Are You Disinfecting The Inside Of Your Car Properly?


Jade Poole from I Write Words

Are You Disinfecting

With the threat of the coronavirus looming all over the world, the importance of hygiene has been highlighted. As we all try to remember to regularly wash our hands, we can’t forget about the things we come into contact with as well. This is why we’re highlighting the importance of disinfecting your car.

As South Africa gets settled into lockdown for 21 days, we want to remind you that it is so important to stay at home! By staying home, we are restricting the spread of this disease in our country and protecting one another.  


If you need to head out for some essential food items or possible doctor’s appointments, make sure you have disinfected the inside of your car before and even after your travels. During this time, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


The good news is that keeping your car's interior free of harmful viruses and other unwanted elements is actually fairly simple if you follow a few guidelines.


Read: The Responsible Driver’s Checklist: 10 Things To Always Keep In Your Car (You can add hand sanitiser and wet wipes to this list!)

The importance of good hygiene

Basic hygiene measures may seem obvious, but they are important. Washing your hands with plain soap and water kills viruses, but only if it’s done thoroughly and often. You should also be washing your hands for at least 20 seconds for it to be the most effective.


Not only is your personal hygiene important but it is necessary to disinfect objects and possessions you come into contact with. Research suggests that the COVID-19 virus can live on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours. When you travel in your car and go to the shops or the doctor, you don’t know what you come into contact with in the outside world which is why it is important to keep the inside of your car as clean as possible.

How to disinfect your car’s cabin correctly

If you're used to an environment where the use of hand sanitisers is encouraged, alcohol-based products like the sanitisers you find at your nearest pharmacy may do a fine job of eliminating microbial threats, they're not actually ideal for car interiors.


When cleaning your car, you should focus on armrests, display screens, cup holders, vents and door handles, floor mats. But the most important part of your vehicle to scrub down is the steering wheel.

Armrests and door handles

To clean your armrests and door handles, your best bet is to get a bucket of warm water and liquid soap.


Get a cloth and dip into the mixture and begin scrubbing, make sure you scrub the entire surface as best as you can.


Rinse the cloth in water and wipe down the armrests and door handles to remove the soapy residue and dry off with a towel.

Display screens, cup holders and vents

Dip a cloth in soap and water and ring it out until it is damp then thoroughly wipe down all display screens, cup holders and vents. If you already have wipes for the interior of your car like the Shield Chemicals wipes, these are great to use to easily clean the smaller parts of your interior. 

Floor mats

Make sure you give some attention to your floor mats too. These aren’t the most important parts of your car because you rarely touch them with your hands but it is important to still clean as many interior surfaces as possible.


Take your mats out of your and give them a good shake, you can use the same step as cleaning your armrests and door handles to clean your mats because soap is your best friend right now.


If you have fabric mats and you have a fabric cleaner, like this one, you can use that too to get all the germs and dirt off your mats.

Steering wheel

This is the most important part of your car’s interior to clean because you are always touching it. Take extra care to scrub your steering wheel with any interior car cleaner you have.


We suggest scrubbing your steering wheel with soap and water, rinsing the soap off and then using an interior car detailer like this one to make sure your steering wheel is clean and well looked after. 


Hint: Both alcohol- and detergent-based cleaners can dry out organic materials. In other words, if it leaves your hands feeling dry after use, chances are it will sap the natural oils out of your car's leather interior, too.

Key tips to keep in mind:

●        Soap is always your best bet. It is harmful to the coronavirus.

●        Avoid bleach except on simple plastics.

●        Don't use solvents.

●        Hand sanitisers contain alcohol, which can dry out leather. Use a leather conditioner to keep it healthy.

●        When in doubt, test cleaners on a surface that can't be easily seen first.

●        Wipe off what you wipe on; don't leave chemicals to linger.

●        Prioritise the surfaces you touch. Don't forget buttons and switches, your rearview mirror, even your gas cap.


This is a trying time for everyone right now but it is important for us to do as much as we can to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. We’re all in this together and we will come out of this stronger!


Yours in flexible car insurance,


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