Cleaning brush
  • Mask (optional)
  • Gloves (optional)

Step 2: Pick Up All Solid Parts

Okay, let’s get the grossest part over with. Using a paper towel or an inside-out plastic bag, grab all solid parts of the vomit.

Step 3: Soak up the Liquid

Now that all the solid parts are disposed of start getting rid of excess liquid. It’s important to blot—not smear—the liquid, as that can push the stain deeper into the fabric.

Step 4: Remove the Stain

While blotting the liquid away, you’ll notice the stained area getting lighter. If the stain doesn't completely disappear via blotting, use a wet vacuum. If there isn’t one available, repeat these cleaning methods depending on your car’s interior.

For Leather Interiors

Here’s how to clean dog throw-up from your car’s leather upholstery—create a mixture of water and white vinegar (which is safe for leather) and start scrubbing the stain. You can use a cleaning brush; just make sure it’s soft so it doesn’t scratch the surface.

Once the stain is cleared and everything is dried out, use disinfectant to clean your interior. It’s an extra step, but it ensures all germs are killed.

For Fabric Interiors

Fabric upholstery is tricker, but can still be cleaned. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and wait 30 minutes for it to do its work. Baking soda not only absorbs discoloration, it also helps with any lingering odors.

Once the half-hour has passed, either vacuum up the baking soda with a wet vac or use warm water to wipe it away.

Some people prefer to vacuum first and see what is left. They’ll then make a cleaning paste out of baking soda and water to scrub the remaining stain away with a cleaning brush.

You can also try white vinegar if baking soda isn’t available.

How to Clean Dog Pee in Your Car in 4 Steps

Accidents happen. The problem is when they happen in your car!

Here’s how to clean dog pee in your car’s interior in just four steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Grab all the materials you need before starting the cleaning process. Assemble:

  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Leather cleaner
  • Water
  • Mask (optional)
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

Step 2: Air Out Your Car

Dog pee is an odor that lasts, so make sure to open all your doors so fresh air circulates while you work.

Step 3: Blot Away the Urine

Start by getting rid of as much dog pee as you can. Make sure to use a blotting motion instead of a wiping one—otherwise, you can accidentally grind the pee deeper into your upholstery.

Step 4: Remove the Stain

Most likely, there will be a stain after you blot away all the urine. If you’re lucky enough to own a wet vacuum or steamer, that will solve the problem.

But don’t worry if you don’t! You can use the techniques we already shared for cleaning dog vomit to wash away urine stains.

How to Clean Dog Poop Out of Your Car in 3 Steps

Dog poop is another “fun” part of being a dog parent. If your best friend has an accident, here’s how to clean dog poop out of your car in just three steps.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Air Out Your Car

Just as with dog urine, get fresh air circulating to disperse the smell of dog poop and cleaning solutions. Once you open car doors and windows, grab:

  • Rags or paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Leather cleaner
  • Cleaning brush
  • Water
  • Mask (optional)
  • Gloves (optional)

Step 2: Pick Up Solid Dog Poop

It’s best to start by getting rid of any solid parts of your dog’s accident. Place them in a plastic bag to be thrown out later. If the mess isn’t a typical poop, grab what you can and blot away whatever is left until the area is dry.

Step 3: Get Rid of the Stain and Smell

Now to the hard part: eliminating stains and smells. A steamer or wet vacuum is good for both leather and fabric upholstery.

If you don’t have those tools, you can use a special leather cleaner and leather-friendly disinfectant wipes for leather interiors. For fabric, use a mix of either white vinegar or baking soda with water, and use a cleaning brush to scrub away the stain.

How to Keep Your Car Clean with Dogs—Use Take 5 Car Wash!

Now that you know how to keep your car clean with dogs, you can see these methods take a lot of time and effort. The good news is that our customers have the tools they need to make the job easier.

Take advantage of our Pro5™ detail center, which gives you everything you need to thoroughly clean your car after an accident happens.

You can also join our Take 5 Unlimited™ membership—you’ll gain access to unlimited car washes at your specific Take 5 Car Wash location. As mentioned before, prevention is the best answer for how to keep your car clean with a dog.

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