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Cleaning an Automobile’s Interior During Coronavirus

coronavirus car disinfecting and cleaning

Would you like to know how to clean a car’s interior for the novel Coronavirus, without creating damage to its surfaces?

We’ve already learned that thorough hand-washing and disinfecting high-touch surfaces are the best ways to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. Regarding this, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the most respected health officials in the world are of one accord. Regular cleaning can save lives.

This is especially true if you suspect that someone with the novel Coronavirus has traveled in your car. Cars have many frequently touched surfaces. Examples of these are the door handle, steering wheel, and shifter to name just a sample few of the many. In this situation, immediate cleaning can make all the difference in stopping the virus. Furthermore, if you commonly transport passengers, cleaning these contact surfaces is a must.

Given all that, how should you disinfect all those surfaces without damaging your car?

Sample High-Touch Areas

Door Handles


Engine Start Button

Seat Belt

Seat Adjuster

Window Control

Mirror Adjuster

Gear Shift


Signal Indicator

All Dashboard Controls




Cleaners to Avoid:

For starters, there are certain alternatives to be avoided at all costs. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide, for example, can wreak havoc on your car’s upholstery. Another group to avoid are any cleaners with an ammonia base. These can damage touch screens by removing anti-fingerprint and anti-glare coating. Moreover, don’t use anything abrasive when cleaning a touchscreen device. This includes paper towels or tissues. Finally, use common sense. Don’t treat all surfaces the same.

What You Should Do When Cleaning for Covid-19?


First and foremost, wear gloves when cleaning your vehicle. The CDC recommends the following:

“Gloves and any other disposable PPE used for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle should be removed and disposed of after cleaning; wash hands immediately after removal of gloves and PPE with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.”cdc.gov

how to disinfect coronavirus in car with alcohol

Try Alcohol Solutions

The Centers for Disease Control recommends alcohol-based cleaners of 70% alcohol is most effective. Alcohol not only kills Coronavirus, but it is friendly to most vehicle surfaces. Just be sure to keep it away from the leather. Most leather has a protective layer, but unless you know the manufacturer’s specifications, it is much better to be safe rather than sorry.

using water and soap to get rid of covid-19 in vehicle

A Soap & Water Mixture

Another effective solution that is truly effective on most surfaces, including leather, is a basic solution of water and soap. Just be sure not to scrub too aggressively, or get your interior fabrics too wet.

how to clean vehicle interior with cotton

Microfiber Towels or 100% Cotton T-Shirts

In general, microfiber towels and/or old cotton t-shirts are a versatile all-surface solution that can be applied just about anywhere.

A Word About Leather Seats and Surfaces

Although we’ve mentioned leather more than a few times above, it’s worth repeating again. Avoid bleach, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia-based cleaners, and alcohol. Leather cleaning wipes are ideal, but a damp cloth with water and soap will likely do the trick.

Stopping the Spread of Covid-19

Of course, the strongest solution to stop community spread is to simply stay home and not share your vehicle. If you must share a car, however, get service, drive a rental, or transport others, then frequent disinfecting is the most effective way to keep yourself and others safe.

Professional Detailing

Of course, if you are truly anxious, a professional cleaning or detailing is the most effective treatment. Contact us today for a complete list of cleaning treatments and services currently available.

Cleaning an Automobile’s Interior During Coronavirus | Bob Howard Toyota

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