Men Washing His Car

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Car
Tips On How to Keep Your Car Clean

At BMW of Sudbury, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in the Sudbury area are wearing gloves, using hand sanitizer and wiping down items they purchase on their errands. What some people may forget though, is to clean the interior of their car after these trips. It's more important than ever to make sure every surface you touch is then cleaned properly. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that coronaviruses 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?

From soft leather seats to plastic on the dash, your vehicle contains a variety of different surfaces. That's why you'll need different tools to ensure that all those surfaces are cleaned properly. According to 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?

Always wash your hands before sanitizing the interior of your BMW. It's also recommended to use disposable gloves while cleaning. 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. To avoid multiple trips to and from your vehicle when you need to clean, leave a pack of disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer in your center console or other convenient location within your BMW.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Wondering how to clean leather seats in a BMW? Be sure to spot test the cleaner on a hidden area, so you can make sure it works for the material on your seats. Always use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the leather. And if you don't have any cleaner, mix two parts vinegar with one part water. That's all it takes to make your own solution. If you're able, use leather conditioner after cleaning.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your BMW 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. Also note that dish soap will work just fine. Dampen the surface you need to clean, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Don't forget to scrub high-touch areas like your steering wheel, console and any displays. Other 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

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Thanks to the sun and other weather elements, germs are less likely to thrive on the outside of your vehicle. Although, it's still smart to clean areas you frequently touch, including door handles, handle buttons or the gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your BMW 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.

Here at BMW of Sudbury, 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 BMW dealership in Sudbury, MA.