Cleaning Guides

How to Disinfect Your Car

Personal protection that comes with frequent hand washing is not enough if you don’t take measures to disinfect your car, as well. Whether you need to drive your private car occasionally, drive to your job daily or drive a vehicle for a living, keeping your car clean is crucial to avoid pathogen transmission.

So, this post will help you learn how to clean and sanitise your vehicle properly, in order to improve your safety against infection and the spread of germs while on the road.

Read on if you:

  • want to know what to use to disinfect different surfaces in your car.
  • feel you need to do more to protect your fleet drivers.
  • you are a taxi/Uber driver or own a private hire vehicle business.

Disinfect your vehicle to eliminate all viruses and bacteria

Right then, before you get down to disinfecting your car in detail, give it first a general clean as you’d normally do. Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing, a face mask and a pair of sturdy gloves. Vacuum thoroughly the interior of the vehicle and take out any mats and removable covers that you can wash separately. Then, give your car a good clean with soapy water on the outside, as well, and rinse.

What you need to sanitise your car against harmful germs

  • Cloths and sponges
  • Isopropyl-alcohol-based disinfectant
  • Bleach-free sanitiser
  • Hand wipes
  • Mild soap and water

As your car surfaces are made from various materials, stick to the above list of supplies, because other types of disinfectants may cause damage to parts of your vehicle interior. Stuff like bleach, ammonia-based cleaners and hydrogen peroxide can easily have an adverse effect on the upholstery, or on any sensitive touch screens and dashboard parts.

How to effectively disinfect your car interior

Germ “hot” spots in your car are, of course, all the parts that you touch frequently or you use to control your vehicle on the road. So, start with those first and then move on to seating and other interior fittings.

  • Steering wheel, gear stick and dashboard – Wipe all high-touch fittings and surfaces (made from plastic, metal or vinyl) with a cloth, sprayed with an alcohol-based disinfectant (above 70% alcohol). This includes the steering wheel, horn, gear stick, ignition button, all control stalks/levers (heating, indicator, lights controls), your car keys, the air vents and the entire dashboard surface (up to the windscreen). Pay heed when cleaning sensitive touch screens and infotainment systems. To be on the safe side, you can disinfect the latter with quality hand-sanitising antibacterial wipes.
  • Mirror, door handles, door pockets – Make sure that you disinfect the rear-view mirror in your car, all door handles and releases, window switches, door pockets, the glove compartment, any grab handles and so on. The material that these are made of cannot be damaged if you use either of the following disinfecting substances – soap and water, a bleach-free sanitiser or an alcohol-based disinfectant.
  • Seating and fittings – Car seats are more tricky to disinfect if you’re not sure what to use for the job. You see, alcohol-based products may damage the material, especially if we’re talking leather, here. So, if your vehicle seats have been upholstered with leather, sanitise the surface with a damp cloth, dipped in a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Also, you can gently wipe leather seats with a diluted alcohol-based sanitising product and a cloth, as long as you apply a leather conditioner afterwards, which will counteract the drying effect of alcohol on leather. On that note, vinyl car seating surfaces can be safely cleaned with an isopropyl-alcohol-based disinfectant. When done with the seats, move onto the headrests, seat belts and clips, seat pockets and adjust controls, etc.
  • Other interior surfaces – Clean the rest of your car interior by focusing on different surfaces and fittings, such as the ceiling’s headlining, the door panels, the central storage compartment, the cupholders and various other fixtures. Depending on the material, which these are made from, use an alcohol-based disinfectant or a bleach-free sanitiser to clean them. Don’t forget to apply the same cleaning approach, we’ve described above, if your door panels are made of leather. 
  • Boot – Last but not least, tidy up your boot and sanitise well the boot floor tab and parcel shelf with a regular sanitising detergent that does not contain bleach.
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Clean all car exterior high-touch fixtures

You may have washed your car on the outside with soap and water, as we’ve advised above. But it won’t hurt if you also disinfect the side-view mirrors and the windscreen wiper blades, as well as all the exterior door handles and the tailgate boot switch button.

Apply an alcohol-based disinfectant to eliminate germs on these high-touch areas now and every time you need to use your car, especially if you’ve visited places and have been in contact with surfaces that many other people have touched. 

For extra protection, always keep a hand disinfectant in your vehicle so that you can quickly clean your hands while on the road.

Need professional help to disinfect your vehicle?

Are you a Uber driver who is on the frontline, helping NHS workers or delivering goods? Or do you manage a fleet of vehicles that are used now for providing essential services? Then, Fantastic Services can be of key help.

We offer a professional Antiviral vehicle sanitisation service, available in London, within the M25 zone. The disinfection product used is non-toxic and does not contain bleach. It is lab-tested for its efficacy against various harmful bacteria and viruses, including a number of coronavirus and flu strains.

We have been sanitising all types of commercial, public-utility and private vehicles with high-standard results. The technicians, who perform our car disinfection services, are specially trained and always wear quality PPE, such as overalls, goggles, gloves and face masks.

Contact us anytime for a personalised quote and boost your risk control efforts by ensuring that your car or fleet of vehicles are free of dangerous and disease-causing microorganisms. 

Need your vehicle disinfected?

We’ll get it clean and germ-free in no time.

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH


  • Disinfecting your vehicle against pathogens is of utmost importance for your and your family’s protection.
  • Certain disinfectants that contain ammonia, bleach or hydrogen peroxide may cause damage to your car interior.


Are you a key worker or someone who must drive to do their job? If yes, what measures have you taken to keep your vehicle a safe place? Please, share with us in the comments below! 

Image source: Shutterstock / zoff

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