Your Car is Dirtier Than You Think, Here’s Why

Your car is filthy, and it's time to do something about it.

carShutterstock / Andrey_Popov

Dirtiest Place in Your Car: Steering Wheel

Your steering wheel carries with it the germs that your hands have brought from wherever your day may take you. Even if you are diligent about vacuuming your car interior and taking it for a spin in the car wash, your steering wheel might not get wiped down as often as it should be. Your steering wheel is the top place for germs. conducted a survey of 1,000 drivers in the U.S. and found that 32 percent of people only clean their car once a year. Additionally, the survey found 12 percent of people have never cleaned their car. Try these tips to clean the inside of your car better.

How Dirty is Your Car?

There are approximately 700 different kinds of bacteria living in an average car, which is dangerous if you’re someone who likes to eat in their car. went on to break down the numbers by determining the average amount of bacteria per square centimeter. found the average steering wheel had 629 colony-forming units of bacteria per square centimeter, which ranks dirtier than a public toilet seat (172 CFU), a cell phone screen (100 CFU) and public elevator buttons (313 CFU). Elevator buttons are among the things you should wash your hands after touching immediately.

The cup holder doesn’t trail the steering wheel by much in terms of dirtiness with an average of 506 CFU per square centimeter. The seat belt ranks as the third-dirtiest and the inside door handle is fourth, according to These car organizers will keep your car cleaner.

A 2014 study published in Biofouling found Staphylococcus as one of the most prevalent bacteria found in cars, which is cause for concern since staph can cause food poisoning, skin infections and MRSA.

These 46 car-detailing tips will get your car clean cheaply and help put your mind at ease.

Check out the video below to see the best ways to clean your car.