How to Disinfect Your Car During the COVID-19 Pandemic


With the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing down and people beginning to socialize more and more, the importance of disinfecting and sanitizing high-traffic and high-touch areas is only increasing. 

If you have recently had any passengers in your car who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for the coronavirus, then you would do well to clean and disinfect the interior surfaces of your car.

However, thoroughly cleaning the inside of your car can be a time-consuming and difficult task, which is why Scholfield Honda has created this guide to help you disinfect your car interiors as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Bring Out the Vacuum

If you happen to find yourself in the less-than-uncommon predicament of not having cleaned your car in a long time (don’t worry, we’ve all been there!), then you should probably bust out the vacuum cleaner before you do anything else. Just make sure to wear gloves and a mask if you’re worried that there may actually be COVID germs in your car.

While vacuuming won’t necessarily kill the virus, sucking up all those gross dust balls, debris piles, and dirt clods that have been accumulating for the last few years will make it much easier to sanitize all the different surfaces of your car. Plus, what’s the point of cleaning your car if you’re not really cleaning it? Trust us, you’ll be glad you vacuumed when it’s all said and done. 

Sanitize All Surfaces

Now comes the most important part. The sanitization of frequently touched surfaces is what will most likely take up the most time during your disinfection process. One of the most effective ways to kill the virus is to use simple soap and water and scrub down key touch points. The areas you will definitely want to hit include the following.

  • Steering wheel
  • Exterior and interior door handles
  • Start button (if your car has one)
  • Rear view mirror
  • HVAC vents
  • Gear selector
  • Emergency brake
  • Turn signal, windshield wiper, and headlight levers
  • Knobs and buttons on the center console
  • Seat belts and belt buckles
  • Cupholders
  • Lock/unlock switches and window controls

While you’re at it, you might as well clean your keys and keyfobs. Who knows what’s accumulated on those things?

The Dos and Don’ts

Of course, when it comes to cleaning your car, especially the interior, you want to make sure that you’re not using cleaning agents and other cleaning supplies that can damage the different surfaces in your car. For example, if your car has leather seats or any other leather upholstery, then you don’t want to use alcohol to clean them.

Cleaning leather interiors with alcohol can cause them to become discolored and more easily damaged in the future. Your best bet for cleaning leather is to use soap and water first, then follow that up with a mild leather conditioner.

When it comes to the other surfaces of your car, you can use isopropyl alcohol and a soft microfiber cloth to wipe things down and get rid of any germs. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), solutions that contain more than 70% alcohol are effective at killing the virus.

Do NOT Use the Following

You should not use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzine, thinners, or any other cleaners that are considered harsh and abrasive. These types of chemicals will damage the upholstery and other interior surfaces of your car.

You should also avoid ammonia-based cleaners when disinfecting the screen on your center console (assuming your car has one). Ammonia can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.

Once your car is all nice and squeaky clean, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and maybe even take a shower. If any particles containing the virus got on you, then you’re going to want to wash it off immediately. Also, consider keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car for future use.

If you would rather not disinfect your own car, then consider taking it to a professional cleaner. Beginning in October, Scholfield Honda will be providing cleaning and disinfecting services for those looking to eliminate any trace remnants of the virus in their car.

Our experts will kill the mold, mildew, and other odor-causing organisms inside your vehicle, leaving it smelling fresh and clean! The service includes a vacuuming, interior cleaning using EPA and USDA approved disinfectant, a car wash, and a thorough window cleaning. Sanitize your ride for only $29.99!

Or, if you need any other work done on your Honda, such as an oil change, engine repair, or if you just need to replace some individual parts, then take a look at all of the different services we provide!