How to Properly Clean & Disinfect Car Electronics


In this article, you will learn:

  • Why keeping your electronic controls clean is so important

  • How to get into even the tightest areas of your dashboard

  • Why cleaning your electronics can be tricky and what you can do about it

When you spend a lot of time in your car, it can feel very much like your own personal space that you control. You are the master of your domain...or so you might think.

The reality is you probably have passengers in your car on a regular basis, and some of those passengers might take the liberty of doing the unthinkable…say…reaching for the car audio system. As with any high-touch area in your car, the controls for your car electronics are potential trouble spots for dirt, grime, oils and germs that can spread between you and your passengers. And no passenger deserves to catch the flu just because they wanted to hear their favorite song a little louder…no matter how wrong they were for messing with YOUR radio!

That’s why it’s important for you to clean and disinfect your electronics, as well as using the right dashboard cleaner. So, now’s the time to learn how to tidy up these tough-to-clean areas in a way that uses a gentle touch.

First pre-clean your electronics

Most car stereos, radar detectors and satellite radio and GPS navigation systems have decals labeling the various buttons and knobs. You may damage these decals if you scrub too hard or use a harsh cleaning product. We recommend pre-cleaning these areas to make the job easier for you and gentler on your car.

Before pulling out cleaning products and spraying all over the place, start with a soft, natural bristle brush or a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Gently wipe away any dust or loose soils, being careful not to scratch any of the surfaces. Be sure to wipe into all recesses, cracks and crevices around knobs, between buttons and where the electronics are installed into your car’s dashboard. If your car has a touchscreen, wipe that as well.

The right cleaning formula for the job

Once you’ve pre-cleaned, it’s time for your dashboard cleaner, but don’t use just any old multi-purpose cleaner. You need a product that was specifically formulated for all automotive interior surfaces. We recommend using something gentle and effective, an interior detailer with a UV protectant like Dash & Glass Interior Detailer or Hybrid Solutions Streak-Free Mist Interior Detailer. Both of these clean effectively and gently without leaving residues or streaks and protect against UV rays.

Spray a small amount of interior detailer onto a clean microfiber cloth and gently wipe the face of your electronics and all around the knobs, buttons and other controls of the audio system and touchscreen. Start with the larger, easy-to-reach surfaces. Then, clean progressively smaller or tighter areas as you work. Use as little product and as little scrubbing pressure as necessary to get the job done. You can always spray more cleaning product on the cloth if you need it but start light and only increase the saturation if some soils continue to resist.

In order to clean the tightest spots, saturate one small area of your microfiber cloth and gently push it into the cracks and crevices. Wipe away any excess interior cleaner with a dry section of your microfiber, pushing it gently into the same crack to absorb any remaining solution.

dash & glass interior detailer

Go get those germs

Depending on how you use your car, how much you drive it and how many passengers you typically carry, disinfecting high-touch interior surfaces, like electronic controls and steering wheels, is a healthy, routine practice. If you use your car or truck to drive solo, disinfecting monthly is a good, practical goal. If you have a family, carpool or carry passengers frequently, you may want to consider disinfecting weekly. And, if you use your car as a ride share, you may choose to disinfect it daily or even between passengers.

Choosing an appropriate disinfectant is critical. We don’t recommend using any disinfectant solutions or wipes with alcohol or bleach on your car’s interior. These can damage the surfaces of your car. Instead, we recommend our Multi-Purpose Cleaner & Disinfectant Spray. It’s safe for interior surfaces. Simply spray a microfiber cloth until the cloth is saturated and wipe your high-touch surfaces clean. Don’t wipe away the disinfectant spray. Instead, allow it to dry on the surface for its full disinfecting action.

Our Multi-Purpose Cleaner & Disinfecting Spray kills over 99.9% of germs, including coronavirus, rotavirus, norovirus and cold and flu viruses.

It’s not very pleasant to think of your car as a dirty breeding ground for germs, but it can be. The interior can become hot and damp in the summer months, a perfect environment for germs to thrive. You or your passengers can spill food or drinks, tasty treats not just for you, but for those nasty, bugs, too. And of course, there’s all the day-to-day dirt, gunk, oils and other soils that can find their way inside your car and onto your electronics.

When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see why you should clean and disinfect regularly. And it’s a good thing we make that easy, too!

multi-purpose cleaner & disinfectant spray


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