How to Clean an Automobile’s Interior During Covid-19?

covid-19 car disinfecting

Would you like to clean your car interior for the novel Coronavirus, without damaging the surfaces?

By this point, we’ve all come to know that thorough hand-washing and cleaning high-contact surfaces are the best-proven methods to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the world’s top health professionals are all agreed. Disinfecting can save lives.

This is especially true if you have a hunch that someone with Coronavirus has been inside your car. Cars and trucks have many commonly touched surfaces. These include, your door handle, steering wheel, and shifter to name just a few. In this case, immediate disinfection can make all the difference. Moreover, if you habitually carry various passengers, it is critical to clean these contact surfaces.

That said, how should you disinfect all those surfaces without damaging your car’s interior?

Sample High-Touch Areas

Door Handles


Engine Start Button

Seat Belt

Seat Adjuster

Window Control

Mirror Adjuster

Gear Shift


Signal Indicator

All Dashboard Controls




What Not to Do?

First, some options should be avoided at all costs. Hydrogen peroxide and bleach, for example, can damage your upholstery. Additionally, ammonia-based cleaners should be avoided. These can damage your touch screens by removing their anti-fingerprint and anti-glare coatings. Moreover, never use anything abrasive when disinfecting a touchscreen device, including tissues or paper towels. Lastly, use common sense. Don’t treat all surfaces equally.

What You Should Do to Clean Your Car for Covid-19?


Most importantly, use gloves if disinfecting a vehicle. The CDC specifically 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.”
how to kill covid-19 in car with alcohol

Try Alcohol-Based Cleaners

The Centers for Disease Control recommends cleaning with alcohol solutions of 70% alcohol is the most effective. Alcohol doesn’t just protect against Covid-19, but it is friendly to most vehicle surfaces. Just be sure to keep it away from the leather upholstery. Most leather has a protective layer, but unless you know the manufacturer’s specifications, it’s much better to be safe rather than sorry.

soap to get rid of coronavirus in vehicle

Soap and Water

Another versatile solution which works on most surfaces, including leather, is a basic solution of soap and water. Just don’t scrub too hard, or get your interior fabrics too damp.

how to clean car interior with microfiber

Microfiber Towels or 100% Cotton T-Shirts

In general, microfiber towels and/or old cotton t-shirts are a great solution that can be used almost anywhere.

A Word About Leather 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 disinfecting wipes are ideal, but a damp cloth with water and soap is likely to do the trick.

Stopping Covid-19

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

Professional Detailing

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

How to Clean an Automobile’s Interior During Covid-19? | Bob Howard Nissan