How to sanitize your car

Sanitizing your car during Delhi unlock has become even more important. If you use your vehicle to travel regularly, it's bound to carry some pathogens. You can go home and take a bath, while your belongings might still carry the virus. In the end, your vehicle can become a COVID-19 carrier. Below are the steps you can follow to ensure the complete safety of your family and employees. 

Choosing the right materials

The first step to cleaning and disinfecting your car interior is to choose the cleaning agents. Depending on whether you have leather, cloth, or imitation leather upholstery, steps and cleaning agents will differ.

To know more about chemicals used for sanitization, click here

Isopropyl alcohol is a proven disinfectant, and is also safe to use on most car interior surfaces. (70%) Isopropyl alcohol will remove many stains, smudges and residues, as well as kill bacteria and viruses. However, that stain removing quality can also cause problems with leather. It is always advisable to apply them on a small inconspicuous area first to observe the effects and then proceed with caution.

If you don’t have one, you can make an ammonia-based solution (by diluting a glass and window cleaner with water in a 1:1 ratio)

We recommend cleaning all surfaces with a microfiber cloth. That’s because they’re made of fabric that consists of tiny little loops that capture and sweep away dirt and dust particles before they can scratch delicate or shiny plastic surfaces.

Sanitizing car surfaces

As discussed above, it is safe and easy to use isopropyl alcohol that is 70% or higher to wipe down hard surfaces in your vehicle. That includes steering wheel, dash, armrests, console, seat adjusters, shifter, cup holders, doors, handles, and more. Alcohol is also suitable for cleaning imitation leather interiors.

The most important parts to clean, which some people tend to overlook, are interior and exterior door handles, and the car key.

It is important to prioritize these "high touch" areas of your car when disinfecting. Things like the ventilation grilles and knobs, as well as the rearview mirror, are all common touchpoints in a vehicle. All wiping and cleaning should be done with a microfiber cloth if you have one available. Not only do they do a great job of trapping dirt, but they also prevent scratches.

Bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia-based products would be too harsh for a vehicle’s interior and are generally not advisable. It’s recommended to go for a milder variety of soap-like generic shampoos to prevent damage to interior trims.

Sanitizing leather interiors

For leather steering wheels, seating, and trim, a combination of soap and water is a safe and sufficient way to clean them.


Do not scrub hard when cleaning your leather interior, and avoid excess suds and water. Hand washing has been recommended as a primary way to protect oneself against infection by COVID-19.


This is not only because soap can kill the virus, but also because the friction of washing contributes. This holds true for washing your leather interior as well.

Steps for sanitizing interiors

Use a microfiber cloth as discusses above as while car interiors are built to be durable, hard scrubbing or using a rough cloth can cause scratches or even discoloration. A wipe with alcohol on hard surfaces and gentle circular cleaning on upholstery are the best bets for both cleaning and maintaining your car interior.


It is also very important not to use too much water on your seats. If cloth upholstery soaks through with water, it can get into the cushion beneath. This can cause the growth of mold and that musty smell you will recognize if you've left your car windows open in the rain.


If washing the seats of your car, it is best to wet a cloth or sponge with soap and water and wipe the seats. You do not want to leave excess soap or water, as it can take a long time to dry. Isopropyl alcohol can safely be used on non-leather seats, but it is not an ideal cleaning agent for those surfaces unless you have imitation leather.

Sanitizing the AC system

The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit circulates air inside the cabin, and it can carry germs. In the time of the Covid-19 outbreak, it is necessary to clean the system, and it can be done easily at home.


First, clean the AC vents (by spraying a specialized cleaner such as by 3M, or any ammonia-based solution). Second, remove and clean the cabin filter (it is usually located behind the glove compartment in a car).


A common recommendation from experts is that once your car's interior is cleaned and disinfected, it is important to wash your hands before getting in from now on.


  • Twitter

Delhi, India

©2020 by Delhi's Guardians.