A man wearing a medical mask cleaning the inside of a car

How to clean your car at home during COVID-19

How to clean your car at home during COVID-19

June 12, 2020

In the new reality of COVID-19, it’s important to ensure that your car is clean and safe for you and your family, even if you’re only periodically using it to get groceries. Luckily, everything you need to clean your car can be found inside your own home. Here are our COVID-19 car cleaning tips:


Here are the household products you can use to most effectively clean your car:

Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol

ON WHAT SURFACES: All surfaces.

WHY IT’S EFFECTIVE: Not only are alcohol-based solutions effective at killing the coronavirus, but many car manufacturers test their interior finishes to ensure they won’t degrade when exposed to high levels of alcohol — meaning it’s a safe option for most cars.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR: Over time, cleaning leather with alcohol may leave it susceptible to damage and discoloration. Prevent any post-disinfectant damage on your car interior with our VW Car Care accessories.Opens an external link

Soap and water

ON WHAT SURFACES: All surfaces.

WHY IT’S EFFECTIVE: Soap and water has also been shown to be effective at killing the coronavirus. Sometimes all you need are the essentials.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR: Although soap and water works on all surfaces, be sure to use it sparingly on fabric upholstery. Using too much can trap suds deep within the fabric, creating a musty smell and maybe even mold.

Microfibre cloth

ON WHAT SURFACES: All surfaces.

WHY IT’S EFFECTIVE: Microfibre cloths effectively clean without scratching delicate or shiny surfaces.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR: Make sure not to scrub too vigorously, especially on leather. Many leathers are dyed, and scrubbing too hard may remove some of the dye.


These are the household products you should avoid using, because they are either ineffective at killing the virus or can damage your car:

  • Bleach (Careful — many popular disinfectant wipe brands contain bleach)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Benzene
  • Ammonia (Avoid using ammonia on touchscreens, as it can damage anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings)
  • Vinegar
  • Essential oils
  • Paper towels (Dirt and debris in your car can stick to paper towel and napkin fibres and scratch surfaces)

Be sure to check the ingredients of any cleaning product before using it to clean your car.

Don’t have what you need to clean your car?

View VW accessories that can be used to clean and care for your car.Opens an external link

Disclaimers by Volkswagen

  • All prices are MSRP in Canadian dollars. MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and excludes taxes, freight and PDI (for 2021 models: $1,750 (Jetta, Jetta GLI, Golf, Golf GTI), $1,850 (Passat, Arteon) and $1,950 (Tiguan, Taos, Cross Sport, Atlas, ID.4). Amounts vary for 2020 models), levies, fees, optional equipment, license, insurance, registration, and any dealer or other charges, where applicable. Environmental or related levies and taxes may vary by jurisdiction. Dealer may sell for less. European or American models may be shown. Specifications, equipment, options and prices are subject to change without notice. Although we endeavour to ensure that the information contained on the website is accurate, as errors may occur from time to time, customers should contact their local Volkswagen dealer for details. Photos for illustration purposes only. Some items, such as wheels, may be unavailable on some trim levels when vehicle is built or may not be available in Canada.

    Fuel consumption ratings are estimates based on Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) fuel consumption criteria and testing methods for 2020 and 2021 model year vehicles and are provided for comparison purposes only. Please note that comparisons to seemingly similar vehicles pre-2015 model year will show discrepancies due to the difference in NRCan approved calculation methods for 2014 model year and older vehicles. Please refer to NRCan’s Fuel Consumption Guide 2020 and 2021 for estimated fuel consumption figures. Actual fuel consumption will vary based on driving conditions, driver habits and the vehicle’s condition, weight carried and additional equipment. Tires are supplied and warranted by their manufacturer. Most vehicles are sold equipped with four all-season tires. For vehicles sold equipped with summer performance tires, note that appropriate all-season or winter weather tires are required for driving during cold, snowy or icy weather conditions. Please remember that the use of winter tires may be mandatory in your province or territory. Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all accident scenarios. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear seats, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age. The navigation system depends upon signals from the GPS network and is designed to provide you with suggested routes only. Discrepancies may occur between the mapping and the actual location due to changes in street names, construction or other road system changes which are beyond the control of Volkswagen Canada. Please rely on your individual judgment in determining whether or not to follow a suggested navigation route.