Most people have a vehicle and while most use a car every day to go from here to there, it is important to remember that your car should be used for transportation and not storage.

While it can become very easy to let your car become a storage space, it’s not recommended. While it’s perfectly okay to keep some things there, and there are many things you should store in your car, there are plenty of other items that really shouldn’t be there for a prolonged amount of time.

And, of course, there are even some other things (ahem, living things) that you shouldn’t leave in your car even when you’re just leaving it for a short stretch of time.


Ironically, the active ingredients in sunscreen break down in high heat. Leaving it in the car on a hot day could reduce its effectiveness. Plus, the heat could cause it to explode, leaving you with a hot mess.

Water bottles

Although the research is a bit unclear, studies have linked BPA and phthalates, chemicals found in plastic water bottles, with health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Letting a bottle sit in the sun and heat up could cause these chemicals to leach into the water. Plus, if the bottle has been lying around for a while, it could start harboring microorganisms.

Dog in a Hot Car
Dog in a Hot Car


This one is important for those who enjoy a refreshment post-employment hours. Wait until after work or errands to pick up a bottle of wine. If the bottle gets too hot, the flavor could be affected, and the liquid could expand enough to seep around the cork or push the cork out a bit, contaminating the wine inside.


Save your grocery run for the end of your errands list. Perishable food should be put in the fridge within two hours in most cases. In the summer, you have an even shorter window. If it’s more than 32°C, food shouldn’t be left out for more than an hour, according to the health regulators.

Aerosol cans

There’s a reason for the fine print on aerosol cans’ warning labels: Don’t store in temperatures above 50°C. As the product’s temperature climbs, so does the pressure inside that lets it spray continuously. In rare cases the heat in a car can get so intense that the aerosol explodes, especially if you leave it in direct sunlight.

Young Children and Pets

Even if you don’t expect an errand to take more than a few minutes, leaving children alone in the car on a hot day puts their safety at risk. Dogs and cats are also at risk in hot temps. Hundreds of pets die every year from overheating in vehicles. Just don’t leave them in there.

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