Car cleaning tips to reduce the risk of coronavirus in your car [][]
How to clean car seats and interior
May 29, 2020
Keeping your Nissan clean and sanitized is vital to preventing the transmission and spread of coronavirus. But just how are you supposed to best do that? Here are a few handy tips to make sure you clean your car properly without damaging it in the process.
For more on what Nissan is doing to address coronavirus, click here.
For more on the virus itself, check out the Center For Disease Control (CDC) website here.
How To Clean & Disinfect Your Car Interior []
Start with your hands. Bet you’ve heard that one before but seriously – it’s the first step to keeping your car clean. After all, if you don’t have any virus on your hands, you reduce the chance of it getting into your car and onto surfaces where it can be transmitted.
Wash your hands (or sanitize them) even if you’re alone or you may inadvertently transfer the virus in from outside. Passengers should do likewise as they’re just as likely to transfer the virus as you are.
Clean/disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces. Door handles (inside and out), steering wheel, start/stop button, and your touchscreen, as well as climate controls and your sound-system knobs and switches. But think past the obvious.
Seatbelts, grab handles on doors, your key fob, your turn signal and wiper, shift lever, windows, locks and the myriad buttons and switches - like for your mirrors, heated seats, seat adjustment switches and levers, and of course your rearview mirror – all are “high-touch” and should be given a thorough cleaning.
Now look at the surfaces that get the most contact – armrests, the center-console, door pads, the seat surfaces themselves. If you’ve touched it, you need to clean it.
Learn more car disinfecting tips here.
How To Clean Car Seats [][]
A general rule of thumb is to combine 1 cup of vinegar, a squirt of dish soap, and a gallon of hot water in a bucket. Using a clean sponge, dab the mixture into any stains to loosen them, then scrub those areas with a brush to lift them. Follow that with rinse of clean water. Done! []
Remember, every surface is different, so cleaning cloth seats won’t be the same as cleaning leather ones. For maximum effectiveness and safety, any off-the-shelf products must be used according to their label. []
How to Clean Leather Car Seats and Leather-appointed Car Seats [][]
Not all leather is the same. Before considering products such as rubbing alcohol, please note that for Nissan vehicles containing genuine leather such as Frontier, GTR and Nissan Z, Armada, and models before 2015, it’s recommended to use gentle cleaners, such as soap and water with a microfiber cloth. [][]
- Clean: Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a cotton ball can work great for leather stains. Since most leather is dyed, harsh scrubbing and cleaning will fade it by removing some of the dye. Take it easy – your seats will thank you.
- Disinfect: Although most automotive leather and imitation leather seats are protected with a coating, it’s best to use mild soap and water on leather to clean any spots, as harsh chemicals may remove protective coating. [][]
- Treat: Follow up your cleaning and disinfecting regimen with owner’s manual recommended leather conditioner to keep those seats looking good and lasting longer. For maximum effectiveness and safety, products must be used according to their label. [][]
How to Clean Cloth Car Seats [][]
- Clean: A vinegar, dishsoap and water solution, club soda, a baking powder solution, or just simple soap and water are all great ways to clean your cloth upholstery. Just don’t overdo it - too much water or too much soap, and you’ll get moisture into the cushioning underneath the cloth cover. That can encourage mold and mildew, and that’s gross.
- Disinfect: Sprays containing a solution of least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus, according to the CDC, and can be safely used in your vehicle using manufacturer guidance. Use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. [][]
How To Clean Other Surfaces [][]
Again, clean then disinfect. Clean with gentle household cleaners, car-specific cleaners, or good old soap and water. For maximum effectiveness and safety, any off-the-shelf products must be used according to their label. Follow that up with something that will actually kill the virus - disinfectant wipes (on smooth seating and hard surfaces) or any solution 70% or more alcohol. Just remember to read the label and follow product instructions. And don’t forget, microfiber towels – not paper – is what you should be using. []
What Not To Use [][]
Many products commonly found on store shelves will disinfect for COVID-19[], but many can also be damaging to vehicle’s interior surfaces. For maximum effectiveness and safety, these products must be used according to their label.
