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How to Clean Your Car AC Vents and Switches

Cleaning Car AC Vents and Switches

How to Clean Your Car AC Vents and Switches

Car AC vents and switches are the guardians of your car’s airways. However, some vehicle owners tend to neglect them because they can be difficult to clean. But this shouldn’t be the case. You should detail them regularly to keep you and your passengers safe from airborne germs and bacteria. These tend to thrive in the deepest, darkest recesses of your AC’s vents and switches.

Why let your health suffer from the hazards brought about by dust, foul odor and soot that often accumulate in these AC vents? It definitely takes more than a quick swipe. However, once you know how, and with practice, you will breeze through it with optimal results.

Car AC Vents and Switches Cleaning – The Right Way

Pliable Brush with Long Handle

Simplest solution is to use pliable, flat and long brushes designed for interior detailing. These can reach into narrow crevices like the air vents. They can also help take out surface dirt. But if you want to reach deeper, the tools below can help you out.

Air Cleaner Sprays

These sprays usually come with a tube that can reach further into your intake vent or grill. Each product is used in a similar way. It will require you to spray in the cleaner and let it work its way through the system. It usually takes about 20 minutes or as the manufacturer’s instructions read. Thereafter, you will need to turn the fan and air condition on for a few minutes. Thus, you’ll get rid of any excesses or lingering smell.

Steam Cleaning the Car AC Vents

Should you be wary of strong and lingering odors from the air cleaner sprays, you may be better off using a steam cleaner for your car AC vents instead. Steam cleaners are a popular alternative as they are odorless and effective. By directing their steam nozzle at the vents, they will dispense steam at a controlled temperature and pressure at and into the vents. This way, they dislodge the micro-sized organisms and air pollutants that are lurking in its passageways.

For your switches, you can go over them with a gentle stream of mild steam. Quickly wipe them down with a clean microfiber towel. This way, they are guaranteed to be clean, rejuvenated and non-greasy to the touch. Alternatively, there are interior care and protection products for your dashboard. Some that are water-based and oil-free, can be used to clean your switches. This also provides durable protection against UV rays.


When you finish with both car AC vents and switches, vacuum your car’s interior to pick up the bits that have been forced out.

There are also many fresheners and odor removers in detailing shops, designed to remove foul odors. Yet, more often than not, they are temporary and do not get to the heart of the problem. If the smells persist, chances are you have air sanitation issues. The fault may be in your air condition system, cabin air filter, or the car AC vents.

In case you are not comfortable to take on this task or feel there are other more serious issues involved, why not schedule an appointment with us. We have been in the auto cleaning and detailing industry many years and have many happy customers who turn to us to help them iron out a variety of air sanitation and other issues for their automobiles.

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