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How to Clean Your Car After a Trip to the Beach

If you're lucky enough to live along the Gulf, or even to visit the beautiful Gulf Coast, you already know the beauty that awaits. For coast-dwellers and travelers alike, a trip to the beach is often a summertime staple. Those who frequent beaches often already know the ins and outs of how to avoid accumulating a mountain of sand in a vehicle, and the musts of cleaning your vehicle after that spectacular beach trip. For infrequent beach-goers, however, keeping cars clean during and after a day of sun, sand and fun can be a bit trickier. 

Here are 5 quick tips for cleaning your car after a trip to the beach.

The biggest hassle for car owners when it comes to beach trips is the sand- hands down. It's beautiful, and depending on what time of day it is, it'll scorch your bare feet, or keep them cool. The hard truth, however, is that sand is unavoidable and unless you have a house, hotel, or condo right on the beach, you're going to track sand into the car from the beach. You can take simple steps to prevent sand from getting in every crack and crevice of your car, though. Cover everything you can from the seats to the floor. I use a pet cover for the back seat when I go to the beach with my kids. We also cover the floor of the car with large towels or sheets, so we can simply shake the sand out that comes into the car on flip flops or bare feet. Another trick to sprinkle baby powder over your skin and to simply brush the sand off outside of the car.

Clean the exterior right after your trip.
As soon as your beach trip has come to an end, whether it's a day trip or week-long vacation, give your car a thorough cleaning on the outside as soon as you can. Your vehicle has likely seen its fair share of beach bugs that have gotten stuck on the windshield or in the grill of the car. Get all of those bugs and their remains off of your car as soon as possible. You'll also want to wash away any remnants of sand and salt that sprayed onto your car from the ocean. Even the rain water along the coast can be damaging to a vehicle over time, so wash and wax your car accordingly upon your return home.

Rinse when you can. It doesn't really make a lot of sense to take your car through a car wash when you're at the beach (unless you live at the beach). Giving your car a rinse at the end of the day, however, will help protect your car's coat and color, and will keep sap and salt, along with dirt from building up all over your car. It only makes it harder to remove further down the road if you don't rinse regularly.

Keep a hand vac in the car. No one wants to spend the majority of a beach trip trying to keep their car clean. You want to spend that time making precious memories with your family and/or friends. Quickly vacuuming sand out of hard to reach areas of the car is a great idea. Small vacs can be charged in the car while you're driving, and will be ready for use as soon as you complete your day at the beach.

Plan to do a major interior cleaning after your trip.
When your beach trip comes to a close, you will definitely need to either take your car to a car wash location or plan to give your car some TLC at home. The interior will need a deep cleaning, such as a full vacuum. Remove all seat covers and floor mats, and shake them out. Run the vacuum over each to ensure you don't leave pesky grains of sand behind. Give the car's interior a full wipe-down, cleaning windows, consoles, cup holders, the dash, etc.

Don't let a day at the beach rain on your summertime parade. Take a few extra steps to keep your car in tip top shape so it can take you on many more summertime adventures!

Brought to you by Gulf Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

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