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Ways to Clean a Car’s Interior For Covid-19

covid-19 car cleaning

Would you like to know how to clean a car’s interior plastic and fabric for Covid-19, without damaging your surfaces?

By this point, we’ve all come to know that disinfecting common surfaces and hand-washing are the most effective methods to fight back against the community spread of Covid-19. When it comes to this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the most respected health officials in the world are of one mind. Routine disinfecting saves lives.

This is even more true when you believe that someone with the novel Coronavirus has traveled in your car. Unfortunately, cars and trucks have many commonly touched surfaces. This includes the car’s steering wheel, door handle, and shifter to name just a sample few of the many. In this scenario, immediate sanitation can mean all the difference in preventing the virus. Moreover, if you habitually transport various passengers, it is a must to clean these contact surfaces.

So how should you disinfect all those surfaces without doing damage?

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:

To get started, there are several alternatives to be avoided at all costs. Both hydrogen peroxide and bleach, for example, can do damage to your car’s upholstery. Another group to avoid are cleaners with an ammonia base. These can cause damage to touch screens by removing anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. Furthermore, don’t use anything abrasive when disinfecting a touchscreen, including paper towels or tissues. Finally, don’t treat all surfaces the same.

What You Should Do to Clean Your Car or Truck for Coronavirus:


First and foremost, wear gloves if disinfecting a vehicle. The CDC suggests 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.”

use alcohol to kill coronavirus in vehicle

Use Alcohol-Based Cleaners

The CDC recommends cleaning with alcohol solutions of at least 70% alcohol is most effective. Not only is alcohol effective against Covid-19, but it’s friendly to most vehicle surfaces. Just keep it away from the leather upholstery. Most leather seats have a protective layer, but unless you know the specifications, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

soap to kill covid-19 in car

A Soap & Water Solution

Another effective option that works on most surfaces, including leather, is a simple mix of soap and water. Just try not to scrub too hard, or get your interior fabrics too wet.

how to clean car interior with microfiber

100% Cotton T-Shirts or Microfiber Towels

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

Regarding Leather Surfaces

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

Stopping the Spread of Coronavirus

Ideally, the best solution to stop the spread of Coronavirus is to stay home and not share a vehicle. If you must share a car, however, drive a rental, get your car serviced, or transport others, then frequent disinfecting and cleaning is the best way to keep yourself and others safe.

Professional Cleaning and Detailing

Of course, if you are truly concerned, a professional cleaning or detailing is the most effective treatment. Contact our service department for a complete list of cleaning treatments and services currently on offer.

Ways to Clean a Car’s Interior For Covid-19 | Team Gillman Mazda


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