33 Ways To Make Your Junk Car Look So Much Better


1.

Create a more efficient system for your car meals with a steering-wheel table so you can catch crumbs where they start and avoid grease stains on your lap.

tray that cilps onto steering wheel with enough room for a fast food meal


amazon.com

Promising review: “Love this! Did have to turn steering wheel upside down, but it fits my VW Jetta. I eat in my car four days a week, and this greatly improves my dining experience. :)” —Pbrooks

Get it from Amazon for $22.99.

Also check out a dedicated French fry holder that’ll fit in your cup holder.

2.

And keep your sauces upright instead of tipping over onto your seats with a double-dipping clip (in a good way!) that’ll hang onto your car vent.

holder with two dips in it attached to a car vent


3DPrintedByBrian / Etsy

Promising review: “Bought this for my brother for Christmas, it was a hit! He’s often on the road traveling and has shared funny stories of how he gets sauce on his fast food while in the car. He loved it, works great, thank you! :)” —Amanda Nill

Get it from 3DPrintedByBrian on Etsy for $5+ (available in single or double).

3.

Clean up seat-ruining messes with an upholstery cleaner that’ll undo whatever it is your kids are doing to your backseats

A customer review before and after picture of their car seat


amazon.com

Promising review: “I have kids (8 and 3 years old). They have destroyed my back seat. Spilled chocolate milk, vomit, melted chocolate, dropped fries, dropped ice cream, spilled Gatorade — you name it, it has been spilled in my back seat. I was to the point of accepting my backseat would forever be a disgusting wasteland. Then I stumbled upon this product and y’all…Y’ALL IT WORKS! I almost cried when I sprayed it on, ran a detail brush over it, wiped it away with the cloth, and the stains were GONE. No scrubbing for 30 minutes. No ‘leave to set for 15 minutes.’ No carpet cleaner required. Just spray, scrub, wipe, and it takes everything off. I am now cleaning EVERYTHING with this stuff. It is AMAZING! An absolute MUST for any parent. 100% will buy again.” —Rachel

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

4.

Stretch a sling-like purse holder between your front two seats to keep all your essentials within reach and upright, even when traffic forces you to brake in a split second.


Amazon

Promising review: “This was the best purchase I have made for myself! It works extremely well, exactly how the description described, which is a rarity these days. I spend a lot of time in my car with my children running back-and-forth doing the mommy thing. This little gadget has made my life so much easier. I actually have the pocket facing me so that way I can put my iPad in it and lay my pocketbook in front.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.



Amazon

Promising review: “This was the best purchase I have made for myself! It works extremely well, exactly how the description described, which is a rarity these days. I spend a lot of time in my car with my children running back-and-forth doing the mommy thing. This little gadget has made my life so much easier. I actually have the pocket facing me so that way I can put my iPad in it and lay my pocketbook in front.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

5.

Tackle odors (smoke or otherwise) with a bamboo charcoal air purifier you can toss in your car and forget about it.

gray bags


Amazon

You just have to place the bag in the sun (like say, on top of your car?!) for a couple of hours once a month to ~refresh~ its odor-neutralizing powers for up to two years.

Promising review: “I got these to try out because I have a dog that rides in my car sometimes, not often but I can always smell dog smell when my car has been sitting for three to five days and then I go to get in and can smell wet dog. I traveled for work this week and my car sat for a few days at the airport again and got in my car the other night and no do smell. I was so happy. I stuck one in the storage area under the stairs and we will see how that does.” —Jody VIncent

Get a four-pack from Amazon for $19.99.

6.

But if you have an olfactory disaster on your hands (like say, a dead mouse?!), spray some air sanitizer even funeral directors recommend.

spray bottle


Amazon

OK, when you spray it you may want to vacate your car because it’s strong! But it works!

