Cleaning a Car’s Interior During Covid-19

coronavirus vehicle disinfecting

Are you wondering how to clean an automobile’s interior fabric and plastic for Covid-19, without creating damage to its surfaces?

By this time, we’ve already learned that disinfecting high-contact surfaces and hand-washing are the best-proven methods to help stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Regarding this, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the most respected health officials in the world all agree. Regular cleaning saves lives.

This becomes even more important when you have a hunch that someone with the novel Coronavirus has been inside your car. Unfortunately, cars have many frequently touched surfaces. Included amongst these are the shift lever, door handle, and steering wheel to name just a few of the many. In such a case, immediate disinfection can mean all the difference in preventing the spread of the virus. Furthermore, if you habitually transport passengers, cleaning these surfaces is essential.

Given all that, just how should you clean all those surfaces without doing damage?

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:

For starters, some substances should be avoided at all costs. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide, for example, can damage your car’s upholstery. Additionally, cleaners with an ammonia base should be avoided. These can cause damage to your touch screens by removing their anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. Furthermore, avoid anything abrasive when cleansing a touchscreen device. This includes paper towels or tissues. Finally, don’t treat all surfaces equally.

What You Should Do to Clean for Coronavirus:

Wear Gloves

First, wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control specifically suggests 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 disinfect coronavirus in vehicle with alcohol

Alcohol-Based Solutions

The Centers for Disease Control recommends alcohol-based solutions of at least 70% alcohol is most effective. Not only is alcohol effective against Coronavirus, but it’s friendly to most vehicle surfaces. Just keep it away from the leather upholstery. Most leather has a protective layer, but if you don’t know the manufacturer’s specifications, it’s much better off to be safe rather than sorry.

how to get rid of covid-19 in vehicle with soap and water

Just Soap and Water

Another versatile solution that works on most surfaces, including your leather seats, is a simple solution of water and soap. Just don’t scrub too fervently, or get your interior fabrics too wet.

using cotton or microfiber to clean car interior

Microfiber Towels or 100% Cotton T-Shirts

In general, old cotton t-shirts and/or microfiber towels are a great solution that can be used just about anywhere.

A Word About Leather Seats and Surfaces

Despite the fact that we’ve mentioned leather more than a few times above, it bears repeating again. Avoid bleach, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia-based cleaners, and alcohol. Leather-specific disinfecting wipes are best, but applying water and soap with a damp cloth will likely do the trick.

Stopping the Spread of Coronavirus

Ideally, the most effective solution to stop the spread of Covid-19 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 disinfecting is the best way to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Professional Cleaning

Certainly, if you’re truly anxious, a professional detailing or cleaning is the most effective treatment. Contact our service department for a full list of detailing treatments currently on offer.

Cleaning a Car’s Interior During Covid-19 | Beck & Masten Kia

Beck & Masten Kia 30.0467706, -95.6155002.