How to clean any virus from your car's interior

These days everyone is worried about getting CoronaVirus or spreading it to others. As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the globe, it’s crucial that we all do our bit to reduce its spread. For us drivers, limiting travel to essential journeys is a must, but we should also remember to thoroughly clean the inside of our cars.

We've devised a guide that highlights the worst infection areas could be, what supplies you need, and how to properly clean your car interior to reduce viral risks. (Note: This guide follows information in the government page for cleaning in non-healthcare settings.)

Cleaning checklist

  • Driver’s seat

  • Steering wheel, including horn and infotainment controls 

  • Control stalks 

  • Ignition and power button

  • Keys

  • Dashboard

  • Air vents – passenger and central

  • Gear stick

  • Infotainment/radio

  • Heating controls

  • All seats

  • Seatbelts and clips

  • Seat adjust controls

  • Head rests

  • Seat pockets

  • Roof and doors

  • Door handles and releases

  • Door pocket 

  • Window switches

  • Interior lights

  • Grab handles

  • Boot

  • Parcel shelf

  • Boot floor tab

  • Other

  • Glove box and log-book

  • Central storage

  • Cupholders

  • Bonnet release lever

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Guidelines recommend using personal protective equipment or PPE when cleaning in non-healthcare settings. If you suspect someone with CoronaVirus has been in your car, or touched any of its surfaces, you’ll need to protect yourself before you start. As a minimum, you need to wear:

  • gloves (preferably disposable)

  • apron (preferably disposable)

If an area has been contaminated with bodily fluids (sneeze, cough, urine, blood, etc), you should consider wearing:

  • goggles to protect your eyes

  • a mask to protect your mouth and nose

What you’ll need to disinfect your car

With many shops closed to slow the spread of COVID-19 you might think you’d struggle to find the cleaning products you may need. Thankfully, a lot can be achieved with very little. The bare minimum includes bleach-free antibacterial wipes and bin liners. Once you’ve got the appropriate protective clothing on and the necessary disinfecting kit, it's time to get cleaning! Before you start with the interior, just make sure you give all the door handles a good wipedown.

Start with the driver’s seat

  • Steering wheel (don't forget the horn) and infotainment controls 

  • Control stalks 

  • Ignition and/or power button

  • Keys 

Your steering wheel is always the most touched surface in the car. So it seems fitting to start cleaning it firs, use antibacterial wipes all around the wheel, including those out-of-sight areas where fingers tend to grip.   Don’t forget to wipe the horn and any infotainment controls found on the steering wheel. You’ll also need to clean the full length of all control stalks for indicators, headlights and windscreen wipers. Although they’re technically not part of your car, don't forget you'll need to clean your car's keys. Make sure you clean the handle, metal and the ignition itself, as these are the parts most often touched. If your car uses a button to start, give it a quick wipe too.

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