Building our Story: From Mom Car to MY Car!

/ Sep 2017

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DIYWithRugDoctor #CollectiveBias

Okay, be honest with me. If I got into your car right now, would you have to shuffle trash, books, toys, book bags, random clothing, etc. in order for me to have a comfortable ride? Or, are you totally okay with how your upholstery looks…no stains or smells? It’s okay, I feel your mess…or pain. My car is a total mom car that has been badly abused. Time to take it back! From Mom Car to MY Car!

take back the mom car - cleaning tips

Take Back “The Mom Car” – Simple Car Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Over the last few months, we have been lucky enough to get a few car loans from a local dealership for a promo. It has been so much fun to have these sparkly, loaded, new cars in our driveway but what this has lead to is car envy. Where did my nice and clean car go? My car is not that old but when you get into it, it has aged badly….thanks kids! I have decided that it is time to take my car back! Don’t get me wrong, the car will still be our family car but it is time to have everyone take some responsibility in keeping it clean!

dirty seats

Remove The Clutter:

To start this journey, we opened all the doors and started cleaning the car out. We had a bag for trash (gross) and a bag for items that we needed to take inside with us. We made sure we cleaned out all of the little places that trash usually gets left, kids literally leave everything in the car!

My kids have to have books in the car with them. It has always been something they rely on during car trips, even 10 minute drives. I decided to sort through the books that were in the car and selected a few to keep in the car once we cleaned it all. I have a nice “book bag” that will keep them together and nice in the backseat now.

We removed all of the extra toys and clothes – seriously, clothes? Do my kids get undressed in my car? NO! Where do they come from? Anyway, once that was done, we moved onto the floors.

cleaning car


Vacuum It Out:

Now that the floor of the car was finally cleaned we got out our shop vac and vacuumed up dirt, food, leaves and so much more. We really need to do this more often!

It was great for the kids to see the difference in the floor mess after we vacuumed because it gave them an idea of how much mess they really do make in the car.

Polish It Up:

Oh the dust!! One of my favorite parts of enjoying these new cars for test drives is the pretty and clean dashboard and steering wheel. The cars always looks so clean when we get them for our test drive. We picked up some auto wipes and really wiped down my car, both in the front seats and back seats. I honestly do not remember the last time we did that. Yikes, so much dirt!

Areas to not forget to wipe down:

  • Radio controls/air conditioning/heater controls – GERMS
  • Door handles
  • Door locks
  • Window controls
  • Cup holders

Smelling good:

I buy car air fresheners maybe once a year and then they hang off my mirror for a year as a decoration rather than a freshener. For this project, I let the kids pick out a new air freshener for me to hang in my mirror. I am hoping they will help me remember to change it before another year!

using mini rug doctor

Take a Bath Inside and Out!

There is nothing better than a clean car from a car wash, especially after a few trips to the mountains. So much dust and mud! After we cleaned out the car we decided to head to the car wash with the kids. Once we were done, I looked around the car and was almost satisfied with our work…almost.

I had Jeremy turn the car around and head to King Soopers because we were not quite done with our project yet.  I am sure we have all heard of the Rug Doctor rentals at the grocery store but now, for projects like ours there is a Pro-Portable Spot and Detailer System and it is so worth the rental charge and drive to the store.

rug doctor pro

When we got home from the store, Jeremy filled up the Mini Rug Doctor using the Rug Doctor Detailing, Spot and Upholstery Cleaner and water and got to work. What was great about this Mini Rug Doctor was how easy it was to start using. The Detachable tanks make it super easy to fill and empty plus there is even a built in measuring cup to quickly add the formula easily. I really like that the measuring cup was provided because I hate using my kitchen items for situations like this.

using rug doctor

When we turned on the Mini Rug Doctor we could tell this was really going to make the seats and floors nice and clean. Plus the formula really smelled great. I felt comfortable using the formula on the car seats and we could see the dirt being lifted as Jeremy did work.

During this cleaning session, Jeremy commented on how great it was that the brush was motorized. It made cleaning my SUV super easy to clean. The motorized brush has a very powerful suction, so it does all the scrubbing and plus removes the dirty water. Because the water was removed, the dry time for this project was only a few hours! Pretty incredible!

using rug doctor to clean car

The Pro-Portable Spot and Detailer System has an extendable handle and wheels that make it easy to take it wherever you need it. We simply moved it around the car as we cleaned. Talk about easy. I was a bit worried that the “mini” version was not going to be as powerful as a full Rug Doctor but I was wrong. This Mini Rug Doctor was great for the detailing and cleaning of my car seats, floors and rugs.

This before picture is so embarrassing to me. I have no idea what that stain is from that is under Jude’s booster seat but it is gross. Anytime I have adults in my car and need to move that booster I feel so bad that my friends and family have to sit on that stain. After one Pro-Portable Spot and Detailer System use the after picture speaks for itself!! That gross stain is gone and my car seats look close to new.

Before and after

You can find the Rug Doctor Pro-Portable Spot and Detailer System as well as the Pro-Deep System at your local King Soopers. I went to the customer service desk and they brought me back to the cleaning aisle to decide on the products I wanted to rent.


We are lucky that in the Denver Metro area, these new Rug Doctor systems are now available. Make sure you take advantage of this great coupon before the end of the year and rent a Rug Doctor System. Keep this in mind, professional vehicle detailing can cost over $100. Renting a Rug Doctor Pro-Portable and buying the solution is roughly $30. And while it was a lot of work for one Saturday afternoon, our kids now have a whole new respect for keeping a clean car!Honestly, that is a parenting win in our books!!

clean back seat

Well…that’s how this mom got her car groove back! I love how clean it is and we have all done a great job so far on keeping it clean. No more car envy. Time to enjoy the CLEAN Mom Car!!

Got Car Upholstery Cleaning Tips? Share Them!

Now it is your turn, soon, these great Rug Doctor products will be available in your area and you can enjoy the fresh and clean feeling! Share any dirty car upholstery cleaning tips with us.