How clean is your car interior?

So who has the dirtiest cars, well from experience of cleaning cars for many years I already know the answer to that question after many different conversations with my clients.



Here are some facts

According to a number of studies it’s not single males or single females that have the dirtiest cars, cars that carry children have more bacteria and the dirtiest cars. The length of the journey plays its part due to airborne contaminants from the air conditioning and heating system. Carpooling is a great way to share the burden of transporting people around but this itself can increase the level of airborne contaminants due to the number of passengers in the vehicle. Stress levels can lower the body’s immune system making you more susceptible to illness.  Mold can be found on Seat Belts, Door Handles, Window Openers, Car Seats, Steering Wheel, Radio Buttons, Food & drink Spillages on Carpets, children’s car seats, cup holders and Toys.

GearstickS can be full of bacteria


Steering Wheels are breeding grounds for bacteria and have over ten times more than a public toilet. A steering wheel may have 700 different types of bacteria whereas a public toilet only 60 different types. Dogs and footwear also bring contamination into our vehicles.

We all carry some change in our cars to pay for parking which is usually in the ashtray or cup holder in the centre console, money is another area for bacteria growth. Most bacteria in our cars are not harmful to us, but some really can be.

Some harmful bacteria names were found in cars that were swabbed that you will have come across before like E.coli, Salmonella, and MRSA. Scientists found over 280 different types of bacteria per square centimetre in the average car. Temperature plays a great part in mold growth and bacteria, the higher the temperature the greater the number of bacteria.

Aspergillus is one common mould that can be found in cars via the air conditioning and heating systems; however Aspergillosis is caused by breathing in small particles of mould. Luckily our immune system is able to kill the mould.


Dashboard & Steering Wheel

The dash board was found to have high concentrations of mould and bacteria on it due to the heat from the heating system and the sun penetrating the window screen. The gear stick and steering wheel also had high concentrations of bacteria on them; this is no surprise when you consider these are the main areas which have to be used for obvious reasons.

Health Care Personnel Transportation is one area where we all expect Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, First Responders etc etc who turn up at our homes won’t bring with them microorganisms that could spread harmful organisms. In today’s society health care professionals are mobile and bring computers, equipment like stethoscopes, thermometer, otoscope, Sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure, even pens to write notes. Our cars are contaminated on a daily basis and have the potential to spread the microorganisms onto others. It is very important to clean the surfaces of the vehicle to prevent the spread of bacteria which can easily be spread from surfaces onto our hands, then into our mouths and bodies.

cup holders have high levels of bacteria

Cup Holder

Food is one of the biggest areas of concern; many people eat, drink, sleep and live out of their cars for many differing reasons. Mothers, fathers, grandparents etc etc let children eat & drink in their cars. Children then touch all areas of the car, spill food and drink on the car seats and carpets and down doors. They Drop sweets, crisps, breakfast cereal all over the car which then get squashed in fabric, falls behind child seats or down the back of the seats and or turns into mould over a period of time, the bacteria grows and can start to smell in some cases depending on the spillage. Children touch the mold in the car which is on the car seats, seat belts, toys and many other areas. The children then start the whole process again of eating in the car, meaning the bacteria they have touched in the car is then on the children’s hands which is then transferred into their mouths, eyes with the potential to make them ill.