• Apr 16th 2014 at 8:15AM
  • 6

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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Cars Made Since 2000 Have Air Filters That Clean The Air As The Heat Or AC Runs. These Need To Be Changed Like Oil And Gas Filters. Older Cas Have No Filter I Dare You At Aol Auto To Tear Into A 1990's Car And Look At The Filth On The Heater Core. Then You Can Say We Are Driveing In Filth And Germs ..
      • 1 Year Ago
      All my vehicle make me sick every time I have to fill them with ethynol. I lost 25% of my miles per gallon, I have to pay 1.00 surcharge per gallon and then 4.00 a gallon at the pumps and the price of everything is expensive because of the price of ethynol.
      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I made the huge mistake of buying a Ford, was sick till the day I sold it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      You can buy a spray bottle of cleanser at Wal Mart. Spritz a towel and de-gunk eveything. Then spritz another towel with interior protectant and wipe it all down to make it last. Install washable seatcovers. When they get soiled, toss them into a washing machine then let them air dry and re-install. Disposable dash covers are nice also. All of this pays for itself many times over because few people will buy a car with a faded/cracked dash and worn upholstery. You can get nice seatcovers and dash covers from JC Whitney online. While you are at it order matching floor mats if you don't already have them. (A solid investment).
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kids are petri dishes full of germs. Dogs and cats also contribute to slimey car windows and slobbering car door handles and upholstery.
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