How Germ Friendly is your Car?

With most drivers regularly eating and drinking in their cars is it any wonder your car could be a breeding ground for bugs and dangerous bacteria writes Geraldine Herbert

We all now know how to wash our hands properly while singing Happy Birthday twice, but are we aware of the hidden dangers lurking in our cars? Here are just a few things to consider

1) So how grubby is your car? Germs are not only likely to be lurking in footwells, air vents and armrests but recent research found that Staphylococcus was found in abundance on steering wheels and driver’s seats, gear stick and door handles.

2) Car boots can contain 1,000 bacteria for every 1.5 square centimetres, including Bacillus cereus – one of the major causes of food poisoning.

3) While we all love our pets transporting them in your car can mean all sorts of germs may be festering inside your car and boot.

4) Remember germs and dirt doesn’t have to be visible to be harmful touchscreens can be full of germs.


So what can you do

Wipes – Clean the dashboard, armrests and steering wheel with wipes. You can buy wipes specifically designed for car interiors but you don’t need a speciality product, as regular baby wipes are also effective.

Floor Mats – Remove, shake out and vacuum the floor mats. Treat spills and stains with a carpet cleaner; they are usually simple to apply and you just wipe away with a damp cloth. Before you slip the mats back in, try sprinkling with baking soda overnight and vacuum the next morning, as this will get rid of any lingering odours.

Door Pockets – Transform the door pockets from a space for empty wrappers and plastic bottles to a useful one. Fill an empty cleaning-wipes tube with plastic shopping bags for rubbish or wet umbrellas and store it in the door pocket.

Pets – If you carry a dog or other pet in the car invest in seat covers to reduce the number of germs they carry into your car.

Avoid eating in your car – If you must eat hoover your car to ensure that you get rid of all the crumbs and always remove food wrappers and litter right after a journey.


Geraldine Herbert

15th March 2021

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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