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13 Products You Didn’t Know You Needed for Your Car

Did you know that the average American spends roughly 290 hours per year behind the wheel? It’s a startling statistic, but it’s also one that leads us two very important points: 1) we all commute way too much and 2) because we spend so much time on the road, our cars should always be safe, clean, and most of all, comfortable!

To ensure that the latter is always fulfilled, we’ve compiled a list of 13 of the most versatile products that everyone should keep in their cars at all times—and the best part is that you probably own each of them already! For full tutorials and more information on each product, click on the links below.

  1. String

    string car doorRoman UrsuHack

    Drive an older car that doesn’t come equipped with electronic locks? We’ve been there, so we know all too well how easy it can be to manually lock everything up, slam the doors, and then realize that you accidentally left your keys RIGHT on the front seat!

    If you find yourself in this aggravating scenario, don’t call a pricey locksmith when you can release your locked door by threading a couple of meters of ordinary string through the lock. Protip: If you’ve managed to lock your string in the car as well, just tie together your shoelaces!

  2. Toothbrush Holder

    car pen holderRachel Talbott

    While today’s sleek dashboards and consoles may look a heck of a lot sportier than the clunkier interiors seen in most older cars, they are missing one key feature—storage space! Luckily, your average dollar store toothbrush holder serves as a perfect storage device for small items like pens, cosmetics, or coins.

    Stick it in your cup holder, or hide it in your concealed storage console; you’ll be amazed at how that one, simple change can free up so much space!

  3. Plastic Bins


    Give the floating items that live in your car’s trunk (i.e. sunscreen, diapers, extra clothing, first aid kit, etc.), a permanent place in a plastic storage bin. Not only is this hack super economical, it will only take you a few minutes to organize the items into their new home.

  4. WD-40

    CarScratchWD-40Crazy Russian Hacker

    Have one (or many!) unsightly scratches adorning your otherwise flawless paint job? If so, buff them out with the very oil that banishes squeaking and creaking—WD40!

  5. Olive Oil

    dusting dashboardCrazyRussianHacker

    Don’t get caught spraying noxious chemicals on your dusty interior when a couple of drops of all-natural olive oil does the job just as well. Just wipe away with a microfiber cloth and you are good to go!

  6. Toothbrush and toothpaste

    toothbrush headlightChrisFix

    Did you know that the items that you use to keep your mouth clean are the same ones that can restore your old headlights? A good brushing will not only make your car look ‘younger’, it will also ensure that your lights shine as bright as possible.

  7. Cat Litter

    cat litterDaveHax

    If you feel like you are constantly fighting a losing battle against foggy windows, look no further than this ingenious cat litter pouch. ‘Why cat litter?’ you may be asking? Well, it turns out that the handy item does a great job at soaking up excess moisture in the air. It may sound weird, but it works!

  8. Dryer Lint

    lintAlan Levine via Flickr

    Believe it or not, balled up dryer lint works wonders on the most stubborn of ‘bird droppings’. Just stick a drying cycle’s worth in a plastic baggie and break out the lint whenever you notice one of those annoying white stains. It works wonders and it WON’T scratch your paint. Score!

  9. Rope

    car rope hackShake the Future

    It’s safe to say that we all have fears of getting stuck on the side of a deserted road with a dead car battery. Talk about scary! Luckily, there is a tried and true hack that, with a bit of elbow grease, has been known to revive batteries. All you need is a jack, a rope, and a little bit of strength!

  10. Filled Water Bottle

    water phone hackjordanrandomness

    Nope, it’s not about hydration; traveling with a filled water bottle means you could also be reaping the benefits of a stronger cell signal when you need it. Just place the bottle of water by your device, restart if necessary, and instantly enjoy more clear calls and faster searching. Who knew?!

  11. Pool Noodle

    pool noodle carLifeHacker

    Let’s be honest; there’s nothing worse than getting your new car’s doors scratched or bumped in a parking lot, but luckily, there’s a preventative measure that you can take. You wouldn’t believe it, but attaching halved pool noodles to the exterior bolt heads will create a protective barrier between you and the other car. It may look a bit silly, but the hack sure does work!

  12. Rubbing Alcohol

    icy windshieldKen Weathers

    If you live in a freezing cold climate, then you should really make rubbing alcohol your new best friend this winter! Not only is the stuff dirt cheap, it is also known to dissolve frost on windshields fast. Just mix with some water, spray on, and watch the magic happen.

  13. Steel Wool

    steel wool windshieldRVgeeks

    Years of nasty weather can really do a job on your windshield, making visibility challenging, especially at night. Fortunately, getting your glass back to factory-fresh is a simple process—and it starts with cleaning that window with steel wool, of all things. Who would’ve thought?!

We don’t know about you, but we are literally throwing all of these items in our trunk as we write this. Talk about handy!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this list. Have you ever tried any of these DIY car hacks before? If so, which is your favorite? Would you like to add any other tips to this list?