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Bug Busters! Car Cleaning Tips To Prevent Covid (and Any Other Winter Bugs) – Part One

It’s that time of year: temperatures have dropped, the rain has arrived with a vengeance and children and teaching staff have returned to school - for most - after a six-month break. If ever there was a time to do everything in your power to fight the spread of viruses, this is it.

In this series, we will talk you through the steps that you can take to ensure that you and your passengers remain as virus-free as possible, come ‘flu season, pandemics or colds.

When to clean

If you know that you or a family member has had contact with a person who is Covid-positive and you have been asked to self-isolate until you have tests, you won’t be able to use your car, so now is a good time to clean it from top to bottom! If you or a passenger is self isolating, you should wait three days before cleaning your vehicle. This is because, while there is still limited understanding about how long the virus lasts on surfaces, we do know that the risk of spreading the virus within the same family reduces significantly after 72 hours.

If you have decided to disinfect your vehicle regularly as a precaution, you can do so at any time.


A year ago, PPE was probably not in most people’s vocabulary unless they worked in healthcare settings. Today, the government recommends that you use PPE to clean any settings that may be at risk. So, if someone with confirmed or suspected Covid has been in your car, you should wear an apron and gloves at least; preferably a face covering and goggles, too (especially if it has been less than 72 hours since the person was in your car).


A full clean needs more than a quick wipe down with a wetwipe. However, you don’t need to go crazy buying specialist equipment either. You need bleach-free household disinfectant, kitchen towel or cloths that you are happy to throw away, and two bin bags.

Before you start

A checklist of items will help you to insure that you clean methodically and thoroughly. Copy and paste the list below to help you get a proper clean:

  • All exterior handles
  • Driver’s seat
  • Steering wheel
  • Gear stick
  • Handbrake
  • Keys
  • Indicator and light controls
  • All dashboard controls
  • Air vents
  • All seatbelts and seatbelt clips
  • Head rests
  • Any pockets or charging points
  • Interior door handles and window controls
  • Glove compartment and any other storage compartments
  • Parcel shelf
  • Cup holders

Once your list is printed and you are wearing gloves and apron, you are ready to go! Check out next week’s blog for full details on how to get a professional, virus-busting clean. If you don’t have time to give your vehicle the time it deserves, find your local valeting centre here.

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