Promising review: “This product was recommended to me by a funeral director. He said he has been using it for years. I have to agree it is wonderful. Recently our daughter had a mouse die in her car (she was away and the car sat in the summer heat, in Florida, for a week). She was ready to sell the car… the smell just wouldn’t go away. I told her about Ozium and she couldn’t believe it! After one night the smell was gone! Another Ozium believer!” —jbf

Get two bottles from Amazon for $25.98. Also check out the gel version.

7.

Revive your ghosted-over headlights with a headlight restoration kit so you won’t have to shell out $100 at the local shop to pass inspection.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Finally used this product and I really liked it. My headlights were past the point of repair, but using this product with all included sandpapers (I had to purchase more, because of the state of my headlights) and the other included products this was a blessing. I did cheat with a power buffer to get the final polish/clarity. My headlight was so rough that it was more coarse than the supplied sheets of sandpaper (felt like a 150 grit). You do have to put in the effort (elbow grease) if you want this to work, though.” —Paul A D

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.



amazon.com

Promising review: “Finally used this product and I really liked it. My headlights were past the point of repair, but using this product with all included sandpapers (I had to purchase more, because of the state of my headlights) and the other included products this was a blessing. I did cheat with a power buffer to get the final polish/clarity. My headlight was so rough that it was more coarse than the supplied sheets of sandpaper (felt like a 150 grit). You do have to put in the effort (elbow grease) if you want this to work, though.” —Paul A D

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

8.

Corral the jingling change in your car door pocket into a spring-loaded coin holder that’ll fit nicely into a cup holder and help you make speedier money moves in the drive-thru.

change holder with spring-loaded slots for different sized coins


amazon.com

Promising review: “This product works great! For years I have stored coins in the driver’s side door handle slot (’05 Buick LaCrosse) and now in a plastic dish placed in the tan towel area seen in the photo (’18 Prius). The coin organizer fits perfectly in the center console cup-holder. It’s perfect for accessing exact change when in a drive-thru line. The coins easily slide in and out of their spring-loaded slots.” —haparnold

Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

9.

FINALLY get all the pet hair off your back seat and floors with this ugly but effective tool you’ll wonder how you lived without up until now.


amazon.com

Promising review: “This this is like magic. Our van was nasty and covered with hair from a German and Australian Shepherd. Looked brand-new after. Don’t think about just buy it. It will blow your mind.” —Dan

Get it from Amazon for $10.



amazon.com

Promising review: “This this is like magic. Our van was nasty and covered with hair from a German and Australian Shepherd. Looked brand-new after. Don’t think about just buy it. It will blow your mind.” —Dan

Get it from Amazon for $10.

10.

And keep a pet protector made to fit over your backseat in your trunk so you won’t have to go hunting for it in your garage next time Fido rides with you for errands.


amazon.com, amazon.com

My parents have one for our shed-happy family dog Hank and they’re never going back. BTW, this one has a universal fit!

Promising review: “My fianceé and I bought this to take our dog on his first trip about four hours away. He has a problem trying to climb into our laps during drives so this was a perfect way to stop him from hurting himself. Our big concern was him not being able to see us, but he was the perfect height to still see us. It was still tall enough for him to not to be able to climb over it. However, this trip made him too anxious, and, since I didn’t listen to my fianceé and stop to let him use the bathroom, he had an accident in the car. This divider helped prevent anything from being ruined. We cleaned up the poop quickly with Clorox wipes and it didn’t bleed through at all. I would highly recommend this product.” —DJ Fullmer

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.



amazon.com, amazon.com

My parents have one for our shed-happy family dog Hank and they’re never going back. BTW, this one has a universal fit!

Promising review: “My fianceé and I bought this to take our dog on his first trip about four hours away. He has a problem trying to climb into our laps during drives so this was a perfect way to stop him from hurting himself. Our big concern was him not being able to see us, but he was the perfect height to still see us. It was still tall enough for him to not to be able to climb over it. However, this trip made him too anxious, and, since I didn’t listen to my fianceé and stop to let him use the bathroom, he had an accident in the car. This divider helped prevent anything from being ruined. We cleaned up the poop quickly with Clorox wipes and it didn’t bleed through at all. I would highly recommend this product.” —DJ Fullmer

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

11.

