What Are the Dirtiest Parts of Your Car?

Published by Partnered Content, Date: January 13, 2023
What Are the Dirtiest Parts of Your Car?

Whether you drive your car every day or once each week, it may be one of the most germ-filled things you own. Although most people may think their car is relatively clean, many places are actually common breeding grounds for bacteria. Between classes, your social life, a job, etc., you may not have much time to keep your car spotless and sanitized. With that said, knowing what the dirtiest parts of your car are may convince you to give your vehicle more attention.

Floor Mats

This one may not be a huge surprise as you step into your vehicle with dirty, muddy shoes on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to keep your floor mats clean all the time—they tend to collect dirt, crumbs, and hair. Although they work great to keep your actual floorboards clean, you may notice a ton of built-up gunk on them.

Pro Tip

You don’t have to deep-clean your floor mats frequently, but you should remove them and shake them off outdoors whenever you notice excess dirt.

Air Vents

Heat and air conditioning are luxuries in a car, but it’s not uncommon for bacteria to accumulate inside your air vents when the humidity is high. With that said, these germs may escape the vents as soon as you switch your air on, exposing yourself and your passengers to unnecessary allergens and bacteria. Avoid letting humidity build inside your car, as it leads to pooling water vapor inside the vent cavities.

Additionally, you should consider checking your cabin air filter to ensure it’s clean and isn’t putting you at risk for excessive allergen exposure. Don’t hesitate to clean it thoroughly or replace it as soon as possible.


It’s no secret that your trunk experiences many more conditions than the rest of your car, as you likely place groceries, dirty beach towels, wet items, etc., inside it to avoid damaging your vehicle’s interior. If you keep a box of stuff in your trunk all the time, chances are that your trunk is the dirtiest part of your car.

Cup Holders

Cup holders are incredibly convenient, but they see everything from condensation to sticky spills. Although cup holder coasters are an excellent way to help prevent messes, they aren’t completely effective. Consider wiping your cup holders out with a disinfectant wipe once weekly to avoid sticky buildup and excessive bacteria growth.

Helpful Tip

Put a container of disinfectant wipes inside your car so you always have them on hand for messes.

Steering Wheel

You touch your steering wheel more than any other part of your car, which makes it one of the dirtiest and germiest places. Think about it—you get in your car after touching many other public items at stores, restaurants, etc., then drive home without thinking twice about it. Unfortunately, bacteria grow on your steering wheel, making you sick.

Knowing how often you should clean your vehicle’s interior is essential for your health and well-being, but it’s not always possible to do a deep clean. Use disinfectant products to sanitize your steering wheel as much as possible.

Now that you know what the dirtiest parts of your car are, you may decide to make more time in your busy schedule to disinfect and clean your interior at the very least. Stay safe and healthy with an extra-clean car!


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