Tip Sheet

Toyota shares 40 components you need to clean to keep your car germ-free

PHOTO: Toyota

From the top of your head, name all the parts of your car your hands come into contact with every time you drive out.

You probably have a few in mind already: the steering wheel, A/C controls, and door handles. “A quick wipe down of these components and I’m good to go,” you’re probably thinking.

Yes, those are three car parts you need to clean on the regular—most especially now with the spread of COVID-19 scaring the crap out of motorists the world over—but you’re missing quite a few others. Toyota, in fact, says there’s a total of 40 car components you need to disinfect to keep your vehicle free of germs.

Yes, 40 parts. So, grab your cleaning gear and get ready because here they are.

  1. Exterior door handles
  2. Frame of door and roof
  3. Interior door release
  4. Window switches
  5. Interior door handle
  6. Door pockets
  7. Seatbelts
  8. Seatbelt clips
  9. Seat adjust buttons
  10. Steering wheel
  11. Horn
  12. Control stalks
  13. Driver air vents
  14. Dashboard
  15. Power button
  16. Gear shift
  17. Multimedia screen
  18. Central air vents
  19. Heating controls
  20. Glove compartment
  21. Log book
  22. Central storage compartment
  23. Cupholders
  24. Rear-view mirror
  25. Interior lights
  26. Grab handle
  27. Key
  28. Head rests
  29. Seat pockets
  30. Rear central tab
  31. Fuel cap
  32. Wheel valves
  33. Trunk lid
  34. Parcel shelf
  35. Trunk floor switch
  36. Trunk close button
  37. Hood lid
  38. Washer cap
  39. Dipstick
  40. Oil cap

Professional car detailer Ben Murphy is responsible for tidying up as many as 46 Toyota Great Britain fleet vehicles per week.

“Our cars return to our press fleet garage from all over the country and I have to think—‘where have people touched?’ For example, a driver will probably approach the car with the key in their hand and pull on the door handle,” he says.


“Then there’s the steering wheel and horn, the gearstick, and surprisingly, the rear-view mirror, because most people adjust the rear-view mirror when they get in the car. The interior of the driver’s door is a common touch point, especially on our press-fleet cars which are driven by many different people. Think about all the people who get in the car and use the controls to put the window down a bit.”

Murphy also adds that you should use products specifically made for car cleaning to get the job done: “They’re inexpensive and kill 99.9% of germs, so they’re as safe and inexpensive as you can get without going out and buying a really strong cleaner. With a pack of wipes, a pair of gloves, and a dry microfiber cloth, you can give most of the touch points a clean. Don’t just give each area a quick wipe; make sure you wipe it at least twice in a forward and backward motion so you’ve cleaned it completely.”

Damn. It looks like you have your work cut out for you, eh? Thankfully, you probably have all the free time in the world to get to cleaning right now, right?

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PHOTO: Toyota
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