Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 01:59 pm

While most South Africans are wiping down every surface with hand sanitizer, using them to clean your car should be approached with caution, especially those that contain alcohol as they could damage your car interior.

So what could you use?

According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, the cleanliness of your car needs to be considered. “Just like home surfaces, the car interior needs the same attention,” he points out.

Soap and water (or dishwashing liquid and water) will do a great job to clean your car’s interior. Plastic, metal or faux metal surfaces shouldn’t be damaged by soap and water. Assuming you wipe gently, leather will also respond well.

What in your car should you be cleaning?

Areas that are used regularly – such as the steering wheel, climate and audio controls, infotainment systems, window controls and the like.

When working on areas containing electronics, disinfecting wipes are better than soap and water. Ensure that the wipes don’t contain bleach.

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Keep your car looking pristine between valets

Don’t forget to give the upholstery and carpets a good clean too

Once again, avoid bleach-based cleaners as these could damage your car’s interior. Consider using specific purpose-designed cleaners instead: a carpet cleaner or a leather upholstery cleaner, for instance.

And back seat toys?

If you have children who leave toys in the car, don’t forget to give those a very good clean too.

“You wouldn’t want dirty toys full of germs in your house, right? The same applies to your car. Like so many other aspects, having a cleaner car is a simple case of time, patience, attention to detail and common sense,” Mienie concludes.

First drive in the updated Toyota C-HR