Steering Wheel Bacteria: Get The Facts + How To Prevent


We touch and use our steering wheels almost every day and don’t even realize the number of germs and bacteria that we encounter
This figure is frightening and should be a major cause for concern.

Though there are many steering wheel cleaners, there is more that is required like disinfecting as well as prevention
Not allowing it spread across the surface in the first place is a smart choice

How Dirty Is A Steering Wheel?

Steering wheels are so dirty, they’re literally packed and lined with germs and bacteria, and dirtier than you could ever imagine.
It is therefore imperative to remove the dirt and grime as it causes rapid spreading

Multiple studies worldwide conclude that germs and bacteria on the steering wheels far exceed the amount that you find on some of the dirtiest and most contaminated surfaces. 

It is quite ironic that steering wheels are one of the most used parts of a vehicle, yet the least considered item as far as car care is concerned.
We clean and maintain the body, windows wheels, and upholstery and yet ignore one of the most used apparatus on our car.

These include:

  • Cellphone Screens – According to studies the average cell phone screen is ten times more contaminated than toilet seats.
    Well, guess what the average steering wheel trumps that by a long way.
  • Dish Sponge – You’d expect it to be clean, but apparently not. try touching or smelling it…
  • Money – So many filthy hands touch it, lick their fingers when counting it and pass it on for the next one to do the same in an endless cycle
  • Dirty Laundry – From dirty underwear to sweaty clothes where germs thrive
  • ATM – Everybody touches it transferring decaying food particles and much more

You might find this hard to believe but it is true and needs to be dealt with.

Is A Steering Wheel Dirtier Than A Toilet Seat?

Emphatically yes. Most car owners though are oblivious to the fact that the average steering wheel including theirs is dirtier than a toilet seat
It is littered with invisible germs and bacteria that could have serious consequences on your health

Countless tests have proven this over again but most are still unaware of any potential danger even though it’s a perfect breeding ground for rapid spreading

imagine touching something all the time that is dirtier than a public toilet seat and then transferring those germs to the food we eat and elsewhere
We don’t even realize it either and proceed without washing our or disinfecting our hands either

This, of course, is mainly due to unawareness of the lurking danger hidden before our eyes

What Bacteria Is On A Steering Wheel

There are many types of germs and bacteria on the steering wheel of a car and this can be the unknown cause of some serious health problems.

The most common are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.
Other types include Salmonella and E Coli

These cause many issues in and on the body and can enter the body through an open wound or through the nose or mouth.

Issues and symptoms include:

  • Stomach infections
  • Food Poisoning
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory infections
  • Inflammation
  • Skin Infections
  • Allergies
  • Coughing
  • Influenza

This is naming only some of them

How To Disinfect Your Steering Wheel

There certainly are ways to help curb the effects of germs and bacteria, and it is by simple cleaning and disinfecting your car’s steering

  1. Disinfecting Wipes – Lysol and Clorox wipes are some of the specialist auto wipes that can be used as a disinfectant
  2. Rubbing Alcohol – As well as 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
  3. Vinegar and Water – This is a good homemade solution for disinfecting
  4. Regular Cleaning – You should clean your car’s steering regularly this is also a way to prevent any possible spread

What Is The Cause Of Germs & Bacteria In Your Car?

Here are some of the most common causes that leave germs and bacteria embedded on the steering wheel.
Cleaning and disinfecting suede and leather steering wheels might be more challenging as germs can actually penetrate these softer surfaces a lot easier

  • Touching Things – We touch many contaminated items daily and then Transfer those germs to our steering wheels.
    Toilet seat
    Dish sponge
    Shopping carts
    Door handles
    and more…
  • Shaking hands – We greet and have daily interactions with other people, many of who unwittingly accumulate their own germs and then pass them on to us.
    We in turn transfer it onto our steering wheels where they fester and grow.
    from their own is also a known contributor-Cleaning hand before and after operating the vehicle
  • Eating In the car – One of the biggest culprits is food crumbs that become in the steering wheel crevices.
  • Not washing hands – This after interacting with people and pets
  • Wiping Face – People will sometimes wipe the sweat and moisture from their bodies, leaving it on their hands to transfer onto the steering wheel.
  • Interactions – meeting with friends or exchanging business cards in many cases, the driver will know they have germs on their hands and will clean their hands prior to driving.
  • Pets – As loveable as our furry friends are, they too carry germs which are transferred to the car when we play with them and when they allowed in the car
  • Kids – Children love playing and this also leads them to pick up unwanted germs and bacteria.

How To Protect Your Family From Germs And Bacteria In The Car?

There are fortunately ways as well as car cleaning hacks that you could use to clean and also help protect yourself and others around you

Wash Your Hands

If you want to avoid spreading germs, you should always wash your hands before touching the steering wheel or any other surface that germs have contaminated.

You can easily get food poisoning if these bacteria and toxins are transferred to the food which you then consume.

You should also avoid touching your face while driving and use a sanitizer when you are done driving.

The best way to prevent yourself from getting sick from these germs is to wash your hands with soap and water after every time you touch something that germs have contaminated.

The toilet seat is a good example even though it is cleaner than a steering wheel

Sanitize The Car Interior

It is not only the car’s steering but many parts of the car’s interior too.
You should therefore sanitize your vehicle’s interior at regular intervals as a preventative measure

This will also leave your car smelling clean and fresh making it pleasurable to drive.

Areas to focus on include the gear knob, hand brake as well as the backside of your car’s door handles.

There are a few ways to sanitize your car interior here are the most popular methods:

  1. Using soap and water 
  2. Disinfectant spray or gel 
  3. Disinfecting wipes 
  4. Water and vinegar 

Keeping Your Vehicle Clean

It is important to keep your car’s interior clean to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Here are a few effective ways to do it.

  1. Vacuum your car interior regularly including the seats and carpets
  2. Clean and wipe all vinyl, plastic, and leather with disinfecting cleaner
  3. Clean up spills using disinfecting wipes Clean up spills immediately especially after eating
  4. Vacuum inside small crevices to remove crumbs and old food
  5. Do not eat in the car
    Most won’t heed this call but not eating in your car is not a good idea and will prevent many future problems
  6. If you do eat clean and vacuum straight after including crevices
  7. Use the disinfecting cleaning wipes to clean up a spill

Wash and sanitize your hands

Here are some ways to properly wash and sanitize your hands to keep them germ-free.

  • Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds 
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and rub it into your hands
    Please consult your doctor if unsure
  • Use sanitizing wipes to keep your hands clean 

Mop Up Spills

  • Perhaps the most overlooked way of preventing the spread of germs and bacteria is to clean up after making a mess
  • Keep a mini car vac and some wipes in your car and you could save a lot of unwanted trouble.


Steering wheels is an area where germs and bacteria can build up without you even realizing it.
The best way to prevent this build-up is to clean and sanitize regularly.

Left unattended it can cause complicated health issues.
Prevention then would be the ultimate cure

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