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 a lot of nooks and crannies in cars 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 a simple soap may not kill the Covid virus, if it existed.

You want something strong, like bleach, which is what the CDC advises you use to kill the virus on surfaces. However, bleach isn’t safe for your car’s interior. It could fade plastics and leathers.

To correctly clean a car and protect your family, you’ll need to build a kit with a variety of 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. However, it’s especially good to use on dashboards, car radios and other areas that are hard to reach, simply because it will kill on contact and doesn’t rely on just friction cleaning.

To use, pour into a spray bottle and spray the affected areas. Or, use a clean cloth and apply.

Cleaning a Car’s Interior

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

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

You can use simple Ivory soap as there are no impurities that will leave a film.

One caveat: don’t rub too much and don’t apply too much water or soap.

If you rub too hard on your colored, cloth upholstery, you can fade the color. If you use to too much water, you might spend hours getting it dry. And if you use too much soap, you may never get that soap out again.

Don’t use Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide

Regardless of whether you use bleach or soap, don’t use bleach or more stringent agents like hydrogen peroxide. The CDC says that both cleaning agents are very effective at killing the virus; however, they’re also very damaging to your car’s interior.