How To Clean Car Keys: A Short Guide To Maintenance

Washing a car key is not the same as cleaning other keys. A car key has a key fob that can’t be in contact with water. So, you’ve to be really careful and use the right method to clean the key. 

So, how to clean car keys effectively? 

First, detach the key fob and accessories from the main key. After that, use a disinfectant to clean the key fob. Then proceed to clean the accessories with soap water. Now, put the key in soap water for 5 minutes and brush the dirt off. If the car key has rust stains, soak it in vinegar for 2-3 hours. 

Anyhow, that was a short summary of the entire cleaning process. We’ve discussed each of these steps in more detail. 

We will come back to this further down the article but here’s a link if you want to see more about how to stop dust sticking to car.

So, keep reading if you want to know more information about this topic. 

how to clean car keys

Importance Of Cleaning Car Keys

The most important reason behind cleaning car keys is sanitization. Every day we touch many things with our hands. At the same time, we also hold keys to start the car. 

Because of this, the key and the key holder accumulate dirt over time. But it’s not just dirt that is found on key holders. It also becomes a den of bacterias and germs.

On top of that, an unclean car key can have different stains on it. Rust stains are likely to appear as well. 

That’s why having a clean car key is important. It may seem like a very petty issue but precaution is always better than prevention. 

How To Clean Car Keys 

Car keys are one of the top 5 dirtiest things you touch every day. Just like money, doorknobs, shoelaces, and many more. 

It makes total sense right? Your smartphone and laptop keyboard are also one of the dirtiest things. 

Since the world has suffered from COVID-19, washing is more important than ever. Luckily, this is a super easy process and doesn’t even take more than 10 minutes. 

Here’s what you’ll need to start the cleaning procedure- 

  • Multi-purpose Cleaning Spray
  • White Vinegar
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • A soap 
  • A toothbrush or Small Nylon Brush 

Manage these tools as soon as possible and we can get started! 

Step-1: Remove & Clean the Key Holder

If your car key isn’t fully attached to the key holder, detach it. Some car keys come with metal fobs and some come in with plastic fobs. 

Removing the key fobs is important because they can’t be in touch with water at all. Otherwise, water or soap may get inside and damage the electronics. 

Once you’ve removed it, it’s time to clean the key holder instead. 

Since you can’t use water, you’ve to use disinfectant. A good disinfectant has 70% alcohol in it. So, make sure your disinfectant has at least 60% of alcohol in it. 

Just simply spray the disinfectant and wipe it out with a microfiber cloth. But don’t just wipe right away though. It’s a super common mistake made by a lot of people. 

Wait at least for 1-2 minutes and wipe the holder properly. The disinfectant needs a little bit of time to work and kill the germs. 

Now, your keyholder is totally brand new and completely out of germs. 

Step-2: Remove & Clean Any Accessories

Sometimes, we keep a lot of other accessories attached with key holders. For example, keeping a small plushie is totally common. 

If your accessories are made of metal and plastic, just follow the same rule as key holders. Use a good disinfectant and wipe the accessories after waiting 1-2 minutes. 

However, your accessories might be made of fabric. In that case, use soap and water. So, take some soap with the wet brush and scrub the item till it goes away. 

Finally, you can let it soak into a mixture of water and vinegar to clear germs. Vinegar is a great disinfectant and works super well with fabrics. 

By the way, if you’ve got a washing machine, simply throw them in with other clothes. This is the easiest way of cleaning.

Step-3: Clean the Key

Now, for the most important part, the car keys. Normally disinfectant works but the keys require a bit more intensive wash. 

First, get a bowl and some dishwashing soap. You can also use spray cleaners as an alternative as well. When the solution is ready, put the key in it. 

Now, wait for at least 3 minutes to let the solution dampen the stains and dirt. After that, take a toothbrush or a nylon brush. Because you have to scrub the key properly. 

Make sure you’re brushing every part of the key. Because a key has a lot of shapes, dirt can easily be on it. 

Now, if there are rust stains on the key, there is more work to be done. You’ll have to soak the key in a vinegar solution. 

A strong vinegar solution requires ¼ of the bowl with white vinegar. Fill the rest with water, which is ¾ of the bowl. You also can use acetone as an alternative.  

Put the key in the solution and let it stay there for 1-2 hours. Come back later and just scrub the stain off. 

Also, due to COVID-19, many people are using white vinegar for disinfectant purposes. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. So, if you’re cleaning a key for COVID protection, you’ve to use strong disinfectants. 

FAQs

Question: Is it dangerous to sanitize car keys?

Answer: Not at all! The sanitization of the things that you touch regularly is very important. Such things are doorknobs, car handles, steering wheels, etc. Cleaning these frequently can save you from a lot of trouble. 

Question: Can you wash car keys?

Answer: Most car keys are made of metal. So, they are washable with water and soap. Simply soak the key into a bowl of soap water. If you want to remove rust, you’ve to soak it in a vinegar solution instead. 

Question: How do you clean dirty car keys?

Answer: If you’re dealing with super dirty car keys, you can use multi-purpose spray cleaners. It can easily take off the dirt that has been accumulated for a long time. 

Final Words

And we’re at the end of the discussion. We’ve tried our best to provide everything about how to clean car keys. Hopefully, you’ve found your answers and your curiosity has been satisfied. 

Finally, good luck with your keys! 

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