Ward off lost phones, french fries, change, and more with some low-key seat gap fillers you may have eyed on Shark Tank and wished you’d invented them yourself.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Never drop and lose your stuff again! I purchased these over six months ago and ended up buying another because of how convenient and safe it is. The stitching and quality for the seat filler is great with no loose fibers. This was used in a 2000 Honda Accord as well as a 2016 RAV4. I really believe this will fit a majority of cars, see images for reference.

Having it between the seats has saved me on many occasions. You don’t even notice it there until you drop something, say oh ****, but feel relieved that it stops right on top of the gap filler. Even my friends don’t notice it until they drop something into the abyss.” —Long-Term Product Reviews by Hugh&Co.

Get two from Amazon for $24.99.



amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Never drop and lose your stuff again! I purchased these over six months ago and ended up buying another because of how convenient and safe it is. The stitching and quality for the seat filler is great with no loose fibers. This was used in a 2000 Honda Accord as well as a 2016 RAV4. I really believe this will fit a majority of cars, see images for reference.

Having it between the seats has saved me on many occasions. You don’t even notice it there until you drop something, say oh ****, but feel relieved that it stops right on top of the gap filler. Even my friends don’t notice it until they drop something into the abyss.” —Long-Term Product Reviews by Hugh&Co.

Get two from Amazon for $24.99.

12.

Tap unexpected space with a car vent organizer that comes equipped with a charging port to safely hold onto the essentials so you aren’t digging in the floorboard for a charging cord.

pocketed pouch-like organizer hanging from a car vent


Amazon

Promising review: “I keep the charging cables for the family’s phones rolled up and in the pockets. It doesn’t hold a whole lot of weight with my use. My Pixel 2xl will fit in the middle and back pockets and supports the weight of it (for testing purposes I don’t keep it in the pouch). The hook I did have to wrap around a couple of times to make the length work with my dash. Over all it works well.” —Aaron H

Get it from Amazon for $17.75.

13.

Bring some order to your glove box with a straightforward organizer that’ll put your important documents front and center in the event of an emergency and someone who’s not you needs to get to your deets.

car document book


amazon.com

Promising review: “I love this darn thing! It is so sturdy, thick, and really good quality! I am a type of person who likes to stay organized, and this helps me do just that. I recommend for anyone who wants to keep important documents in their car, and don’t want their documents to be bent. It has a tiny Velcro by the fold, to ensure that your documents do not fall out. So neat, and so clean! Just get it already!” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

14.

Attach some universal purse-holder hooks to your head rests in case you rarely travel with just one bag or often find yourself putting your groceries in the back seat.

sturdy hooks attached to car headrest with a purse hanging from them


Amazon

Get two from Amazon for $8.99 (available in beige and black).

15.

Cover up a worn-looking steering wheel with a cute cover will add a little something to your car *and* keep your steering wheel from getting too hot in the sun!

steering wheel with black cover on it that has a constellation


The Mod Mobile / Etsy

Promising review: “My steering wheel used to get burning hot in the sun – no more! This cover is awesome, feels good, and has made a big difference. Love the stars, too, which complement my Subaru logo perfectly. Thanks, Allyson!” —Anna

Get it from The Mod Mobile on Etsy for $17 (available in a star or a star/constellation pattern).

16.

Install an adorable phone holder with an embrace wide enough to fit most phones because nothing looks as bad as unsafe driving [insert guilt-inducing mom stare].


amazon.com

Promising review: “I’ve tried several car phone holders, and this one is by far one of the best. The latches adjust to your phone as you place the phone in the holder making a tight grip, I’ve been on some bumpy roads and has not fallen once phone nor holder. Need to charge your phone while driving? No problem at all, the little gap on the bottom lets you plug right in.” —Luis Sanchez

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in two styles).



amazon.com

Promising review: “I’ve tried several car phone holders, and this one is by far one of the best. The latches adjust to your phone as you place the phone in the holder making a tight grip, I’ve been on some bumpy roads and has not fallen once phone nor holder. Need to charge your phone while driving? No problem at all, the little gap on the bottom lets you plug right in.” —Luis Sanchez

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in two styles).

