How to disinfect your vehicle without damaging its interior

Alcohol-based wipes containing at least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus, and can be safely used in your vehicle interior.
Alcohol-based wipes containing at least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus, and can be safely used in your vehicle interior.
Image: DENIS DROPPA

Now that more people have returned to work and will be driving cars, and possibly sharing rides with others, it will be important to disinfect your vehicle to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Frequent hand washing is a crucial part of staying healthy, but so is disinfecting surfaces, including those in your car.

While most common household disinfectants are effective, some are not ideal for use on a vehicle including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, thinners or other harsh and abrasive cleaners, according to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

These chemical products can damage your vehicle's upholstery and interior surfaces. Instead, alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus, and can be safely used in your vehicle.

The infotainment screen is tricky because it's a high-touch area that should not come in contact with aggressive cleaners. Use screen wipes or a soft cloth dampened with soap and water to clean the screen surface. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Ammonia-based cleaners should not be used on infotainment screens, as they can damage the antiglare and antifingerprint coatings. If the vehicle is so equipped, using voice commands can help avoid touching the centre screen altogether.


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