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How To Disinfect Your Car Interior Without Damaging It


    A car to a man is nothing less than a love affair. Give a man his dream car, and he won’t need anything more. Maintaining and sanitizing your vehicle is equally essential. With the COVID – 19 pandemic, it is even more important to know how to disinfect your car without damaging the sensitive interior parts and electronic panels. The proper knowledge and technique will kill the virus and make you car bacteria, germs, and dust-free. Even if you give your car to an agency for disinfection and cleaning, you must know how to do it yourself. This knowledge will make you confident and will make your car safe for your loved ones.

    One of the best ways to disinfect your car is by washing and Vacuuming. However, Vacuuming and washing will clean your vehicle but may not kill the viruses. A car’s interiors comprise delicate and sensitive panels. The sanitizer we rub on our hands or any alcohol-based solution with more than 70% alcohol is effective against all kinds of viruses, including the coronavirus. Alcohol-based solutions disinfect most of the interiors; however, they may damage the electronic panels and sensors. Let’s begin the disinfection process.

    Selecting the Right Material to Disinfect the Interior of a Car

    Let us begin by selecting the suitable material to disinfect your car. These five items will be required to disinfect your car interiors. Most of them are available in your household store; else, they are readily available commercially off the shelf.

    1. Car Vacuum Cleaner: Vacuuming removes all the dirt and dust from hidden places in the car. A good Vacuum cleaner will help remove dust even from the nasty corners of the vehicle.
    2. Microfiber Cloth: Microfibre cloth catches dirt; they are soft and do not scratch your car surface. If you use a paper towel or cloth rags, they are abrasive and may rub against your car’s smooth surface. 
    3. Liquid Soap and Water: Soap solutions break the structure of the viruses and kill them. The most effective and economical way to fight the virus is by washing with soap and water. While disinfecting your car, one should not use alcohol-based solutions to intimation leather and leather covers. Alcohol will cause discoloration by damaging the outer layer. Use soft soap solution with water to disinfect leather seating.
    4. Isopropyl Alcohol-Based Solution: Remember that solution should be 70% alcohol base. You can also use disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray; they are also equally effective.
    5. Disposable Hand gloves: It is a good idea to wear disposable gloves when disinfecting your car. Remember to dispose of these used gloves safely, and don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water.

    Now you have all the material required for disinfecting your car. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Follow these steps so that you don’t miss out on any points.

    Step 1: Wash The Outer Body with a Soap Solution

    1. Remove all the items from the car that are kept inside, like chargers, bags, wallets, handbags. Remove the floor mats and wash them separately with soap and detergent and let them dry.
    2. Start with washing the car’s outer body with a soap solution and let the soap solution rest for a few minutes. Soap solution kills all kinds of viruses sticking on the body of the vehicle.
    3.  Wash it thoroughly with water to remove all dirt. Ensure you don’t miss out on unreachable places like door handles. 

    Step 2: Vacuum the Interior

    1. Remove all the dirt by vacuuming the car interiors. 
    2. Ensure the car is thoroughly clean under the seat, from side panels, carpets, dashboard, and leather upholstery. Removing dirt will make the disinfection process more effortless and effective.

    Step 3: Clean the Interiors with Soap Solution

    1. Make a soap solution in warm water. Use a microfiber cloth dipped in this soap solution for the disinfection process.
    2. Please start with the steering wheel since it is always in contact with you. Ensure no place is left out for dirt and virus to hide.
    3. Now disinfect the door handles and buttons on the door panel. Wipe the mirrors and any switches on them.
    4. Wipe the info panel, touch screen, and stereo system with a microfiber cloth. Don’t use alcohol; it will damage the touchscreen. Use of any abrasive material, paper towel, or cotton rags will leave scratch marks on the screen panel. You can also use a dry blower to remove dust particles on the car stereo.
    5. Cup holders may have stains of coffee or beverages. First, clean the dirt that is visible and then clean them with the wipes.
    6. Clean the seats with a soft soap solution; too much water and soap could deteriorate the seat cover material. Don’t scrub hard; it will wear off the covers. Don’t use alcohol for leather seats as it may cause discoloration. Another alternative is to test the liquid on a bit of leather surface. In case the color wears out, don’t use it. Use leather conditioners to regain the luster and shine. You can also use a leather cleaning solution or spray. Don’t forget to disinfect the car seat adjusters.
    7. Disinfect the floor with soap solution and water. Change the cloth and dip it regularly in the soap solution to clean the fabric. Floor mats are removed and washed separately with detergent and water. Please don’t soak the carpets with too much water as it will leave behind a mushy smell. Dry the rugs and mats thoroughly before putting them back in place.

    Step 4: Use Isopropyl Alcohol Solution for Frequently Touched Surfaces

    1. Surfaces such as steering, gear lever, handbrakes, sun visor, dashboard, seat buckles, window knobs, and adjustment levers are touched frequently. It would be best to sanitize such areas with an Isopropyl alcohol solution to ensure no virus or bacteria stays behind.
    2. Always keep hand sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol solution handy in your vehicle.
    3. Another way is using disinfectant wipes on surfaces like doors, steering wheels, cup holders, and other such bodies. 
    4. The disinfectant spray also works efficiently. These are good for surfaces that you cannot disinfect quickly, like carpets or upholstery. The spay is perfect for a larger body as well. 
    5. Keep these wipes and disinfectant spray handy in your car to regularly sanitize the steering wheel, gear lever, and other surfaces that are frequently touched while driving.

    Step 5: Wash Your Hands

    The final step is to remind you that you don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water once you are all done. Wash your hands frequently and stay safe.

    Things You Should Avoid to Disinfect your Car

      • Bleach. Bleach or hydrogen peroxide will undoubtedly kill the viruses, but it will also damage the vehicles’ vinyl and plastic. It would be best if you never used Ammonia-based agents.
      • All Solvents. Never use solvents such as alcohol, kerosene, and acetone. They will damage the interiors of the car.
      • Household Cleaning Agents. These will damage the upholstery, and they only work when they come in direct contact with the virus.
      • Tissue paper and ragged clothes: These are abrasive materials and will scratch your vehicle’s smooth surface.
      • Alcohol for Painted surfaces. Alcohol dissolves paint and will fade the color or will leave a stain.

    Quick Tips

      1. Soap is the most effective way to disinfect.
      2. Avoid bleaching agents and solvents.
      3. Use leather conditioners if you are disinfecting your car seats with alcohol-based disinfectants.
      4. Wipe off surfaces that come in contact frequently.
      5. Don’t forget to disinfect the inaccessible areas.


    Now you are safe, disinfected, and ready for your motoring adventure. Remember to carry hand sanitizer in your car and sanitize your hands whenever you are entering the vehicle. Ensure that other passengers sanitize their hands when they enter the vehicle. Keep your vehicle sanitized and free from viruses and bacteria. Do have a safe drive and follow these simple steps to disinfect your car interiors without damaging them.