These Are the 7 Dirtiest Places in Your Car

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Interior(Photo Credit: Pexels)

With the Wuhan coronavirus going around, everyone is trying to stay hygienic, but what about your car’s cleanliness? Here are the dirtiest places in your vehicle.

January 2020 has undergone many worldly changes, but quite possibly the biggest one is the coronavirus, better known in Singapore as the Wuhan virus. Due to this epidemic, many Singaporeans have taken measures to prevent the virus from reaching them, such as clearing out stocks of face masks and hand sanitizer.

This epidemic is the perfect opportunity for you to clean your vehicle, especially if you haven’t done it recently. You may think that you won’t get the virus in the comfort of your own car, but did you know that it is actually one of the germiest places you visit every day?

Here are the seven dirtiest places in your car, and ways you can clean them up:

1. Trunk

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Trunk(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

This probably goes without saying, but your trunk or boot is one of the dirtiest places in your car. They see everything from bags to boxes to potted plants; it’s no wonder that there are so many germs present there!

If you always have something in your trunk, chances are that there will be dust or dirt falling off your items. For example, a cardboard box rattling around your trunk will break off at the corners and you’ll see some cardboard “dust” on the floor of your trunk once you open it.

When you load your trunk with groceries, frozen food start to condense and can leave wet stains on your trunk floor, especially if it's carpeted. Wet spots like these can breed many germs.

2. Floor Mats

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Floor Mat(Photo Credit: Volkswagen)

Some people believe sprinkling salt on your floor mats will improve your car’s energy flow, but many others see salt as just more dirt in the car. After all, your floor mats rank really high on the list of dirty places in your car.

Firstly, you step into the car with your shoes on, aka all the tiny pieces of gunk stuck to your shoe end up on the floor mats. Secondly, if you or other passengers consume food in the car, crumbs can fall onto the mats. Thirdly, these mats are great places to find stray hair and fur, which can also cause you to start sneezing.

3. Seat Belts

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Seat Belt(Photo Credit: Pexels)

When you get into your car, the first thing you should do is to put on your seat belt. Same goes for your passengers as well; after all, it can cause you demerit points if anyone is caught not wearing a seat belt.

Seat belts are also great breeding grounds for germs, especially if you touch them with wet hands. Moisture increases the growth of bacteria, so make sure your hands are dry when you pull the belt over yourself.

Similar to an elevator button, which has literal thousands of bacteria on it, the seat belt button or buckle can be covered in germs as well. Not to mention the tiny crevices, which makes it harder to clean.

4. Small Gaps In Between Seats

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Small Gaps Crevices(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Speaking of crevices, crumbs and fur can fall into cracks in between the seats, causing bacteria build-up because they’re just really difficult to reach into. Being dark places, they can be home to small insects who are attracted to the fallen food nestled inside.

Some insects can carry diseases with them, which could infect you if they bite or sting you. Although the Wuhan virus isn’t spread through insects, it doesn’t cost much to clean your car crevices regularly.

5. Cup Holders

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Floor Cup Holder(Photo Credit: Carmudi)

Many drivers use cup holders for hold soft drinks and these flavoured liquids can often make a huge mess when spilt. Sometimes, when you buy a drink, the staff hand it over with the drink dripping over the sides. If you don’t notice this and wipe it up immediately, it can end up touching the sides of your cup holder, making it sticky.

As mentioned earlier, moisture increases bacteria growth. Combined with the flavouring in your drinks, it can attract insects if the drink spills in your cup holder and you don’t clean it up.

6. Aircon Vents

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Aircon Vent(Photo Credit: Unsplash)

While air conditioning is a welcome luxury in sunny Singapore, did you know there is often a build-up of germs in the vents? This is especially so if the car interior’s humidity is high. Water vapour can collect in the vents, which can lead to bacterial growth.

Once the aircon is turned on, the air that blows out is likely to contain bacteria, which is then inhaled by the passengers on-board.

7. Steering Wheel

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Steering Wheel(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Of course, what is a car without a driver? The driver’s seat is considered one of the dirtiest places in the car, mainly because it’s used the most.

Some people believe the steering wheel isn’t the dirtiest place in the car but the truth is that it is swarming with germs! Every human is subject to sneezing or coughing, which we can do without paying attention. That said, water droplets from your sneeze or cough can land on your steering wheel.

You then proceed to place both hands on the wheel, thereby making contact with germs and you don’t even realize it! If you’re the type to lend your car to others, that’s an even bigger collection of germs on your steering wheel.


Did the above points disgust you? Now that we know the causes of germ growth in our cars, here’s how we can reduce it.

Keep the Car Clean

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Clean The Car(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Use Wet Wipes to Clean the Car Interior

While this isn’t a deep-cleaning tool, it does help you kill some germs present on your steering wheel or in your cup holders. Be sure to get disinfectant wipes, or wipes with some alcohol content, to clean your car.

Shake Out the Floor Mats

Be sure to take out your floor mats and give it a good dusting every week. This helps to get rid of any loose debris and is also a great workout for your arms. Just remember to dust it outside your car with the door closed so that the germs don’t end up back inside your car.

Weekly Vacuums

Shaking out your mats won’t get rid of everything; there will always be stuff clinging onto the mat. Vacuuming your car interior weekly will help suck up any stubborn debris from your mats, as well as get rid of the crumbs hidden in the crevices of your car.

Baking Soda

While this might seem silly, baking soda actually helps to absorb odours and stains from your car seats. By sprinkling some of this in your vehicle, you can actually kill some germs that breed from moisture in your car. Besides, who wants their car to have an odour?

Engage a professional cleaner

Sure, engaging a professional to clean your car might be slightly painful on the wallet, but knowing that the interior of your car is spick and span can offer you a peace of mind, especially if you are a germaphobe. Cleaning services can range from S$80 to $220, depending on services rendered. We recommend steam cleaning as it is useful in killing harmful germs and bacteria in the car.


We hope that this article has provided you with insight on car cleanliness. With the Wuhan virus travelling around, it is vital that we continue to look after ourselves and the things we touch.

What other parts of your car do you think hide lots of germs? Do you have other methods of cleaning your car’s interior? Share them with us in the comments!

If you'd like to keep a reminder of these places, here's an infographic we created for you to save and share with your friends!

Motorist 7 Dirtiest Places In The Car Infographic

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