How to clean car AC vents and switches??

How to clean car AC vents and switches??

Car AC vents and switches are the guardians of your car airways sanitation but because they are so subtle, it is easy to overlook them in your car cleaning process. With tons of contaminants released everyday and floating around in our airspace; the chances of it escaping via your air-condition system and vents then into your auto cabin is high, if you allow it.

Why risk you and your family’s well-being and comfort by exposing them to pollutants such as exhaust, dust, foul odor and soot that often accumulate in these AC vents. It definitely takes more than a quick swipe but once you know how, and with practice, you will breeze through it with optimal results.


It is easy to make the proper cleaning of your AC vents and switches a regular exercise by doing so whenever you get your car cleaned. To ensure the best results, check that you have the tools and supplies listed below handy before you start.

Tools To Help Clean Your Car AC Vents and Switches:

  1. Pliable brush with long handle – Simplest solution is to use pliable, flat and long brushes designed for interior detailing that can reach into narrow crevices like the air vents. These will help to take out surface dirt but if you want to reach deeper, you will have to opt for the following tools.
  2. Air Cleaner sprays – These sprays usually come with a spray tube that can reach further into your intake vent or grill. Each product is used in a similar way and will require you to spray in the cleaner and let it work its way through the system for about 20 minutes or as instructed by the manufacturer. Thereafter, you will need to turn the fan and air condition on for a few minutes to get rid of any excesses or lingering smell.
  3. Should you be wary of strong and lingering odors from the air cleaner sprays, you may be better off to use 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 and dislodge the micro-sized organisms and air pollutants that are lurking in its passageways.
  4. For your switches, you can go over them with a gentle stream of mild steam from your steam cleaner and 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 that are water-based and oil-free that can be used to clean your switches which also provides durable protection against UV rays.
  5. When both car AC vents and switches are done, you will have to vacuum your car interior to pick up the bits that have been forced out.

There are also many fresheners and odor removers in the auto shop shelves designed to remove foul odors but 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 and it’s likely your air condition system, cabin air filter and car AC vents are at fault.