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Spring Muddy Dog Car Tips

Cars Craft & Design

Spring has sprung, bringing with it a combination of wet, muddy conditions. I’ve been using a couple of simple techniques for keeping the Subaru from turning into a smelly sandbox. The first is using a twin-sized fitted sheet for covering the backseat, aka Sugar’s dog bed. They’re much cheaper than specialty dog-specific seat covers (especially if you score one at the thrift store), and they’re easy to wash. If I think conditions are going to be particularly soggy, I’ll put down an extra sheet, blanket, or towel on the backseat, and then cover with the fitted sheet.
Next up is a gem of a trick gleaned from Michael de Jong’s awesome book Clean: The Humble Art of Zen Cleaning. To eliminate funky wet dog odor from your ride, soak a piece of bread in a bowl of white vinegar, roll up all your windows, and leave the bowl in the car overnight. In the morning, like magic, the funk is gone. There is a slight vinegar odor that dissipates in no time.
Last, but not least, for removing dog hair stuck to your seats, instead of expensive pet-specific fur removers, try a rubber dishwashing glove. Put that bad boy on, and run your hand across anything covered in fur (works great for clothing too).
I would never deny my dog Sugar (seen above after a brisk swim in the Sierra’s Donner Lake) the joys of getting wet and dirty, and these tips help keep my car not so wet and dirty when it’s time to load up and go home. Happy playing!

4 thoughts on “Spring Muddy Dog Car Tips

  1. luckyparker says:

    How is this different from just leaving a bowl of vinegar in the car – what does the bread soaking in the vinegar accomplish?

  2. Goli Mohammadi says:

    I can’t speak to the exact science of why the bread helps, but I suspect it has to do with the bread’s absorption. I’ve tried this without the bread and it’s not nearly as effective. I’ve also heard that you can use bread to soak up, say, onion odor by putting a chunk of bread in the same bag as an unused portion of onion when storing in your fridge.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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