family playing in sand at beach
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How To Get Sand Out Of Your Car, Because The Next Stop Is Your Bed

It doesn't get better than a day at the beach with the family... until it's time to trudge back to the car, sunburned and cranky, arms full of wet towels and legs covered in a thick crust of sand. Somehow, kids always manage to drag half the beach back home with them. So how do you get sand out of your car? Because if there's sand in your car, it'll get tracked in the house (and if it gets tracked in the house, it's definitely ending up in your bed).

“You definitely want to try to minimize the amount of sand that comes into your car,” Paula Spinelli, a 20-year cleaning expert with Merry Maids, tells Romper. “But at the same time, you don’t want to ruin your day thinking about how much sand you’re going to find in your car, either.” Chances are, no matter how hard you try, those pesky grains of sand are going to make their way into your car. Worst case scenario: The kids run ahead and get to the car before you do. (Everybody knows what happens when those water shoes don't get dumped out before you get in the car.)

No matter how much sand you're dealing with, these tips from the pros will get your car clean again — except for those crumbled up Goldfish crackers, of course.


Stop It Before It Starts

Sure, it might be sweltering, but don’t let your kiddos climb into the car without shaking off any sand. For starters, give a brisk shake to beach blankets and towels. Have the kids wipe themselves down with a dry towel to eliminate excess sand on their skin, and while you’re at it, be sure to have them shake out their hair, too. You might be surprised at how much sand is trapped inside those lusciously sun-kissed locks.


Have A Plan

When it comes to cleaning out your car, it's best to have a system in place. If not, you might get sand everywhere. “It’s best to start cleaning from the top to the bottom,” says Spinelli. “Otherwise, you’ll wind up doing double the work.” Try cleaning the seats first, leaving the floor (such as the mats and carpet) for last, so you’ll only have to clean the entire car once.


Shake Out The Mats Immediately

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Sand loves to find a home in your car, and more often than not, it’s going to try to settle into your car’s mats. But if they’re made from fabric, it can be even harder to get rid of the sand. “It’s best to shake out the carpets right away,” says Spinelli. “If the sand sits for a long time, it can become embedded and harder to remove.” So in the case of cleaning your car, swiftness matters.


Bring A Brush

A brush can be your best friend when it comes to reducing the amount of sand in your car. So bring along a small brush (preferably one with stiff bristles, like a horse-hair brush) to get rid of sand from the grooves in your car’s seats or even the floor. “Using the brush will help lift the sand up and out of your car instead of matting it down,” says Spinelli. Even asmall hand vac can work wonders — just make sure that it’s charged first.


Use Compressed Air

No matter how much cleaning you do, there's still going to be sand stuck in small spots throughout your car. You can try using a toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach spaces, or you can use a can of compressed air, which will blast the sand right out of its hiding spot, reported.


Use Dryer Sheets

No one wants to spend the time picking up stubborn sand and hair from their car’s floor mats and carpeting by hand. A fast and easy cleaning hack is to use dryer sheets, reported. Not only will dryer sheets pick up lint, hair, and sand, but they'll make your car smell a little bit less like wet towels.

Cleaning your car after a day at the beach isn't always fun, but there are ways to make it work. And if all else fails, says Spinelli: “You can always take your car to a car wash where they use industrial vacuums.”