Bleach – This classic laundry chemical kills viruses but will ruin vehicle surfaces. Avoid it. []
Ammonia – Cuts grease; ruins cars. Did we mention the smell? Awful. Avoid it. []
Hydrogen Peroxide – Good for disinfecting scrapes and cuts. Not good for your Nissan. Avoid it. []
To prevent permanent damages to interior paint finishes, Nissan recommends avoiding alcohol-based cleaners and using gentle cleaners, such as soap and water, on the interior of the following vehicles:
Frontier, GTR and 370Z (models 2020 and earlier)
Armada (models 2019 and earlier)
Other Models before 2015
Always check your vehicle’s instruction manual for more information.
Industrial/exterior cleaners – These typically have specific uses – like cleaning brakes or degreasing parts. They’re fine for that, but terrible for your Nissan’s interior. [][]
Whatever you do, for safety, remember to use only one product at a time. Cleaners are chemicals, and some react with each other. That can be dangerous, so clean carefully.
If you’re unsure about what to use, the CDC has some great info here.
What to use to Clean and Disinfect [][]
Something that will actually kill the virus. Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is highly effective – just be sure it’s a 70% alcohol solution. It’s available in grocery stores, drugstores and hardware stores. Keep in mind that while bleach, bleach based products and disinfectants containing hydrogen peroxide may be identified as recommended disinfectants, they can damage your vehicle’s interior. [][]
Don’t pour it directly onto surfaces, just spray some on a rag and wipe away! There are also many non-bleach and non-peroxide based cleaners available. These are effective on hard, non-porous surfaces, but must be used according to their labels. Your local grocery, drug or hardware store will have more information on these products and their availability. []
Vinegar is another tried, tested and true option, but the smell tends to linger. []
Soap and water are also good, but don’t drench the area you’re cleaning – you don’t want to encourage mold or mildew. []
Multi-surface disinfectants, containing forms of ammonium chloride as the active ingredient, should be used according to product directions for compatible surfaces and diluted if necessary, this will limit residue build up as well as the potential for damage to your car’s surfaces. []
Remember! Always test surfaces for colorfastness and such prior to using ANY product on them. Oh, and another thing: when you're washing your car's exterior, you'll want to make sure it's parked in a cool, shady place. If you're using harder water to wash your car, it's likely to leave spots on the paint's finish when it evaporates - even more so when it's sunny out.
Professional cleaning. If you’re willing to pay for a truly deep clean, there’s nothing like taking your vehicle to a professional cleaner/detailer. They have trained cleaners, professional cleaning products, and use steam for cleaning and disinfecting car interiors. []
As you manage taking care of your family and work during this crisis, we know that your vehicle may play a key role. Many Nissan service departments remain open and are available to assist with vehicle service and repairs
For a list of Nissan dealers, click here:
All Finished…Now What?
Wash your hands. Yup, wash ‘em. Again. You don’t want all that work you did cleaning and disinfecting your Nissan to go to waste. Remind your passengers to do likewise. Oh, that spray bottle of alcohol you were using? Keep it around for on-the-go sanitizing. A bottle of hand-sanitizer stashed in the console comes in, ahem - handy too. []
Additional Car Care Tips and Tricks at Home
At Nissan we design our cars for driving, but even if yours has been in ‘park’ for some time it's still important to maintain your car. Discover 5 handy car care tips and tricks to ensure your vehicle is in top shape and running smoothly.
Learn more about Nissan's at home car tips here
Help When You Need It
In these uncertain times, we’re here to help current and future Nissan owners in the US impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Refuse to compromise
2023 Nissan Sentra®
Elevate your every day with a sedan that proves the good life is well within reach. Head-turning good looks, available Nissan Intelligent Mobility™ technologies that connect you to your world, and great fuel economy are just the start.
Protection in a world of distraction [] []
The 2023 Nissan Rogue®
WANT TO STAY IN TOUCH?
Follow us or sign up for the latest news and offers.