Never has there been as good a time or a reason to deep clean and sanitize your car as now. Our vehicles carry not only us, but also dirt, grime, and bacteria. Even if you have no intention of traveling inside your vehicle during your quarantine timeframe, it is possible that the virus is already living on something inside your car. That is why it is so important to focus on cleaning the inside of your vehicle this spring.

Cars can have such a variety of surfaces and materials making it important to use proper cleaning agents to protect the leather, vinyl, plastic, or whatever other surfaces you might be focusing on. Follow these do’s and don’ts to see that your car is ready to roll.

Vacuum Often

Start with what you can see. Cars attract and collect heavy debris and trash before you know it. Vacuuming your car on a regular basis can minimize infections. Once the surface is clean, start on a deeper disinfecting process.

Scrub Carpets

To properly clean your vehicle, remove your floor mats and give them a good rinse. As they’re drying, focus on cleaning the carpets that lie underneath as well as the seats. Fibers in the carpets and cloth seats soak in the bacteria and can quickly become a breeding ground for infections. Use soapy water and a strong bristled brush to get deep down into cloth fibers. For those with leather or a special interior material, purchase cleaning wipes that fit your needs. If you are afraid of damaging your interior or cannot find proper cleaning agents, you should consider hiring a professional cleaning service.

Focus on Touchpoints

For this step, you will want a bucket, dish soap, water, and a microfiber towel. Make sure to soak the cloth completely and wring out any excess water before cleaning any surfaces. Areas you will want to make sure to clean well with the soap mixture include the steering wheel, center console, door locks and handles, gear shift, radio dials, climate controls, cupholders, seatbelts, glove compartment, the sun visors, rearview mirror, and dashboard. It helps to start at the top/front of the vehicle and work your way towards the rear rewetting your cloth as you go. Make sure that water does not pool anywhere inside the vehicle, otherwise you will be dealing with moisture buildup later on

Disinfect the HVAC Unit

If you don’t want to spend excess money on an ozone treatment at a professional detailer, you can clean your car’s heating/cooling system on your own. This is a crucial step in sanitizing your car as your HVAC unit circulates air throughout the vehicle and can carry a number of infections and viruses. Start with replacing the air filter and the coolant. Then you will want to remove and clean the cabin filter, located behind the glove compartment, and giving it a good spray with a disinfectant before reinstalling it.

Consider Accessories

Do you travel with children or pets? What items are you often keeping in the car for them? You will need to make sure that you are properly disinfecting any children’s car seats and toys, any gadgets or electronics, and any seat coverings and pet carriers that often travel with you.

With plenty of time on your hands, dedicate an afternoon to disinfecting your vehicle to help keep you and your family healthy. Interior cleaning has always been a recommended good car-care practice but it is imperative now more than ever to help rid your community from any viruses that might be making their rounds around the world.