19 Hacks for Everyone Who Has a Car

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Depending on where you live and work, you probably spend a pretty significant portion of your life in your car.

Why not put in a little work to make that time as convenient, clean, and organized as possible?

After all, less time cleaning out your car means more time singing show tunes.

Here are 19 hacks specifically for anyone who has a car. We hope they make your life just that much easier!

DIY air freshener.

First of all, you want your car to smell nice, right? Make your own air freshener by putting a couple scented wax cubes in a mason jar with holes in the lid. If you want to go even cheaper, you could use a salt shaker from the dollar store!

Everyone should know the penny trick!

This hack isn’t so much about looks; it’s about your safety on the road. Place a penny in your tire treads (Lincoln’s head should be upside-down). If your tread covers part of his head, you’re in good shape. If it doesn’t touch his head, replace your tires ASAP.

Ooh, pretty!

OK, this one has nothing to do with safety or organization, it just looks really cool. You can use Post-It notes to cover the light cut-outs in your dash and add an awesome rainbow effect.

Cup holders or cupcake holders?

Everyone knows how gross car cup holders can get. If you place one of those silicone cupcake liners in your cupholder, they’ll make it much easier to dump out and wipe clean! This next car hack is pretty genius.


Use a couple of carabiners to create headrest hooks. You can use them to keep your groceries, purse, umbrella, or pretty much anything else off the floor.

Here’s a good one for parents!

(Or people with a lot of friends!) A muffin tray in a small basket is much sturdier than the drink trays you usually get from fast food restaurants —and they can hold more drinks, too.

Another use for laundry baskets:

Pop a couple laundry baskets in your trunk and use them to hold your groceries whenever you go shopping. Not only will this keep them from falling over, but it also makes it easier to carry them all in at once.

Make a glove box kit.

Rather than keeping all those important papers loose in your glove box, get a plastic coupon organizer (super cheap at the dollar store or office supply store) and keep everything in neatly labeled pockets.

Bungee fun.

Here’s another smart way to store your groceries in your trunk: Use a bungee cord! Loop the bungee cord through the bag handles to keep them from falling over and spilling. This next hack is another way to keep your ride smelling fresh.

These aren’t just for laundry!

Pour a few tablespoons of those super-scented laundry booster crystals into a drawstring bag and keep one in your car. You could even double down and make a little sachet using a dryer sheet!

Buy kitty litter (even if you don’t have a cat).

During the winter months, it’s smart to keep a bucket of kitty litter in your trunk. It can be used to increase traction on icy roads in a pinch. Also, having the extra weight in your car can increase traction if your vehicle has rear-wheel drive!

That’s not the only thing kitty litter is good for!

You can also place some in a sock on your dashboard to keep your windshield from fogging up. Yes, seriously.

Get yourself a shoe organizer!

Hang a shoe organizer on the back of your passenger seat for an easy way to organize kids toys and snacks. Or shoes, if you happen to have a bunch of them in your car.

Get a magnetic phone mount.

Seriously, you can easily find one on Amazon for under 10 bucks, and they are such a game changer. Not having to fiddle with your phone mount every time you get into and out of the car is worth the (very small!) investment. This next hack is also super cheap!

Take the trash out.

Rather than throwing your fast food wrappers onto the floor of your backseat, buy a thin container and use it as a makeshift trash can. Just make sure you remember to empty it every once in awhile.

A place to hang your hat (or purse).

Install one of those Command hooks on the center console (or another convenient location) as a place to hang your purse while you drive. You can also use it to hold a gift bag (as seen above) or anything else you don’t want to tip over.


You can use toothpaste to clean hazy headlights — it really works! Just smear some toothpaste on your headlights, rub it in, and wipe it off. Voilà! (And they’ll smell great, too! Not that that’s important.)

Tiny containers FTW!

If your center console has one large landing area, consider splitting it up with several small containers. You can get them from the dollar store or even reuse those plastic gum containers or something similar. It’s easier to clean these out than having to lug your vacuum cleaner outside every time you want to clean up.

In case of emergencies:

If you ever need to get out of your car and can’t open the door, the metal spikes that attach your headrest to your seat can be used to break the glass. They work best if you push them into the gap at the bottom of the window and pry the window free. Share this with someone whose car is always a mess!