This guide will tell you where the worst affected areas are, what supplies you need and how to properly clean your car interior.
Before you start
Wait three days after using your vehicle before cleaning. The official guidance tells us that we don’t know at what point there is no risk.
If your car can be kept locked and secured for 72 hours, this will likely reduce the number of particles living on surfaces.
PPE (Personal protective equipment)
The government recommends using PPE when cleaning in non-healthcare settings.
If someone with confirmed or suspected coronavirus has been in your car, you’ll need to protect yourself before you start. As a minimum, you should wear gloves and an apron.
If an area has been contaminated with bodily fluids from someone with coronavirus you should consider wearing goggles to protect your eyes as well as a mask to prevent inhalation.
What you’ll need
A lot can be done with very little here. All you should need for a decent clean is a bleach-free household disinfectant and two bin liners.
Cleaning your car
Now you’re ready to tackle the cleaning. Before you start with the interior, just make sure you give all the door handles (including the boot) a good wipedown first.
- Steering wheel, including horn and infotainment controls
- Control stalks
- Ignition and power button
Your steering wheel is probably the most exposed touch-point. Use disinfectant around the whole of your wheel, including those out-of-sight areas where fingers tend to grip.
Wipe the horn and any controls found on the steering wheel. You’ll also need to clean the full length of all stalks for indicators, headlights and windscreen wipers.
Don’t forget to clean your keys. Make sure you clean the handle, metal and the ignition itself. If your car uses a button to start, give this a good wipe too.
- Air vents – passenger and central
- Heating controls
Heating controls are also a major touch-point and you should pay particular attention to the knobs and buttons found here.
Don’t forget the air vents. Grips found on the vents are used to manually change the direction of airflow and are regularly touched by both drivers and passengers, so these will need to be wiped too.
Gear sticks are among the most touched areas of your car – make sure you scrub yours thoroughly, and the remainder of your dashboard towards your windscreen.
- Seatbelts and clips
- Seat adjust controls
- Seat pockets
Seatbelts are another most commonly touched part of our cars. Pull the length of the seatbelt out to ensure you clean the full surface that you come in contact with whilst wearing it. Don’t forget the buckles and clips too.
Move on to the seat adjustment controls before targeting headrests and seat pockets.
Roof and doors
- Door handles and releases
- Door pocket
- Window switches
- Interior lights
- Grab handles
Car doors are filled with germ hotspots. Concentrate on the handles, pockets and the window controls.
Wipe down any interior lights and grab handles on your roof and give your rear-view mirror a thorough clean on the glass and all around.
- Parcel shelf
- Boot floor tab
Make sure you wipe down your parcel shelf and any floor tabs that conceal your spare tyres.
- Glove box and log-book
- Central storage
- Bonnet release lever
The glove box should be cleaned inside and out, along with any items inside, including your log-book.
Be sure to clean your central storage compartment fully, including the lid, any levers and the inside of the compartment to reduce contamination.
Cup holders are a spot often forgotten during a clean, so try to reach right down into them. Finally, use your disinfectant on your bonnet release lever.
Disposable gloves and aprons should be double-bagged in your bin-liners and stored securely for 72 hours before being thrown away in the rubbish.
Wash your hands as recommended for at least 20 seconds after removing gloves, aprons and other protective clothing.