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Snack Test Dummies: kids’ in-car snacks ranked from worst to best to clean

Snack Test Dummies: kids’ in-car snacks ranked from worst to best to clean

As the family car is transformed into a travelling tuck box for the summer holiday, research from car insurance provider 1ST CENTRAL reveals which snacks parents should pack and those which should be given the boot.  

Over a quarter of parents (27%) admit they will give their kids anything to avoid the dreaded ‘are we there yet’ question, but it appears that it doesn’t need to be unhealthy treats which hit the road.

Despite their soft and spreadable natures, hummus and fruit were identified as the easiest to clean from the car, whilst milk and chocolate proved the toughest to remove, according to car cleaning expert, Tom Puttick from All That Gleams, who was enlisted to share his top tips on how to clean some of the most common snacks given to kids in the car.

Just as you would find them lodged between the cushions of the back seat, crisps and biscuits are firmly in the middle of the cleaning list, whilst popcorn comes in just a kernel after them in the ranking.

Worst to best in-car snacks to clean:

  1. Milk
  2. Chocolate
  3. Yoghurt
  4. Ice-cream
  5. Crisps
  6. Biscuits
  7. Popcorn
  8. Muffins
  9. Banana
  10. Hummus

As nearly a quarter of parents (23%) claim they no longer clean their cars regularly and a tenth go even further to say they never clean their car anymore, help is at hand in the form of baby wipes, which according to the research, are just as essential as games and sat-nav for family car journeys.

Commenting on the results, master car detailer Tom Puttick said: “The thought of finding a rotten blueberry, mouldy crumbs or greasy smears on the window is enough to put any car loving parent off taking their kids on a road trip this summer. But there are some handy household products you can take on the ride to ensure if spillages happen, you can clean them up in no time.

“Baby wipes are the hero for so many parents – it’s not just bums, but the seats they sit on that can be saved by these softies. I also swear by clean tea towels and bicarbonate of soda too. Not everyone is going to have a steam cleaner like I do, so I’ve worked with 1ST CENTRAL to pull together some family friendly hacks to help remove stains from some of the nastiest snacks.”

Though perhaps not all the blame for in-car mess should be placed with its younger passengers. A quarter of parents (25%) admit they’ve stained their car with makeup, and a sixth (16%) have left remnants of their breakfast from their morning commute.

Andy James, UK CEO at 1ST CENTRAL said: “Having had young kids of my own I remember the carnage they can create in the back seat as they munch through sweets and snacks. The ‘snack test dummies’ experiment was a way of engaging with an expert to provide parents with useful hints and tips on how to save your car from long-term damage, and helping them to understand which snacks are the worst offenders.”


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