Driving requires 100% focus--always. Especially in a country like the Philippines where traffic is basically no-holds-barred. And part of our local driving culture, sadly, are batshit-crazy traffic jams. Left stationary for several minutes at a time, this gives us short windows to, figuratively and literally, let go of the wheel. Given that there's enough time for it, one of the most productive things you can do while stuck in traffic is simple interior cleaning. These suggested tips aren't too complex and can be done quickly. Still, practice caution when doing them. You don't wan't to risk a fender-bender (or, knock on wood, something worse) just because your OC for cleanliness kicked in.
1. The traffic wipe-down
Keep a dedicated cloth for different surfaces. Have a cloth for the glass, for the dash, and for the rest of the interior. This will ensure that whenever you decide to do a quick wipe during a jam, no oil will make it to the glass surfaces. Also, a good practice is not to touch the glass or mirrors with your fingers. They'll stay cleaner for longer if you practice this.
2. Do some dusting
Wiping will only spread dust around, so keep a small, dry paintbrush handy. Get a one-inch trim brush (used for narrow woodwork) and go to work on your air-conditioner vents, and in other small spaces when traffic comes to a halt.
3. Shake off carpet debris
Providing traffic is at a literal standstill (only then should you do this), you can open your door a bit and pull the driver's side car mat out and give it a shake to remove any dirt and debris. Don't do this to any of the other mats, because you don't want to be up on your feet and away from the wheel.
4. Clean out your console
Parking receipts, toll gate receipts, drive-thru receipts, used tissues, assorted flyers--gather them up and ditch them at your next stop. Stuff them all in a paper or plastic bag during gridlock. Make sure you sanitize your hands with alcohol before touching anything (like the steering wheel, the shift knob, the parking brake, etc.).
5. Organize your glove box
Over some time, you'll be sure to accumulate a bit of a mess in there. Empty it out, get rid of the trash (see #4), spray some alcohol in there, and wait for it to dry before reorganizing your stuff.
1. Keep a pair of work gloves in the trunk so that your hands stay clean when changing a flat.
2. Lightly knock your heels on the running board before entering the car to get rid of loose dirt.
3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze--even when alone--to keep your car germ-free. And lastly...
4. Don't throw any trash out your window. Be ashamed if you keep your car’s interior clean but litter the environment. And please don’t spit out of the car. Not only is this absolutely disgusting, you may also inadvertently get your icky saliva on unsuspecting cyclists, pedestrians and motorbike riders.
Ultimately, no one wants to be stuck in a car long enough to give it car-show-worthy interior detailing. But these simple tips should go a long way in making the most of your otherwise wasted time in traffic. Of course, it's always best if you live near your workplace, sparing yourself from the daily stress of motor-vehicle congestion.
Megaworld's San Antonio Residence offers one such solution. Located along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, it's just a stone's throw away from Makati's bustling central business district and lifetsyle center, offering its residents life that's traffic-free.
Do you want traffic jams to become a thing of the past? Click here to learn how.