How to Clean a Car to Reduce the Spread of Covid-19

To reduce the spread of Covid-19, deep cleaning your car should be a top priority.

Cars provide a perfect environment to harbor Covid-19. There are many nooks and crannies in vehicles that are hard to reach but are easily accessible to hands. The steering wheel, the radio, the dash: all of these areas are textured, so soap may not kill the COVID virus if it existed.

You want a more potent cleaning agent, like bleach. However, bleach isn’t safe for your car’s interior. Bleach could fade plastics and leathers.

To correctly clean a car and protect your family, you’ll need to build a kit with different cleaners. Let us show you what works.

Cleaning Textured Plastics and Knobs

Use isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, to clean areas in your car that are textured or have ridges. Isopropyl alcohol contains at least 70% alcohol. The CDC suggests that any cleaning agent with at least 70% alcohol is effective at killing Covid-19.

According to Consumer Reports, isopropyl alcohol is also safe for most any car interior. It’s especially beneficial to use isopropyl alcohol on dashboards, car radios, and other areas that are hard to clean because it will kill on contact and doesn’t rely on just friction cleaning.

To use, pour into a spray bottle, spray the affected areas, and wipe off the excess with a clean cloth.

Cleaning a Car’s Interior

Using alcohol to clean car leather or imitation leather is sufficient to kill the virus, but over time, it could start to stain.

For those surfaces, plain soap and water is a better choice. Since the virus requires a stable environment to live, you can use friction cleaning (aka, scrubbing) to disrupt that environment and kill the virus.

Ivory soap is an ideal choice as there are no impurities that will leave a film.

One caveat: moderation is the key with soap and water.

  • If you rub too hard, your colored, cloth upholstery could fade;
  • If you use too much water, you might spend hours getting it dry;
  • And if you use too much soap, it may never come out.

Don’t use Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide

Don’t use hydrogen peroxide. Like bleach, the CDC says that hydrogen peroxide is very effective at killing the virus; however, it’s also very damaging to your car’s interior.