8 Car Cleaning Supplies For Dog Owners

By Sarah Hinds Friedl on March 1st, 2023

Your dog may see the car as a wonderful machine that takes them to all their favorite places. But, as a dog owner, you might see your own vehicle as something that needs perpetual cleaning thanks to all the loose fur, mud, and slobber streaks.

It’s such a common topic, in fact, that we have an entire article on How to Keep Your Car Clean as a Dog Owner. In this edition, we’re going to go more in-depth about dog-friendly supplies that will make cleaning your car a breeze. 

#1: DIY window cleaner
Store-bought window cleaners will give you a streak-free shine, but the problem is, your pupper is probably going to put their tongue right back on the window after you clean it. If you’re looking for a cleaning solution that is more dog-friendly, you can easily make a DIY version.

All you have to do is mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 4 cups of water and a small dash of liquid dish soap. Shake it up and use it as you would any other window cleaner.  

#2: Microfiber cloths
Another key way to clean your windows effectively is with microfiber cloths. Not only are they less wasteful than paper towels, but they’re soft enough that you won’t damage your windows.

#3: Rubber gloves
Rubber gloves are useful for dog owners, but not in the way that you might be thinking! While they can keep your hands clean while you tackle your doggo’s mess, the true benefit of rubber gloves is their ability to pick up dog fur, using static electricity. All you have to do is run your gloved hand over carpeted surfaces for a quick clean.

#4: Baking soda
Once you’ve removed dog fur from your car, you can keep fabrics smelling fresh with another household item: baking soda. There are two ways to use this non-toxic ingredient.

First, if you’re looking for an all-over odor eliminator, sprinkle baking soda over the interior surfaces of your car. Let it sit with the windows open for a few hours and then vacuum it up.  

How does baking soda work to eliminate odors? As the Queen of Clean Martha Stewart explains, baking soda lowers the pH levels of the molecules it comes into contact with. Since bad odors come from highly acidic chemical compounds, the baking soda deodorizes on contact.

Secondly, baking soda can be a great way to tackle stains. Mixed with water and vinegar, it creates a chemical reaction with scouring bubbles. When you apply it to a stain, it becomes much easier to scrub out with a damp towel or dry brush.

#5: Rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can work as a strong disinfectant for the interior of your car, removing odors and bacteria as you clean. So, you can use it to wipe down hard surfaces in your car, such as your center console or dashboard.

Keep in mind, though, that natural materials, like leather and wood paneling might be more sensitive to the drying effects of alcohol. For these surfaces, it’s better to use a slightly damp microfiber towel to remove dirt and debris.

#6: Removable seat covers and car mats
Want to bypass all that work of removing dog fur and scrubbing out stains inside your car? Removable seat cover and floor mats will change your life! Whether you go for a specially-designed seat cover for your car model or simply put a sheet down in the back, you’ll be happy not to have to spend hours in your cramped backseat.

When looking for a car mat, stick with ones that are made of easy-to-clean materials like rubber or vinyl. That way, you can pull them out and spray them down when needed.

#7: BreezeGuard Screens
Our core mission at BreezeGuard is, of course, to keep your dog safe. Our thoughtfully-designed screens are installed inside your back windows to keep your dog safely inside with the windows down. But, we have to admit that our screens can also be a great way to minimize mess in your car.

Why? Well, when you can spend more time driving around with the windows down, your pupper has less opportunity to leave snoot and tongue marks on your windows. Your dog will love the fresh air–which will also keep your car smelling good–and you can spend less time wiping away window smudges.

#8: Natural air fresheners
According to PetMD, air fresheners can pose health risks for our dogs. But there is a way to make your car smell good without the use of these harsh chemicals.

All you have to do is gather up your favorite fresh herbs, such as basil or mint, and a lemon and orange. Boil the herbs and the rinds of the citrus for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, allow a wooden clothespin to soak in the fragrant water for 10 minutes. After drying the clothespin, you can clip it onto your car vents.

You can get creative with the kinds of fragrances you use. Cinnamon and ginger, for instance, are both dog-friendly ingredients for you to try.

A word on essential oils
Essential oils are very popular when it comes to DIY cleaning solutions. But, these fragrant-forward oils aren’t always safe for dogs. Take a look at our article, Are Essential OIls Safe for Pets, to learn more about how to use these products without harming your dog.

And, because we’re talking specifically about cleaning your car, it’s important to keep in mind that this is an enclosed space. If you are going to clean with essential oils, make sure that the chemical compounds have had a chance to dissipate before your dog gets back in the car. You should also drive with the windows down for better ventilation.

You’re well-equipped for a cleaner dogmobile! 
If you’re looking for dog-friendly alternatives to some of your favorite cleaning products, we hope this list of DIY car cleaning supplies does the trick! 

Check back in with the BreezeGuard blog for more dog owner hacks!

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