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Car cleaning secrets of the experts: Car survival kit…

The chances of being trapped in a snow drift for several days are pretty slim in Britain, but a car survival kit can help protect your car from bargains! Are the kind of person that pops out for a loaf of bread and comes home with bedding plants and a gazebo? If you are, the we strongly recommend that you find space in the boot of your car for the following items: a couple of black bin liners, some plastic sheeting, an old towel and a travel blanket. It seems that on the first few hot and sunny days of the year, lots of you rush down to B&Q and buy yourselves house paint or fence paint, and this is when disaster strikes for a great many people! Paint tins are not vacuum sealed, they contain air, and you take the tin from a cool air conditioned building and place it in a hot car. The air and paint expands and there is a good chance that the lid will pop off before you manage to get home. During the spring and early summer, we see as many as 3 cars a week with boots or foot wells full of paint, varnish, lacquer and wood stain!
Most tins now come with three or more metal clips on the lit to hold it down, but they don’t seem to help, a far better solution for avoiding a car full of paint is to seal the paint tins in a bin liner. The great irony is that most DIY centres actually sell bin liners and plastic sheeting!
Also remember that you can buy very cheap throws and blankets in Ikea, because Ikea is another place that can spell disaster for your car… so many times we hear the story that you have found some cheap mirrors or picture frames at the super-store, and to avoid breaking them, you put them in the main passenger area instead of in the boot with all the other shopping! This sounds like a sensible idea at first, but it’s far cheaper to replace a £5.99 picture frame, than it is to repair leather upholstery. And for another fiver, you could have bought a blanket to wrap the picture frame in. Travel blankets are very useful, you can use them as padding to stop stuff moving about, as packaging to protect luggage and your car, and if you do ever get stuck in a snow drift, they could save your life! You can get lined blankets which have a waterproof plastic coating on one side but these are expensive, instead we suggest that you get some plastic sheeting, so if you do fancy a picnic at the county show, you can put the sheeting on the damp ground, and the blanket on top. A few meters of plastic sheeting costs next to nothing and can save your boot area on those trips to the dump, or on the way back from the garden centre… and if you really can’t stay away from garden centres, and cant resist bedding plants, maybe you should consider buying a purpose made boot liner.
And if you can find one, it’s also a good idea to keep an old towel in your car, it’s good for wet dogs and muddy boots. And if anything does get spilt in your car, putting a towel over it will help soak it up, a damp towel over wet paint will prevent it drying, making it easier for us to clean up for you. None of these items takes up much space and they can help you avoid costly repairs and clean-ups. Remember you have them next time you are at B&Q, Ikea, or the local Indian take-away.