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August 1, 2020

Please Don't Use Alcohol or Bleach to Clean Your Car's Interior

While it’s true that we should all prioritize our own health and safety, we should also consider the effect disinfectants can have on our cars, especially the interior. With that, it’s just as important that we invest in the right sort of cleaning solution and/or agent.

Modern cars use all sorts of materials from leather to high-gloss plastics to brushed aluminum; making the use of any substance with alcohol or bleach not advisable. According to German vehicle care specialist Sonax, the sort of disinfectants sold at pharmacies and supermarkets are largely unsuitable for cleaning surfaces in vehicles. They can potentially damage delicate materials causing them to become dull, stained, or brittle.

According to Sonax’s Head of R&D, Dr. Christian Seeger, using high-quality car interior cleaners should suffice. For instance, Sonax’s line of interior care products pass Germany’s Federal Centre for Health Education (BZGA) standard which assumes that it can remove more than 90 percent of germs from surfaces.

For example, the Sonax Interior Detailer (P 800 at Sonax Philippines’s LazMall store), can thoroughly clean any sort of car interior surface from plastics, vinyl, leather, rubber, metal—even the delicate acrylic cover on the gauges while still being gentle on them as not to affect or potentially damage them. The Sonax Interior Detailer also comes with two special bonuses: it removes unpleasant odors and it prevents electrostatic charging making surfaces less prone to attracting dust.

More important than the product itself is the way it’s used. According to Dr. Seeger, just like there’s a proper way to wash your hands, there’s a proper way to clean commonly touched surfaces such as the steering wheel, gear lever, door handles, and more (see our 31 Areas You Shouldn’t Forget When Cleaning Your Car).

It’s recommended that on the surfaces being cleaned, the agent should be given enough time to take effect. For Sonax, the recommended application time is around one minute. After application, any cleaning agent residue should be wiped away with a clean, moist cloth. Finally, it’s advisable to also rinse and then wash the cloths you’ve used.

As COVID-19 cases continue to go up in the country, it pays to stay vigilant, especially when it comes to personal hygiene. However, because cars are our second biggest investment, proper care must also be exercised to make sure they look and feel newer longer.

You can shop for Sonax Philippines products through their official LazMall page.


  1. Im using alcohol to wipe the steering wheel and gear lever.

    1. While that's okay in the short term, it might end leaving damage especially if your steering wheel and gear lever are leather.


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