Viral vehicles: drivers, learn how to clean a van!

How to clean a van - Lightfoot and research finds shocking bacteria levels in vehicles

Does nobody know how to clean a van any more? Harrowing reports are coming from the news desk at, with recent research conducted by the University of Essex revealing just how filthy some of the vans on UK roads can be.

And, sadly, we’re not talking about vans with an innocent “CLEAN ME” scrawled on the back doors.

It’ll take more than your favoured supermarket’s £3 car wash to clean this mess up, as the interiors of all six vans tested have been shown to carry more bacteria than a toilet door handle.

Turns out, there really are some sh*tty drivers on the road.

A who’s who of health horrors

In what is a rather distressing revelation, pathogens including those known to cause pneumonia and endocarditis were found in several areas of the vans tested. Not knowing how to clean a van is a serious risk!

Now, both of those illnesses can be fatal – but only in extreme cases, so please don’t worry too much. Lightfoot does not support #FakeNews. That being said, we do support not being disgusting, so clean your van for the good of yourself and everyone who dares sit in it alongside you.

The culprits

It’s okay to admit it: you’re here to see us dish the very literal dirt on your friends and on-site neighbours. We won’t keep you waiting.

Out of all the trades involved in the research, who claims the unenviable title of mankiest motor?

Ranked from dirtiest to ‘cleanest’, the shameful results are below:

  1. Bricklayer
  2. Builder
  3. Electrician
  4. Dog groomer
  5. Carpenter
  6. Plumber
  7. Toilet door handle

I’d take your chances and have your next lunch break in the portaloo, to be honest.

Cleaner driving for everyone

Wondering exactly how to clean a van so it isn’t a moving laboratory?

We harp on about cleaner driving rather a lot at Lightfoot, but let’s look at it a little more literally today.

The clean freaks at have produced the deep clean guide to end all deep clean guides. If you’re serious about getting your van back to peak condition, follow this plan to the letter.

They cover:

  • Your shopping list (for inside and out)
  • Wheels
  • De-gritting
  • Wash, rinse, dry, wax
  • Mats
  • Vacuuming
  • Seat covers, rollers for animal fur, and finishing with a squirt of air freshener

We could throw in our own suggestions, but they’ve covered everything in such detail (I mean, soaking tumble dryer sheets in warm water to remove splattered insects – who comes up with this stuff?!) that it would simply be redundant.

It might seem daunting at first but, once you’ve done it, a much less heavy duty clean every few weeks will keep it in great condition.

For now, though, you have to pay for your sins in suds and sweat. Salvation (and sanitation) awaits you – and if you don’t achieve that, at least you can take pride in the fact you are no longer driving around in a toilet.