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Car Disinfection Tips

If you’re commuting to work or driving the kids to school, you’ll want to know these tips for cleaning and disinfecting your car’s interior surfaces to help prevent the spread of viruses.

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While we’ve all put some thought into disinfecting our homes and maintaining clean office spaces, it’s easy to forget that many of us spend a lot of time on the road. Here are a few car cleaning tips to help you maintain a fresher, healthier space for your daily commute.

Stock up on supplies

In addition to hand sanitizer, it’s a good idea to keep a supply of facial tissues, paper towels, Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes On the Go and Clorox® Disinfecting Mist in your car, along with a small trash bag or bin.

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Keep your hands clean

As always, personal cleanliness is key to maintaining cleaner surfaces. Before you hit the road, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.


Gas pump handles can be hotspots for germs. Hit your hands with a squirt of sanitizer before and after fueling up.

Disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces

Try to keep any hard high-touch surfaces in your car fresh and clean. First, wipe with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes or Disinfecting Wipes On the Go, using enough wipes to keep the surface visibly wet for 4 minutes. Then let dry.

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Before you clean any electronic device or screen, check the manufacturer’s instructions, and use cleaners only as directed. 

Don’t forget your phone

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the mobile phone is the device you touch the most, and it’s probably with you at home, in the office and on the road. Read our quick how-to guide for cleaning your phone screen and case.

Sanitize fabric upholstery

If your car’s seats, upholstery and floor mats are visibly dirty, first clean them per the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll want to pay particular attention to child car seats and booster seats, which seem to be magnets for food mess and germy dirt. To sanitize, we recommend bleach-free Clorox® Disinfecting Mist. Just spray 6–8” from the fabric, leave visibly wet for 5 minutes and let air dry. Added bonus: it freshens the air. And for the occasional potty accident, see our helpful article on removing urine stains.

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About the #1 upholstery mishap

Parents know that bio accidents can happen at any time, and car interiors tend to see more than their fair share of urine stains. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to deal with those unexpected messes.

If you have young children, consider investing in car seat covers as a first layer of defense. In many cases, a stained cover can easily be removed and machine washed with bleach. And even if your upholstery is affected, Clorox® Urine Remover can help remove stains and break down urine to eliminate odors, and comes in a convenient spray. 

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Stay fresh with facial tissues

Remember those tissues we told you about? Be sure to use them whenever you cough, sneeze or touch your face, and immediately toss them in the trash.

Keep the fresh air flowing

If possible, avoid using your car’s recirculated air ventilation option, especially if you have passengers. Instead, use the vents to allow outside air into the vehicle, and consider lowering windows if it’s safe to do so.

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