Vehicle cleaning

How can I keep my vehicle clean to minimise the impact of the virus?

You should clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in your vehicle after each passenger and after each driver with recommended products. See below for more information on cleaning. You should also wash your own hands thoroughly with soap and water, or hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol, regularly.

Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Keep a box of tissues in your car, and if you do cough or sneeze, use a tissue, dispose of it straight away and then wash your hands. In the event of a passenger or driver spreading droplets (such as sneezing, coughing or vomiting), drivers should clean high touch surfaces after each passenger and after each driver, with recommended products. See below for more detail about high touch areas and cleaning frequency or see our quick guide to cleaning PDF, 275.2 KB.

What is a high touch surface?

A high touch surface is any surface that drivers and/or passengers touch regularly. For example:

  • steering wheel and controls
  • keys
  • door handles (including the boot handle)
  • window controls
  • rear view mirror adjuster
  • hand brake
  • gear stick
  • heat/air conditioner controls
  • navigation/radio controls
  • visors
  • rear view mirror
  • seat belt clips
  • centre console
  • radio mouthpiece (if applicable)
  • glove box (if used).

See our quick guide to cleaning PDF, 275.2 KB .

How regularly should I clean my vehicle?

High touch surfaces that are likely to be touched by passengers should be cleaned after each passenger and before the next trip commences. High touch surfaces that are only touched by the driver should be cleaned at the end of each driver's shift. This may be required multiple times a day if multiple drivers use the vehicle. Use our quick guide to cleaning PDF, 275.2 KB and vehicle cleaning register template DOCX, 30.8 KB to help with this process.

What cleaning and disinfectant products are recommended?

Information on cleaning and disinfection principles for coronavirus (COVID-19), including the use of disinfectant solution, is available here.

Products containing bleach, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide should be used to clean high touch surfaces in vehicles. It is important to note the instructions on the cleaning product and leave the product on the surface for some time before wiping away. Vehicle manufacturing guides should also be referred to when selecting an appropriate chemical or wipe to be used to minimise risk of damage, especially for any touch screens.

In particular:

  • alcohol solutions should be at a concentration of 70 per cent and should remain on the high touch surface for at least 30 seconds before wiping away
  • bleach solutions should be left on high touch surfaces that won't be damaged by bleach for at least 10 minutes before wiping away, and
  • hydrogen peroxide is usually manufactured with a concentration of 3 per cent. It should be used as it is or diluted to a 0.5 per cent concentration and it should be left on surfaces for at least a minute before it is wiped away.

When these products are not available, an alternative disinfectant/disinfectant wipe should be used. If an alternative disinfectant is used, it should be left on the surface for a few minutes prior to wiping away.

You should wipe high touch surfaces with disinfectant wipe or a cloth containing disinfectant.

When using chemicals:

  • Check the label and use according to manufacturer's instructions
  • Be aware of the hazards associated with the product's use and always ensure you use the correct PPE as per the label or Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
  • Avoid eye and skin contact
  • Do not mix cleaning products with other chemicals
  • Where decanting is required, ensure bottles are labelled in accordance with regulations
  • Ensure manufacturer's instructions are followed for any equipment surfaces (eg rolling stock cabs, touch screens in vehicles).

Does the coronavirus (COVID-19) survive on surfaces?

The Victorian DHHS has advised studies suggest that coronavirus (COVID-19) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions such as the type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment.

If you think a surface on your vehicle may be infected, clean it with recommended products to kill the virus. See above for more information about vehicle cleaning.

In general, to avoid contact with the virus, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water often. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.