How to Clean Car Keys and Why It’s Important?

A vehicle owner must know how to clean car keys for good because keys often get rusty and dirty, and that way, they lose their shine. It’s also important to disinfect your car keys because they’re most likely to catch the bacteria which can affect you.

To clean your car keys, you can put them in a mixture of soap and warm water and let them soak for a few minutes. After that, remove the dirt from the keys using a brush and once they seem clean, wash them with water and then dry them using a cloth.

This is how you clean car keys, but as you’re here to know the whole process step-by-step in detail, you’ll need to stick to this article till the end.

Things you’ll need to clean your car keys

The first thing you’ve to do is get the things you’ll need to clean the keys. Following are the things that you’ll need-

  • A bowl
  • Detergent soap
  • A toothbrush
  • Cleaning spray
  • A towel or a piece of cotton cloth

So these are the things that you’ll need to execute the process, and most of them will already be in your home. Next, you’ll learn the process of cleaning car keys.

How to Clean Your Car’s Dirty Keys

The cleaning process is divided into two sections, and you’ll have to go through both of them-

Clean the car keys

  • First of all, separate your metal car keys from any plastic fob or electronics.
  • Next, grab a bowl full of warm water and squirt a few drops of cleaner or detergent soap into it. After you’re done with it, mix it well with a spoon.
  • Now put the car keys in the bowl and let them soak for at least 5 minutes.
  • After that, take the keys out of the bowl and scrub them well with a toothbrush. You can also use a household scrubbing brush to scrub them.
  • Now, wash them with fresh water and then dry them well with a towel or cloth.

This is how you clean the car keys step by step. Next, you’ll know how to disinfect the keyholder and the fob, which is the second section of the cleaning process.

Disinfect the key holder and the fob

Now, spray the plastic fob that you had removed from your key with a good quality alcohol-based spray. If you use any key holder, then spray that too. Ensure the spray that you’re using contains 60% alcohol to kill germs and bacteria. I recommend using Better Life Natural cleaner spray, which is very effective on key holders and fobs, and it also makes them look shiny.

After spraying your key fob and holder with the spray, leave them for 2 minutes so that the alcohol spray can do its job. Most people wipe them instantly just after spraying, and that’s what you don’t have to do.

Afterward, wipe the key holder and plastic fob with a towel, cotton cloth, or a microfiber cloth.

Now, as you’re done with all the cleaning and disinfecting steps, assemble all the pieces of your keys back together.

This is how you clean your car keys step-by-step. Next, you’ll learn how to take care of your car keys for good.

How To Take Care of Your Car Keys

It’s essential to take care of your car keys along with cleaning them. Following are the tips that you can follow for the good of your car keys-

Replace the key battery

The car key contains a battery that gets drained over time. It’s essential to replace it once every two years as recommended by the manufacturers because sometimes, the key fails to work and can lead to big trouble.

The process of replacing the key battery is different for different models. You can refer to your car’s manual guide to learn the process.

Remove the heavy keychain

Some people are fond of using heavy keychains, which also affects the vehicle. Now you must be thinking, how can a keychain affect a car? Here’s how.

A heavy or bulky keychain will place unwanted pressure on your vehicle’s ignition, which could lead to ignition issues. In most cases, the ignition column gets extended in size, and then it couldn’t hold the key. This is why you’re advised to use a lightweight keychain.

Prevent it from moisture

Avoid keeping your car keys at moisture. The moisture can cause your keys to build a coat of rust that you’ll never want.

Lubricate your locks

Most people don’t lubricate their car locks, and that also affects their keys. The locks of a car should be lubricated and rust-free so that you can easily insert the key into that. If the locks are rusted or jammed, you may struggle with inserting the key into it, and if you force it, the grooves of the key will ruin it.

I’d highly recommend using DuPont Teflon Non-stick lubricant, which keeps the car locks lubricated for longer. I’ve been using this lubricant for a long time, and it has never failed in its job.


So this was all about how to clean car keys. It’s crucial to clean your car keys at least once a year to keep them in good condition. It’s also important to take care of your car keys to avoid any sort of trouble in the future.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you still have any queries related to cleaning car keys, put them in the comment box below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These are some of the most frequently asked questions that you may find helpful-

Yes. You can use an alcohol-based disinfecting sanitizer to sanitize your car keys. It’s important to sanitize the car keys to keep them free from harmful germs and bacteria.

Soak your metal key with a mixture of detergent soap/cleaner and water, and then scrub it using a toothbrush. Scrubbing will help to remove the dirt from the key, which will ultimately make it look shiny. For the plastic fob of your key, you can apply a little amount of cleaner or polish on a cloth and then wipe the fob with it thoroughly. It’ll make your fob look shiny and new.

No. It’d rather be better if you sanitize your car keys because they’re most likely to pick up the germs and bacteria that are harmful to your health. Make sure to use a good quality alcohol-based sanitizer to sanitize your car keys.

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