Seven vehicle hacks to try out

Hollywood, MD - For the majority, a vehicle is a tool to haul yourself and other people to work, school, sporting events, and other activities. With use, a vehicle will require maintenance to keep up.

There’s nothing like discovering that household products and tools have multiple purposes. With the help of Gearheads, I’ve collected some hacks to make life easier. 

Use steel wool to detail your windshield 
A vehicle detailer’s trick is to use 0000 (four zeros) Extra Fine steel wool to clean the glass. Not only will it not damage the glass, it’s recommended for the task by the steel wool manufacturers themselves. Now I can really clean my windshield!

Use your passenger seat warmer to keep food hot

Nobody likes cold food when they order it to go. If your vehicle has a seat warmer, turn the passenger side seat heater to 11 and keep that food hot. Using a jacket to cover the to-go bags or boxes works if your warmer is broken or you don’t have seat warmers. While the food won’t be as hot as it was when you paid for it, it might make it home warm and still edible.

Use a staple remover to open a keyring
This is probably an easy one to figure out. If you don’t want to tear up your fingers trying to get a key onto your keyring, use a staple remover to pry the ring open.

Deter rats and mice from getting under the hood
With some vehicles, mice and rats like to chew on electrical wires and cables because the wire coating is made with soy. A method of keeping them from chewing is to tie fabric softener sheets in safe, out of the way, places in your engine compartment. The scent drives the rodents away, but remember to change out the sheets as the scent wears off. 

Use a plastic container as a trash can
As a child, I had no respect for the tidiness of my parents vehicles. Now I cringe if I keep trash in my car for a day too long. With children, the floor gets covered in food wrappers, old homework assignments, empty water bottles, clean and dirty napkins, and anything you can think of. Use a plastic cereal container with a lid to keep trash contained, and if it tipps over the mess is less likely to explode all over the back of the car. Line the container with a plastic bag makes cleanup much easier.

Keep drinks cold when you don’t have a cooler

If your vehicle has an air conditioned glove compartment, use it to store drinks. Be mindful of state laws regarding closed containers of alcohol away from the driver though.

Use Scrubbing Bubbles on stubborn upholstery stains

Use this tip with caution. I was scrubbing up a car to sell to another coworker, and had an old soda stain that I couldn’t figure out how to remove. I searched for any kind of cleaner and came across a new two pack of Scrubbing Bubbles. I tested it in a more hidden spot on the carpet of the vehicle and realized that I could remove stains with it. If you leave the formula on too long, it may bleach the area.

Need extra storage? Hook a mesh bungee to your roof handles.

Use coat hooks to string up a mesh bungee for extra storage for coats, blankets, and other items. Be wary of how much an item weighs before you store it up above.

Jacqui Atkielski can be contacted at

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