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The need for good hygiene has always been important, and now we are acutely aware of keeping our hands clean and not touching our face.

We need to take extra precautions in keeping our cars clean. By disinfecting our vehicles regularly, we can reduce the chance of the coronavirus being transmitted across commonly touched surfaces for example the door handles, gearstick, steering wheel and the radio.

Here is our 7-step guide to disinfecting your car:

What you’ll need:

  • Hand sanitiser (if possible)
  • Face mask (if possible)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Disinfectant
  • Hot water
  • Washing liquid
  • Sponge
  • Cloth

Step 1 – Protect yourself

Put on a pair of good-quality rubber gloves and a face mask if you can, as there may be a lot of dust particles in the air as the dirt gets dislodged.

Ideally you will want to apply an alcohol-based sanitiser to your hands before putting on the gloves so that you have an extra layer of protection.

We recommend you also wear clothing to cover your skin, limiting the amount of direct contact that can occur.

Step 2 – Begin Your Regular Clean

Start to clean your car in the same way you would normally.

Pull out the floor mats – dust and vacuum all the dirt including vacuuming the seats. Dispose of the vacuumed material into your main bin immediately.

Step 3 – Soak removable items

Take a large tub of water and add detergent or liquid soap.

Take all the carpets/floor mats and soak them in this tub. If you have any other fabric that is removable in your car, put them in to soak as well.

Soak these items for a minimum of 30 minutes before taking them out and leaving them to dry.

Step 4: Scrub!

Prepare a separate cleaning mix to be used as a scrub for fabrics that can’t be removed from your car.

Dip a sponge in the mix, give it a squeeze so that it isn’t going to soak your upholstery. Use it to scrub your seats, door panels and armrests. Make sure you reach into all the corners. We recommend to also scrub the roof lining with the same solution.

Step 5: Ensuring everywhere is disinfected

Take an alcohol-based disinfectant and with a sponge rub down all plastic parts including the door panels, seatbelts, dashboard, centre console, the pillar covers between doors and around your windscreen.

Don’t forget to clean the boot of your car! Shopping bags and other items may have been in contact with many other people and surfaces.

Make sure you apply disinfectant/sanitiser to all the most commonly touched parts of the vehicle including the steering wheel, gear stick, power window buttons, rear view mirror, fuel lid opener and bonnet opener.

Step 6: The exterior

A soapy wash will make sure that all the exterior surfaces are clean, but make sure you are generous with the soap mix and go over commonly touched parts like door handles, mirrors, and the boot. Let the soap sit for a few minutes before washing the car down. Dry using a cloth to get rid of the excess water.

Step 7: Cleaning up

Once you’ve finished, ensure all your clothes and wash cloths/sponges go straight into the wash, then you should take a shower or bath. You don’t want to leave your clothes lying around as these could potentially contaminate other surfaces, so stay safe and proactively get everything cleaned.


Avoid driving somewhere unless it’s absolutely essential and remember to always carry an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you. Use sanitiser to regularly rub down the door, handles and steering wheel, especially after you’ve been shopping.

If you have been to a petrol station, make sure you wear gloves when handling the petrol pumps as these too might be contaminated.

Continue to follow the NHS & Government guidelines.

You can also read our latest article on ‘Vehicle maintenance during COVID-19 lockdown‘. Leaving cars parked for long periods of time can impact on both the reliability and safety of your vehicle.


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