Quick Tips To Sanitize Inside Your Car

Whether its COVID-19 or flu season, we aren’t always great about keeping the inside of our cars clean and sanitized. When we are on the go, we don’t typically stop to wash our hands just to get into our car, but that isn’t the only way we collect germs. From the seats to the dashboard and the most touched places in your car – like the touch screen and center console – it’s easy to forget how many germs we can collect in our cars. There are some quick and easy ways to sanitize our cars to keep us and our families safe, and they’re definitely worth adding to your car maintenance to-do list.

Disinfecting your most-touched surfaces

There are a lot of surfaces inside our car that we touch every day, even without thinking about it. Door handles, climate control knobs, and seatbelts are just a few of many surfaces that need disinfecting. When you think about disinfecting every surface in your car it almost makes us want to set it on fire and start all over again — but that isn’t very reasonable for most people.

DTC cleaning staff chemically disinfect and sanitize a taxi as a precautionary measure in view of coronavirus concerns
Disinfecting a car due to coronavirus concerns | Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Using a microfiber towel you can use most of your usual household disinfectants on your hard plastics and wood veneer surfaces, which makes it even easier because you don’t have to get something special – though you should go over it with an interior detail spray after to help maintain the condition of your interior.

Soap and warm water is also a safe and inexpensive way to wipe down the inside of your car, and there is no surface that you need to avoid – even the leather on the doors. It is important to make sure you remove the soap and any residue as much as possible — and again, bonus points for using interior detailer after.

Sanitizing seats and upholstery

Cleaning your car seats can seem daunting, and there are a lot of ways that it can go wrong. When we disinfect our kitchens and bathrooms, many families use substances containing bleach, but that is the absolute last thing you want to use in your car and especially on your nice upholstery. Shampooing your cloth seats is always an option, but it can be time consuming or expensive, and we want something that is quick and easy enough to make routine.

A driver disinfects his car Xinhua/ via Getty Images

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The first and easiest solution is to spray your seats with a fabric-oriented sanitizer spray, but that isn’t as useful for leather and faux leather seats that are more popular in cars. If you’re using soap and warm water for the interior plastics, you can use it for the leather seats too! It is important to use a soft microfiber towel and rub the leather gently to prevent damage or removal of the leather dyes. For cloth seats or carpets you can also use warm water and a bleach-free laundry detergent mix.

There are some quick and foolproof ways to help minimize the germs we bring into our car, but they aren’t always perfect. Using a dab of hand sanitizer before we even reach for the door handle is a quick way to make sure we don’t transfer germs from our hands to every surface we touch on the way into our cars. It might not kill all of the bacteria that lingers on our clothing, but it does a lot to minimize our risks.

Adding these small procedures to keep your car sanitized doesn’t have to be a large task, but it can make a world of difference for keeping you and your family safe during flu season or while the threat of COVID-19 still lingers overhead. As we spend a good portion of our lives in our cars, and this is where we are when we travel and interact with people outside of our homes, it is one of the most important areas to keep sanitized.