Buyers' advice, Motoring News, vehicle maintenance

Disinfecting your car: Be safe, but be gentle

Some cleaners can harm your vehicle’s interior. Here are Nissan’s tips for disinfecting your vehicle safely.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – What’s the best way to disinfect your vehicle to help stop the spread of Covid-19? The US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says hand-washing is crucial, but so is disinfecting surfaces, including those in your car.

The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves to clean and disinfect surfaces with soap and water before disinfection. A soft or microfibre cloth dampened with soap and water can be used on hard surfaces.

Most common disinfectants are effective but some are not ideal for vehicles – among them bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, thinners and abrasive cleaners that can damage upholstery and interiors.


Alcohol-based wipes or sprays with at least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus – but The Corner recommends trying whichever product you choose on a small section of your cabin.

Ford says info screens, rather than ammonia-based cleaners, should be wiped with a soft cloth dampened with soap and water, dried, then wiped with a clean soft cloth

Here’s Nissan’s checklist for vehicle surfaces to disinfect:
Key and remote fob
Exterior door releases (front, rear and each side)
Boot lid or liftgate grab areas
Interior door pulls and door panels
Start button, if equipped
Rearview mirror, back and edges
HVAC vents
Gear selector
Turn signal lever
Windshield wiper controls
Centre stack knobs
Centre console and armrests
Seat belt and buckle. (Avoid harsh cleaners on the belt material to avoid degrading the fibres and strength)
Parking brake handle or release lever

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