Men Washing His Car

Car Sanitization Information
For Germain Mazda Customer Support

At Germain Mazda of Columbus, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. While we know many people are wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and taking other precautions when going out of their homes, it's important to remember that the items you buy are coming into contact with the interior of your car. 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?

Since there are a variety of surfaces in your car, it may take a few different cleaning solutions to completely sanitize your vehicle. 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?

Before starting, make sure to wash your hands and put on disposable gloves if you have them available. 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. It's also good to keep disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car if you can.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

If you're using a new leather cleaner, spot test it on a hidden area to make sure it works with your specific leather. Use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the leather, and apply a leather conditioner after cleaning. Don’t have any leather cleaner? Mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own DIY cleaning solution.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Mazda 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. Just dampen the surface and scrub for 20-30 seconds -- dish soap works fine if that's all you have. Wipe your dash and steering wheel with a disinfecting product frequently, and focus on high-touch places within your car, including:

  • 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

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging Mazda 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.

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Thanks to the sun and other weather, germs and bacteria are less likely to survive on the outside of your car.However, it's still smart to disinfect areas you touch frequently, like the door handles, handle buttons and gas cap.

Here at Germain Mazda of Columbus, 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 Mazda dealership in Columbus, OH.

Make an Inquiry

I agree that Germain may communicate with me via email, text, or phone. My consent to these terms is not a condition of any vehicle purchase.