How to Get Sand Out of Your Car
Sand – it gets everywhere! And we’re not just talking at the beach, in children’s playgrounds, Maleny Botanical Gardens… we’re talking in the carpets, down the back of the seat, the cup holders, door pockets, the boot, and maybe even the glovebox! It’s the scourge of family SUVs, tradies’ utes, and on-beach/outback-desert/off-road adventurers. You want to keep your Toyota pristine, so let’s find out how to get sand out of your car.
Round 1: It’s going down!
Start at the top. The carpets probably look the worst, but there’s no point getting them immaculate only to knock more sand off the dash and undo your good work.
Using a small dust brush or dry microfibre cloth, sweep the sand from dashboard, hard surfaces, and seats into a dustpan to remove it. If you have a soft brush attachment on your vacuum hose, use that on hard surfaces that your vacuum can access, and use the nozzle on upholstery. Microfibre is great for trapping small particles, but if you are using cloths, be sure to shake them out and change them often so that they don’t get full and scratch your surfaces.
Tip: Check everywhere from the top down. Did sandy fingers pull down the sun visor? Maybe!
Round 2: Hit the floor!
Wondering how to get sand out of your car carpet? If the sand in your car is making you agitated, it’s time to give it some agitation back!
Sand can get deep into the pile of carpets and mats and requires a bit of agitation to dislodge it. Start with the mats.
Take out the mats and give them a really good shake, but not too close to your vehicle – you don’t want to pick the sand up again in your shoes when you get back in the car. Knock the mats against a fence or tree, or hang them on a rail and beat them (pile side down) to dislodge as much sand as possible.
You can create a similar effect on interior carpets by slapping them sharply to vibrate sand closer the surface. Crazy, but it works!
Now use a stiff bristled brush or a clean rubber brush, working backwards and forwards across the pile to bring more sand up to the surface. Don’t forget to do this to the mats, too, and the carpet lining the boot!
Tip: Test a little inconspicuous area first to make sure the bristles aren’t too stiff and likely to leave your carpets bald.
Round 3: Suck it up!
It’s time to get serious with the vacuum. Vacuum the mats flat on the driveway or garage floor, working in different directions across the pile.
The nozzle attachment will work best on your car’s interior as the narrower point increases suction. Don’t forget to get down the back of the seats, under armrests, and to lift the spare wheel cover in the boot for sand that has gotten into there.
Repeat any of the above steps as required until you are satisfied with the result.
More Top Tips for Getting Sand Out Of Your Car
- For sand in hard-to-reach hard surface areas, like pocket corners, switches and grooves, try a little Blu-Tak or decorators’ masking tape to pick up stubborn grains.
- A vibration sander (without the pad attached) will help vibrate sand up to the surface of the carpet pile.
- A lint roller will get up behind pedals and under seats.
- Use the commercial vacuums at service stations; they might have a stronger suction and you won’t be damaging your own cleaner by clogging it with sand.
- Prevention is better than a cure: if you’re often heading to sandy areas, switch carpet mats for rubber mats and consider a boot liner or mud-mat (or even a tarpaulin) to protect your carpets from sand and saltwater.