covid-19 vehicle disinfecting

Would you like to clean a car interior, including plastic and fabric, for the novel Coronavirus, without damaging the surfaces?

We've all heard that cleaning high-contact surfaces and washing your hands are the two best methods to defend against the spread of Coronavirus. When it comes to this, the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and global health experts are of one mind. Routine cleaning and disinfecting can save lives.

This becomes even more important when you believe that someone with symptoms of the illness has traveled in your car. Cars possess many commonly touched elements. Examples of these are the car's steering wheel, door handle, and shifter to name just a sample few. In such a case, immediate sanitation can mean all the difference. And if you frequently transport passengers, cleaning these high-touch surfaces is a must.

That said, how should you clean all those surfaces without damaging your car?

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 to Avoid:

Firstly, some alternatives should be avoided at all costs. Both hydrogen peroxide and bleach, for example, can damage your car's upholstery. Another group to avoid are ammonia-based cleaners. These can cause damage to your touch screens by removing their anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. Furthermore, never use anything abrasive when cleaning a touchscreen device, including tissues or paper towels. Lastly, don't treat all surfaces equally.

What to Do to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus:


First, use gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your vehicle. The CDC 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 clean covid-19 in car with alcohol

Alcohol Cleaners

The CDC suggests alcohol cleaners with 70% alcohol is the most effective. Not only does Alcohol kill SARS-CoV-2, but it's surfaces of your car. Just keep it away from leather upholstery. Most leather has a protective layer, but unless you know the manufacturer's specifications, it is much better to be safe rather than sorry.

use water and soap to clean covid-19 in car

A Soap & Water Treatment

Another versatile solution which is effective on most surfaces, including leather seats, is a simple mixture of water and soap. Just don't scrub too hard, or get the interior fabrics too damp.

how to clean vehicle interior with cotton or microfiber

100% Cotton Cloth or Microfiber Towels

Generally speaking, old cotton t-shirts and/or microfiber towels are a versatile all-surface solution that can be used almost anywhere.

A Word About Leather Surfaces

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

Stopping Covid-19

Of course, the best solution to stop community spread of Coronavirus 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 and disinfecting is the most effective way to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Professional Detailing and Cleaning

Of course, if you are truly worried, a professional cleaning or detailing will be the most effective solution. Contact our service department for a full list of detailing treatments and services currently on offer.

How to Clean Your Car Interior During Covid-19 | Santa Fe MINI