17.

Detail vents and other hard-to-clean areas of your car with some gooey cleaning compound that feels like a child’s plaything but WOW does it work.

goo used to get dust out a car vent


Amazon

You can also use it on surfaces like keyboards, speakers, screens, cameras, etc. JUST NOTE that you should use it to press to clean. Don’t leave it on a surface and walk away because gravity will let it sink into grooves and make a mess.

Promising review: “Love this! Mini car detailer. It even got some trapped fur in the car crevices!” —MvP

Get it from Amazon for $6.77.

18.

And give your vents special attention with some smol blind dusters with washable cloths to really get in there.

mini duster with three tines on it


Amazon

Get it from Amazon for $7.99 (includes five removable microfiber sleeves; available in two color combos).

19.

Add a super cute (and comfy) element with a toasty neck pillow that can hang for your next road trip.

cartoon toast looking neck pillow attached to a car seat headrest


Wonderio / Etsy

Wonderio is a Hong Kong-based shop chock full of cute stuff.

Promising review: “OMG!!!! I LOVE MY HAPPY TOAST PILLOW! His name is Pierre Baugette (yes, he’s definitely not a baguette but that’s why it’s funny) and he’s so squishy, I’m very happy with him.” —Breanna Forest

Get it from Wonderio on Etsy for $20.99 (available in three styles).

20.

Tidy up your vehicle without displaying its contents to the world thank to a lidded trunk organizer you’ll be able to put SO MUCH into.

open SUV trunk with this lidded organizer in it, matching the car interior


amazon.com

Promising review: “Pleasantly surprised with the quality of this organizer. It was more sturdy or rigid than I expected. And I like that the top lid is easily placed on and off with Velcro. I believe it could get a few years’ use before replacement.” —Tina

Get it from Amazon for $27.99 (available in three colors).

21.

Throw smaller miscellaneous stuff into a handy seat organizer you can easily move from seat to floor to backseat to backseat floor — it’s going to be as well-traveled as you!

the car organizer on a seat


Amazon

It has super convenient carrying handles, movable dividers, and a belt strap to help it stay put. Plus the mesh pockets make it super easy to see what’s inside for easier finding.

Promising review: “There’s almost never anyone in the front passenger seat, except when there is. When I’m running in mom-mobile mode, this thing keeps my purse and phone from falling off the seat, it holds my sunglasses, lip balm, and hand lotion for easy access, it keeps a deck of cards, wipes, banking paperwork, frost scraper, granola bars and other must-haves organized and within easy reach. And when my husband hops in, we just put it in the trunk and I can pretend I don’t use the car as base camp.” —Amazon customer

Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in two colors).

22.

Or opt for a cup holder-sized organizer in case you need to invent some storage space out of thin air.


Amazon, amazon.com

And as you can see, one reviewer even used it to hold their fast-food haul!

Promising review: “Needed more storage space in my 2008 regular cab Ranger pickup. The truck had a dual cup holder and small tray on the floor, that was it. I bought two of these and got them to fit in the two existing cup holders. I still have my cup holders and now a bit more storage space too. Nice heavy plastic, wish the trays were a bit bigger.” —William Aquino

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.



Amazon, amazon.com

And as you can see, one reviewer even used it to hold their fast-food haul!

Promising review: “Needed more storage space in my 2008 regular cab Ranger pickup. The truck had a dual cup holder and small tray on the floor, that was it. I bought two of these and got them to fit in the two existing cup holders. I still have my cup holders and now a bit more storage space too. Nice heavy plastic, wish the trays were a bit bigger.” —William Aquino

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

23.

