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6 min read

    6 min read

    One of the nice side benefits of driving for Lyft and Uber has been that it’s forced me to keep my car very clean.  I always wash it once a week now and keep the inside spotless.  When non-rideshare people come into my car they always comment on how clean it is, suckers.

    Today, RSG contributor Scott Van Maldegiam takes a look at everything he does to keep his car looking pretty and prevent a puker.  For those of us that like to make the big bucks during party hours, we know it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens so it’s best to be prepared!

    GetUpside Gas App

    Here are the important features of my car that make it both easy to clean and protect the interior

    Did the title get your attention?  I hope so.  I have heard so many stories about drivers who have had people puke in their car.  Thankfully, it has not happened to me…. yet.  But it really isn’t a matter of if it happens, but a matter of when.  You can’t prevent it, but you can prepare for it.  Also, planning for other messes is also a good idea.  More than anything, passengers appreciate a clean car. I will share with you what I do to mess proof my vehicle and a few stories along the way.

    Leather seats

    I know you can’t change your current seats from cloth to leather, but having leather seats makes it so much easier to clean up the occasional mess or spill.

    Weathertech Floorliners

    These mats are the BEST investment you can make.  While I haven’t had someone puke in my car, I have had my share of messes.  From picking people up from both Riotfest and Lalapalooza (or should I say “Mudfests”) to people spilling beer in my car, the floorliners protected my car.  It is so easy to take your car to a self serve care wash, remove the floorliners and power wash them back to new.

    Ziploc bags, Gallon size

    I didn’t go out and find barf bags, but I do have a few zip loc bags that are within reach of passengers or myself.  If given enough warning, I will be able to give the passenger a bag in time to protect my car.

    Quick detail spray and rags

    For the occasional messy passenger, it is always good to have something to clean up a mess.

    Click here to view all the gear that rideshare drivers should have with them


    Now for a few stories

    Beer Down

    Shortly after I had started driving for UberX, I picked up passengers that brought a beer into the car.  I wasn’t aware that it was open though and after I dropped off these passengers, the smell of beer was very strong.  As I pulled up to my next pickup, I got out of the car to check the back seat area only to find that almost a whole bottle of beer had been spilled into my backseat floorliner.  Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased.  I took the floorliner and carefully pulled out of the car keeping the liquid in the line and was able to pour it out of the car.  Of course the floorline still smelled like beer.  At that time, I kept paper towels in the car so I used that to wipe off the matt.  I could still smell the beer after doing this, but I asked the next few passengers and they said they didn’t smell it.  Of course, they had all been drinking so that was probably the reason.  At the end of the night, I went to a self serve car wash and power washed the floor liners.

    Music Mud Fests

    Considering the summer we had in Chicago with all the rain, it was normal to pick up people from music fests where everyone was pretty muddy.  I was pretty lucky though in that most of the mess that was made was on the floor liner, the bottom of the inside of the doors and the backs of the seats.  To clean this off was a trip to the self serve car wash and using the Quick detail spray.  Again, no big deal.

    Post Throw Up

    My last story is about the time where I thought my vomit cherry was going to get popped… but didn’t.  This is going to start out like a bad joke… a guy and girl walk out of a bar.  The guy is helping the girl to walk.  These are my passengers.  They get into the car.  The girl proceeds to let out a big JUICY burp.  My first thought is “crap… here we go.”  But then I could smell the burp.  It was nasty and it smelled like vomit.  I am a positive kind of guy so I immediately looked at the bright side as I tried not to gag…  It was obvious that the girl had already thrown up.  Thankfully, the ride was short because the girl never shut up.  Normally this doesn’t bother me but in this case it did.  Why? you might ask.  Because she was speaking complete jibberish.  Nothing she said made any sense.  It takes a special kind of talent to speak english words that when put together mean nothing.

    As a side note, it has become obvious to me while doing mentor rides that prospective drivers haven’t really thought about the process of driving.  I put a lot of thought into how to make my job easier, what I can do to make more money and how to make the ride more enjoyable for the passenger.  I am not saying everyone should do it like I do.  I am only saying it is best if you think about things ahead of time and have a plan.  Let me know if you have any questions you would like me to specifically answer about how I operate.

    Click here to view all the gear that rideshare drivers should have with them

    New Lyft Drivers Get Up To $50!

    New Lyft drivers can earn up to a $50 bonus after 20 rides. You can sign up here using my referral code.  And if you are an UberX driver in Chicago, you could be eligible to receive $500 when you sign up with Lyft and complete 20 rides!

    What do you guys do to barf proof your car or prevent any spills from happening?  I hope I didn’t just jinx myself with this article, we’ll see how this weekend goes!

    -Scott @ The Rideshare Guy

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    Scott Van Maldegiam

    Scott Van Maldegiam

    I'm Scott, a full time health benefits consultant and rideshare driver. I spent 11 years working for Motorola and Tellabs using my EE degree and MBA before transitioning into the mortgage industry where I spent 6 years. I then spent 5 years in the cycling industry before transitioning into health insurance.

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