Driving Your Car During COVID-19 Pandemic: Here's How to Thoroughly Sanitize Your Vehicle

Image for representation.  (Image source: Cardealermagazine.co.uk)

Image for representation. (Image source: Cardealermagazine.co.uk)

Take the time to clean and sanitize your car to get it ready for the post-lockdown world. Here's a detailed guide.

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As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted and cities across India see relaxations on movement, people are gradually bound to get behind the wheel. While it isn’t advisable to step out just yet, do take out time to take necessary precautions by cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting your car to ensure all around safety before hitting the road. No matter how advanced or expensive your vehicle is, it's hard to predict unseen viruses or contagions.

Here's a detailed DIY Guide on how to sanitize and take care of your car during COVID-19:

Knowing the Difference

Cleaning physically removes germs with soap and water but does not kill them. Sanitising lowers the number of germs and kills bacteria, and thus the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, further complementing the cleaning and sanitising.

What to Use

Be sure to choose a disinfecting spray safe for your vehicle’s interior. Household cleaning products contain ingredients like bleach, acetone, chlorine, and ammonia, which will damage the interior materials and paint of your vehicle. To take disinfecting your vehicle to the next level, purchase a disinfectant germ fogger.

How to Use

When cleaning using detailing products, do not spray directly onto surfaces like the dashboard. Spray products into a microfibre towel and then apply to the surface. While you’re at it, take the dirt from fabric seats and headliner with a quick vacuum. If you have access to a wet vacuum with shampoo it will garner better results. And don’t forget a quick wash of regularly-touched exterior surfaces, specifically door handles.

What About Leather?

Try the product of your choice – again, free of harmful ingredients like bleach, acetone, chlorine, and ammonia – at the rear portion of the steering wheel and wait for its effects to materialise. If there is no stain, or any discoloration on the leather you can continue using the product. Much like using the detailing products, DO NOT spray onto the surface, but spray into a clean micro-fibre towel and gently apply the product.


You’re now ready to disinfect your vehicle. Hard surfaces like plastic buttons and knobs can be wiped down with a bleach-free disinfectant wipe or apply your disinfecting spray onto a microfibre cloth. Given how often you probably interact with your infotainment screen, be it an infotainment touchscreen or otherwise, opt for an electronic-specific non-toxic device-cleaning wipe.

Where to Use

This list might seem extensive, but it’s by no means comprehensive. Anything you find yourself touching throughout your day should be wiped down, and a solid place to start is to think of the first thing you touch as you approach your Ford, to the last thing you touch before getting out.

Key/Key FOB

Exterior Door Handle

Interior Door Handle

Lock and Unlock Buttons and Interior Door Release

Seatbelt and Seatbelt Buckle. Also include the release button

Push-to-Start Button, or Ignition Area

Rearview Mirror, and Automatic Side Mirror Buttons

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) Buttons

Radio Buttons and Knobs or Infotainment Touchscreen

Gear Selector

Parking Brake Lever

Steering Wheel and Wheel Mounted Buttons

Signal and Wiper Stalk

Headlights Knob

Centre Console and Cup Holders

Other areas to disinfect

Window Buttons

Terrain Management System (TMS) Rotary Knob

Glove Compartment Handle

Tailgate/Hatch Release and Power Close Button

Power Folding Third Row Buttons

Fuel Cap

Once you have finished disinfecting the car, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap. In fact, this step-up in personal hygiene is a habit that should be continued even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

So, take the time to clean and sanitize your car to get it ready for the post-lockdown world.

Article Courtesy: Ford India

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