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

How to clean your car at home during COVID-19

Owning a VW

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