Men Washing His Car

Cleaning Your Car
Tips on How to Clean Your Car

At Nissan of LaGrange, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Drivers in LaGrange, GA, have been wearing gloves and frequently using hand sanitizer to avoid the spread of germs. In addition, they've been wiping down items they purchase on their errands. Just know that the interior of your car is susceptible to any items you put inside it. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that the coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. That means that you should be sanitizing the interior of your car to kill any germs it may have collected on your last visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. 

Car cleaner wiping car door with rag

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

Disinfecting your car is a big challenge because of the wide variety of materials that make up the different surfaces. From leather seats to plastic on the dash, you'll find that using several different tools for washing your car is required. According to the National Institutes of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel. Another study suggests that similar viruses can live on "inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days."

Cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

What's the Best Way to Sanitize My Car's Interior?

First and foremost, wash your hands before sanitizing your vehicle. If you have gloves, we suggest using them. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well for sanitizing your vehicle. Just be sure to read the product's label to make sure it's safe for the surface you're planning to use it on. If possible, always keep a pack of disinfectant wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car, so you can wipe it down frequently.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Nissan to keep clean are the dashboard and the steering wheel. Bacteria tends to collect in these spots, as air is cycled throughout the vehicle. To clean your dash, simply use soap and water. Dish soap works well for this application. Just dampen the surface you want to clean and scrub for 20-30 seconds. Your steering wheel and dash are high-touch places, as well, so make sure you're also paying attention to them when cleaning. Other high-touch surfaces can include:

  • Door Handles
  • Door Buttons
  • Key Fob
  • Steering Wheel
  • Inside Door Buttons
  • Seat Belts
  • Gear Shifters
  • Touchscreens
  • Buttons on the Dash
  • Buttons for Lights
  • Buttons for Windshield Wipers
  • Glove Compartment
car cleaning supplies in the floor of a car dealership next to a car's wheels

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Because of the sun and other weather elements, germs are less likely to thrive on the exterior of your vehicle. That still doesn't mean you shouldn't clean any surfaces you frequent, though. Remember to disinfect high-touch areas like door handles, handle buttons and the gas cap.

bleach container

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Nissan model's interior surfaces, don't use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. These can damage the vinyl and plastics in your cabin. You should also avoid any ammonia-based cleaning products used to clean glass, as they can break down the vinyl on the dashboard. Heat and light may then cause your dashboard to become sticky.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Using leather cleaner is the best way to clean leather seats in your car's interior. Before applying the cleaner to all leather surfaces, test it on a spot that's hidden. If it looks effective, go ahead and use it. Also use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching and scuffing of the leather. Don't have leather cleaner? Mix one part water to two parts vinegar and that will work just fine. If you have leather conditioner, make sure to apply that to all relevant surfaces after cleaning.

Here at Nissan of LaGrange, we want to do our part to help educate our customers and keep them safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions about car care or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Nissan dealership in LaGrange, GA.