Extra cleaning after traveling with your pet is unavoidable. But hopefully by adhering to the prevention advice and making it part of your regular routine, you’re able to reduce the amount of time you spend scrubbing, vacuuming, and freshening up your car.
Do a quick clean after a pet has been inside. That way, you avoid missing any messes because the longer they sit, the harder they are to remove.
Use pet-safe cleaners intended for each surface.
Should you discover a problem area hours or even days later, use a spray cleaner, solution, or machine that’s specific to the type of fabric or surface you’re dealing with—cloth, vinyl, leather, carpet, or plastic. Read the manufacturer’s directions for best results.
Laura Smith, owner of All Star Cleaning Services in Northern Colorado, recommends an enzyme cleaner to remove pet-related stains. “The enzymes will literally eat the organic matter,” she says. “Just be sure to follow the recommended dwell time on the bottle.”
To fix tears in leather seats, you can use a leather/vinyl repair kit that closely matches the color of your interior. Restore dirty leather and vinyl with a leather cleaner and conditioner.
Remove pet hair.
If you’ve vacuumed and used a lint roller but pet hair is still stuck, Baker Schutz recommends a special sponge called Gonzo Natural Magic Pet Hair Lifter to lift stubborn clumps. (AAA Members save $15 off their first Chewy purchase of $49 or more.)
Cracking the windows and circulating fresh air can help maintain any pet-related smells. But a pet-friendly deodorizer spray is going to restore that clean car smell, at least until the next time you travel with your furry friend.