How should you clean the inside of your car to stop the spread of coronavirus?

How should you clean the inside of your car to stop the spread of coronavirus?
How should you clean the inside of your car to stop the spread of coronavirus?(Pixabay (custom credit) | Pixabay)
Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 8:15 AM EDT
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(Mike Stunson/McClatchy) - You may be frequently washing your hands, but coronavirus may still spread if you’re not cleaning the inside of your vehicle properly.

How can you sanitize your car without harming the interior, though?

As you might have guessed, it starts with soap. It doesn’t matter what kind of soap, as even the household kinds will do, according to Car and Driver.

“A simple soap scrub will annihilate any viruses In your car, and soap is unlikely to degrade your Interior surfaces the way many cleaners can,” Car and Driver said. “But that business about scrubbing your hands for 20 seconds applies here, too. You can’t just move some soap around and then rinse It off. Soap needs time to surround and break down the virus.”

Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are also safe to use on your vehicle’s surfaces, according to Kelley Blue Book. Using leather cleaner after cleaning and drying is advised on cars with leather Interiors, according to Car and Driver.

If you have a touchscreen in your vehicle, it’s best to clean that with a microfiber cloth, according to CNET.

But whatever you do, don’t use bleach on your vehicle. While it can kill the virus, it will damage car surfaces in the process, Wheels reported.

Areas to emphasize in cleaning include armrests, display screens, cup holders, vents and door handles, Market Watch said. But the most important part of your vehicle to scrub down is the steering wheel.

“We suggest spending extra time on the steering wheel,” according to Market Watch. “The steering wheel has four times the amount of germs found on an average toilet seat, thanks to all the cracks and crevices on the rim and spokes.”

You’re also advised to clean your hands before and after you detail your vehicle.

“You can clean your steering wheel, but if you have dirty hands, you put that dirt back on,” Larry Kosalia, president of car detailing company AMMO NYC told Consumer Reports.

Nearly a third of people only clean their car once a year, and another 12 percent never do it, according to a recent survey by

There are more than 35,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus In the United States and more than 350,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.