And if you’re a smoker (or drive around a smoker), this cup holder ashtray will look so much nicer than stray butts or repurposed soda cans.

person putting a smoking butt in a cup-sized lit ash tray


Amazon

Promising review: “Just what I wanted for my car. They don’t come with ashtrays anymore. This fits in the cup holder, has a cool blue light when the lid is lifted, holds two cigs, and no more lit cigarettes flying back into my lap when flicked out the window. Thank you from those of us who still crave a cig while driving.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $10.97.

24.

Freshen up your car surfaces with some UV protectant spray ready to give your 11-year-old model a facelift.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Works as claimed, superior product than other leading brands. I only knew Armor All from the last 16 years. I wish I knew about these products. Its funny that detailers have all the secrets.” —Rexxiboy

Get it from Amazon for $17.97.



amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Works as claimed, superior product than other leading brands. I only knew Armor All from the last 16 years. I wish I knew about these products. Its funny that detailers have all the secrets.” —Rexxiboy

Get it from Amazon for $17.97.

25.

Maintain your floor with some trim-able floor mats built to stand up to the elements because you’re not going to wipe off your drenched shoes before you duck into your car during a downpour.


Amazon

AND if you’re wondering “But will it fit my car?” Amazon has a Check Fit option for this product where you can enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model to help you find the perfect fit. Oh, and they can be trimmed!

Promising review: “Very nice, easily cleanable mats. I just take them out of the car and wash them with the car washing brush. I wish I had bought them sooner instead of wearing out two sets of those chintzy synthetic carpet mats which never really came clean in my dusty rural area and allowed my right heel to wear a hole in them after only a couple of years of driving. Even a blob of shoe goo didn’t last long, and looked dumb.” —Critical Thinker

Get it from Amazon for $26.99+ (available in three styles).

26.

And guard the back of your seats with protective kick mats because no matter how many times you say “Stop kicking!” your kids keep on doing it like it’s their job.

reviewer's car with the kicking protector on the back of the car seat


amazon.com

Promising review: “Absolutely love these!! I bought a Forester a couple of weeks ago and was freaking out about the light-colored cloth interior with a toddler and infant in the back seat. They fit wonderfully! Top and bottom buckle straps are both adjustable. The bottom strap is elastic, so if it doesn’t fully tuck into your seats, it will stretch out of your way when you sit in the seat and is stretchy enough that it doesn’t bother the driver or passenger’s back/butt area. Have not had to clean it yet, but it’s material similar to my travel changing pad which wipes clean super easily!” —Sarah M

Get two from Amazon for $16.97.

27.

But if your kids are old enough to need all their essentials back there with them, storing stuff like toys and snacks in some storage-filled seat guards can do the trick.

seat back kick guard with tons of mesh storage pockets


Amazon

Promising review: “I love them. They’re perfect. They fit all my kids’ things for long trips.” —Mike Sperduto

Get two from Amazon for $21.99.

28.

Train everyone in your crew to use this great new waterproof trash can instead of the floor for containing the mess.

lunch box-sized black car trash can with liner bags


Amazon

You can hang it from stuff or just set it on the floor. AND you can use a shopping bag to line it!

Get it from Amazon for $9.59+ (also available in a larger size with a lid).

29.

Throw a dedicated wet/dry vacuum (that plugs into the cigarette lighter!) in your trunk because who has the time to go by the car wash and feed quarters into the vacuum?!


Amazon

Has a 106w motor, strong metal turbine, 16-foot cord, elastic hose, nozzle, and a clear trash compartment so you can see when it’s time to empty it.

Promising review: “This thing is awesome! I own a 2018 Dodge Durango that sadly does not have leather seats. I own three dogs and it is just a nightmare pulling out my extension cord to vacuum my truck. I can now just plug this little guy into my 12v car outlet and I’m good to go! The power in this vacuum is as good as it’s going to get for a car vacuum so if you want extreme suction — buy a shop vac. Also the attachments are fantastic.

