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Tips for Keeping your Toyota and Lexus Vehicle Clean

Apr 28, 2020

Toronto, May 1, 2020 – During the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities across Canada have stressed hand washing as one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. But clean hands are only half the story. The things our hands touch should also be cleaned. And that includes the many items drivers and passengers touch when using their vehicles.

Recognizing that many drivers have questions about cleaning their rides, Toyota Great Britain worked with professional car detailer Ben Murphy to produce a video highlighting the many touch-points in a vehicle and how to clean them safely:

According to Murphy, there are several things to keep in mind when cleaning a vehicle:

  • First and foremost, owners should review the owner’s manual that came with their vehicle for guidance on proper care and maintenance of the vehicle’s interior components.
  • Professional detailers use commercial products specifically designed to clean cars without damaging leather or other materials. Unfortunately, those products can be hard to find with so many auto supply stores closed. There are a number of good substitutes. In general, a neutral detergent or soap diluted with warm water should be fine. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution (make sure it is only damp, not wet, by wringing it out thoroughly) and wipe down the vehicle’s interior surfaces and touch points. Alcohol-free, bleach-free antibacterial wipes are also an option.
  • We don’t recommend using any cleaning product that contains alcohol, ethanol or bleach-based chemicals, as these may damage the surfaces of your vehicle. The recommendation is to use a product which is on the approved list managed by the Government of Canada. Also, do not steam clean the vehicle interior, as the excess heat and water vapour may damage materials.
  • Regardless of what you use to clean your vehicle, make sure you wear gloves and wash your hands properly as soon as you remove them.
  • You should be prepared to spend some time cleaning your vehicle – especially the first time you do it. There are numerous touch-points on a vehicle and, while some of these are rarely touched, it’s a good idea to think about the last time they were. Depending on the age and condition of the vehicle and the owner’s habits, some touch-points may not need cleaning at all. For example, if the vehicle hasn’t carried passengers in the rear seats in more than a week, it’s unlikely that the rear seat belts need disinfecting.


  • It’s important to regularly clean frequently touched items such as: exterior door handles and trunk/rear hatch handle; interior door latches, pulls and power locks; the steering wheel and shift knob; the various stalks that support controls such as cruise control, wipers and headlights; the audio and HVAC controls; the seats and seat adjustments; seatbelts and buckles; exterior mirror controls and the rear view mirror; power window switches; and sunshades. 

  • And don’t forget to clean your keys and key chain!
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