Dirty Car Interiors Are Making Us Sick

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Think a shiny car means a clean car? Think again. Drivers often neglect to clean their car’s interior, and it could be making them sick. According to an expert, the cabin can be a haven for dust mites, mold and germs.

Infection preventionist Jill Holdsworth told USA Today germs can hitch a ride on the places drivers touch with their hands, such as the radio, gear shift, keys and wheel.

So how can you combat illnesses from your car?


A study conducted several years ago by researchers at Queen Mary University in London showed that, on average, 700 different kinds of bacteria can be found inside cars. Only 60 types are found in the average public toilet. Keeping hand sanitizer in the car can help cut down on cross infection and bacterial build-up. The surfaces in your car that are regularly touched should be cleaned often with an anti-bacterial solution.

Dust mites

Dust mites make themselves comfortable in upholstered fabric and are often found in cars as well as homes. People with allergies need to regularly clean their homes to combat the tiny bug, according to the Mayo Clinic, but the car is often overlooked in the battle to reduce allergic reactions. Regularly vacuuming the floor mats and the seats in your car can reduce dust mite numbers.


Pollen can build up inside of cars in the spring, as well. After this harsh winter, many experts are expecting a worse-than-usual allergy season, as plants will begin blooming along with grasses, according to ABC News. Using a disinfectant wipe to clear dust and germs from the dash and consoles can help cut down on allergy attacks behind the wheel. If you are particularly sensitive to pollen consider regularly cleaning the heating and cooling ducts, too.

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