P.S. I own three dogs — it picks up hair. The spots with sand in the picture are not vacuumed over yet to compare.” —Sally

Get it from Amazon for $37.99 (available in two colors).



Amazon

Has a 106w motor, strong metal turbine, 16-foot cord, elastic hose, nozzle, and a clear trash compartment so you can see when it’s time to empty it.

Promising review: “This thing is awesome! I own a 2018 Dodge Durango that sadly does not have leather seats. I own three dogs and it is just a nightmare pulling out my extension cord to vacuum my truck. I can now just plug this little guy into my 12v car outlet and I’m good to go! The power in this vacuum is as good as it’s going to get for a car vacuum so if you want extreme suction — buy a shop vac. Also the attachments are fantastic.

P.S. I own three dogs — it picks up hair. The spots with sand in the picture are not vacuumed over yet to compare.” —Sally

Get it from Amazon for $37.99 (available in two colors).

30.

Clean off the road dust (and so much more) with a powerful tire cleaner that’ll work on all sorts of wheels.

dirty rims and then clean rims thanks to the spray


Amazon

Promising review: “Wow! I spend a long time trying to clean my rims with car soap, dish soap, and other car products without any success. No matter how much I rub and scrub it felt like the the dirt and grime was a permanent part of my rims. I’ve been negligent and haven’t touched my rims in about two years (I know… never again). I was desperate so I decided to do some research as a last attempt. I found this and thought maybe it’s because I need something specifically for ‘brake dusts.’ Decided to give it a try and it actually worked! I had to scrub it with a brush and respray it about two to three times on each rim before it’s 90% like new again but that’s mainly because my rims are so heavily soiled that I don’t blame the product. At the end of the day it did what I needed it to do so I’m happy.” —Rvn101

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in two sizes).

31.

Create a streak-free shine with a foaming glass cleaner because the windshield is the window to your car’s soul. But really.

spraying the cleanser on a windshield


Amazon

Promising review: “I almost never make it through a car wash, though my windshield picks up enough dust that the occasional rain doesn’t necessarily clean it up. I picked up a can of Invisible Glass after seeing lots and lots of comments from car buffs who swear by it, and I have to say they were right!

The aerosol can is a lot easier for applying it than your typical Windex bottle, and once it’s wiped down, it dries almost instantly with absolutely no streaking. I have problems with glare when I’m driving at night, so a few streaks can really wreak havoc on my vision. Invisible Glass is inexpensive and easy, and I no longer have to deal with a not-quite-clear windshield.” —ysar

Get it from Amazon for $10.73.

32.

Wipe down your car with some gentle microfiber cloths whether you’re doing an at-home wash or never seem to get a thorough dry in a drive-thru wash.


Amazon

WAY gentler than paper towels. Just sayin’!

Promising review: “These towels are a good value for one that is slightly obsessed with car care. They are about 75% thickness of Adam’s single soft mft and about 50% of the thickness of the double soft. The pile is relatively thick and is good for knocking polishes and waxes off. I wouldn’t use these on glass or interior. There is a little lint and fuzz initially however, after a wash these should be good to go. For the price 12 of these for the cost of one Adams towel, I’ll go with these going forward. My one gripe, the tag on the inside, I wish they wouldn’t do that. Tearing it off sometimes tears the seams of the towel.” —eganraC

Get six from Amazon for $16.95.

Unrelated to cars, but I also like to keep some similar microfiber cloths for cars around my apartment to use in lieu of paper towels. They are SUPER absorbent and wash in the laundry easily. Trust me, I spill A LOT of stuff.

33.

If all else fails, give your car interior a decent wipe down with some auto wipes because they’ll make a surprising difference for such a low level of effort.

three containers of wipes


Amazon

Promising review: “The glass cleaner is amazing – buying more of that stuff stat! Cleaning wipes work perfectly for touch ups and am pleased with the protectant. I like to keep my car pristine and this stuff really does help. Highly recommend.” —lyrical

Get them from Amazon for $12.99.

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!


Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed



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