Keeping a Dog Car Clean [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Keeping a Dog Car Clean

11-24-2005, 06:14 PM
My dog (Ethel, a friendly pit bull :-D ) rides with me all over town.

Despite owning the car for nearly two years, I haven't had it detailed yet because I figure she'll just mess it up again soon. Her hair flies all over everywhere, and when she slups water from her cup in the holder that too gets all over and mixes with the sand and grime she brings in.

I do a cursory clean up as best I can, but to pay someone $100 to get the nooks cleaned seems foolish if it's going to be messed up again soon. Besides, being a good dog car is why I chose an Element over a Prius.

But on the other hand, a car is an investment and should be thoroughly maintained, including detail cleaning.

What do you folks say?

(Yes, I am aware that it's safest and cleanest if I keep her in a cage in the car, but she's a big, heavy dog used to her freedom would go bonkers behind bars. We are in a very rural and remote desert area where accidents are very, very rare. BTW, I've also read clear studies that it's far safer for people in cars to wear helmets--dramatically reduces brain injuries--but people prefer to take the risk, both for themselves and their kids.)

11-24-2005, 10:41 PM
Yes it is a good Idia to give it a good cleaning. The dirt holds moisture that will cause Rust.

11-25-2005, 12:08 AM
My dog is small and dosn't shed much, so he doesn't contribute much. But I've driven enough on dirt roads, so there is dust in all the nooks and cranies. While the door seals are good, there must be a few openings in the sheet metal around the rear wheel wells. Camping, especially in rainy weather, also tracks quite a bit of dirt inside. After a major vacation trip I'll clean both outside and inside surfaces. I've learned to take good care of the door seals, since my other car, a used RAV4, dirty seals produced a lot of noise.


hiker chick
11-25-2005, 09:53 PM
I will never bother with a detailer. The E is so easy to clean I'm pleased to do it myself.

Having a Samoyed, I love not having carpet!

11-25-2005, 10:29 PM
A Samoyed ? Are you sure that isnt a mini-Polar Bear???

11-25-2005, 11:44 PM
what a pretty boy! and king of the rock too!

it sounds like Mojave19 might be a good candidate for our latest E cleaning method: roll down all windows, remove sunroof, lift top of clamshell hatch, and drive at highway speeds until 98% of the dog hair blows out.

we use the blower end of the shop-vac to get rid of the big clumps of dog hair and vacuum the seats every so often, but speaking as someone who kept an ancient Toyota TERCEL in tip top cherry condition for far too many years, I feel remarkably unmotivated to clean the E, even tho it's so new that we still have the paper dealer plates attached.

somehow looking at dirt on the E isn't the same as looking at dirt on a car. the Element looks great clean or dirty. so we wash the noseprints and slobber off the windows when we can't see thru them anymore, and about the only time we clean it is when it's so dirty that sitting in it gets us dirty too.

11-26-2005, 08:49 AM
Ha ha!!! We used to do that in a 90 Dakota pickup after the corgis had a bath. That double coat would fill the cab of that truck and fly out in no time. Looked like a hair tumbleweed flying around.

Thanks for the laugh,

11-26-2005, 06:58 PM
We have a Siberian who sheds like crazy. I usually go once a month and have the inside cleaned out. Because we are in Texas I also like to have the inside wiped down with conditioner. (or is it Armorall?) It is worth the 25.00.

Any other time I just pull into a gas station and up to the air pump, open all the doors and go to it. Blows out all the hair out of the nook and crannies and doesn't cost a thing. :grin:

11-26-2005, 11:17 PM
My 220 mph leaf/grass blower does the trick. The next step is spray the entire vinyl interior (including dash) with a decent protectant. I'll sometimes use window cleaner and paper towels/rags to remove any serious dirt. After cleaning, apply the protectant conditioner. Some of my dogs hair will stick in between fibers in the seats. I vacuum and also use duct tape. I've also heard, and will try turning a rubber kitchen glove inside out. It's supposed to bunch up and move hair. Sometimes, i have to shampoo the seats. i use the hand tool from my rug shampooer. I can control the % of cleaner in the solution. Windex inside of glass. This unfortunately has been repeated, over and over because two big dogs make a mess.

11-29-2005, 01:04 AM
I have to admit, the title of this thread made me chuckle a bit.

My dogs (two Border Collies and a Papillon) ride in crates (I've taken the rear seats out and it's Dogland back there) but I can't say this keeps the interior any cleaner. I find that all I need is a small dustpan and hand broom to keep the interior looking about as good as a dog car ever looks. I gave up on spotlessness a long time ago -- I work my dogs (the Border Collies, anyway) and so they're often tracking dirt, grass, sheep poop, and what have you into the car with them.

Having them in crates does mean that the front seats stay quite clean, actually, since they never climb up on them. Of course, the floor mats are still a wreck.

I can't recall if you said you use a seatbelt or not, but if you won't crate in the car I strongly suggest one for your dog. Not only will this protect her in case of an accident, it will keep her from escaping in case you are in an accident that causes the doors to open or windows to break. One of my biggest nightmares is being in an accident and having my dogs loose on the highway. In crates I know this won't happen, and I also know they won't become projectiles in case of a crash (the crates are all lashed down with ratchet straps).