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Steam Cleaning for Cars: An Eco-Friendly Way to Kill Ants

Have you ever slid into your car on a warm summer day only to find your vehicle has become an ant condo? There’s nothing quite like the feeling of ants crawling over you as you drive to ruin your day. While spraying harsh chemicals may seem like the fastest solution, it often does more harm than good. There’s a better way to evict those uninvited guests and make your car ant-free without polluting the environment. Steam cleaning your vehicle using a steam cleaner is an eco-friendly method that kills ants on contact by heating them to extreme temperatures. The best part is once you’ve steamed your car, the ants stay away for good. Read on to learn how to use the power of steam to eliminate ants in car in an environmentally responsible way. Your car and the planet will thank you.

Why Use Steam to Clean Your Car?

Using steam to clean your car is an eco-friendly method that naturally deters ants and other insects. Here are a few reasons why steam cleaning your vehicle is worth considering:

  • It’s chemical-free. Steam cleaning uses nothing but hot, pressurized water vapor to lift away dirt and grime from surfaces. No harsh chemicals are required, so it’s a non-toxic approach that won’t leave behind residues. This also makes it a safe method if you have kids or pets.
  • It kills germs and bacteria. The high heat from steam vapor is very effective at sanitizing and disinfecting. It can eliminate up to 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and other microbes that may be lurking in your car. This includes ants, their larvae, eggs, and the pheromone trails they leave behind.
  • It leaves your car spotless. Steam cleaning will lift away tough stuck-on messes, grease, and baked-on spills from upholstery, carpeting, vents, cup holders, and door jambs. Your entire vehicle will be sparkling clean when done.
  • It’s versatile. Steam cleaners come with various attachments that allow you to clean both the interior and exterior of your vehicle. You can steam clean seats, carpets, floor mats, door panels, pedals, grills, wheels, and more.
  • It extends the life of your car. By thoroughly and regularly steam cleaning your vehicle, you remove damaging dirt and debris. This helps prevent stains from setting in and protects components from excessive wear and tear. Your car will look and function like new for longer.

Steam cleaning your car using an eco-friendly steam cleaner is a simple, natural, and cost-effective way to fully detail your vehicle inside and out. The hot pressurized steam will leave your entire car clean, sanitized, and ant-free without the use of harsh chemicals. It’s really a win-win!

Targeting Ants in Your Car With Steam

Steam is extremely effective at killing ants on contact. Use the jet nozzle attachment on your steam cleaner to blast ants directly. The high heat will kill them instantly. Focus the steam on areas where you see ants crawling, as well as entry points to the vehicle like doors, windows, and any cracks or crevices in the interior.

Steam the spots where ants tend to congregate like spilled food crumbs, sticky cup holders, and floor mats. The heat will sanitize these areas and remove any traces of food or scent trails that are attracting the ants. Vacuum your seats, carpets, trunk, and floorboards thoroughly before steaming to pick up any loose dirt or debris.

Best Steam Cleaners and Steamers for Cars

When it comes to eco-friendly steam cleaning your car to get rid of ants, the right equipment can make all the difference. Here are some of the best steam cleaners and steamers for tackling an ant infestation in your vehicle.

Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaners

These handy devices can steam clean both the interior and exterior of your car. Models like the McCulloch MC1375 or the PurSteam Steam Cleaner are highly versatile, compact and easy to use. They come with multiple attachments for cleaning seats, carpets, floor mats, air vents, door jams, wheels and grills. The pressurized steam kills ants and larvae on contact in an all-natural, chemical-free way.

Handheld Steamer

For a more affordable and portable option, a handheld steamer like the Conair CompleteSteam or the Steamfast SF-370WH can work great for steaming out ants in your car. These compact steamers heat up in under a minute to produce a concentrated blast of steam. They’re ideal for treating problem areas where you spot ants entering or nesting in your vehicle. The pinpoint jet of steam penetrates deep into cracks and crevices to kill ants and eggs.

Steam Mop

Another handy tool is a steam mop like the Bissell PowerFresh. In addition to mopping hard floors in your home, the steam mop can be used to sanitize carpets, floor mats and upholstery in your car. The steam kills ants and leaves your car’s interior fresh smelling. For safety, be sure to unplug and allow all areas to cool completely before driving.

  • Choose a model with multiple attachments
  • Look for fast heating and variable steam control
  • Consider your needs – handheld for spot treatment or full-size for whole vehicle
  • Read reviews to find a high quality steamer in your budget

With the right steam cleaner and some patience, you’ll be ant-free and enjoying a sparkling clean car in no time. The all-natural power of pressurized steam is an eco-friendly way to reclaim your vehicle without the use of harsh chemicals.

Additional Tips for Preventing Ants in Your Vehicle

·       Vacuum frequently

Vacuuming your car regularly, especially the seats, carpets, door panels and any other upholstered areas where ants could enter, is one of the best ways to prevent an infestation. Ants are attracted to food crumbs and spills, so frequent vacuuming will eliminate access to food sources and discourage ants from making a home in your vehicle.

·       Seal any cracks or crevices

Inspect your car for any small cracks or holes in the doors, windows, trunk, wheel wells or floorboards where ants could get in. Use a sealant, weatherstripping or repair any damage to eliminate access points. Caulk, weatherstripping tape or door sweeps can help seal larger gaps. For smaller cracks, a silicone-based sealant should do the trick.

·       Store food in sealed containers

Never leave open food, snacks, drinks or containers in your car. Ants are foragers and opportunistic feeders, so any unsealed food items or spills will attract them. Make sure all food, gum, mints or drinks are in sealed bags, wrappers or containers and properly disposed of after eating.

·       Clean spills and messes immediately

Clean up any spills, messes or stains in your car right away. Things like coffee spills, soda spills, crumbs from a messy sandwich or leftovers from a road trip snack can draw ants to your car. Wipe up any spills, vacuum thoroughly and consider using a disinfecting wipe for sticky spills. The quicker you clean, the less likely ants will detect the scent.

·       Use natural repellents

There are several natural repellents you can use to deter ants from entering your vehicle. Spray vinegar, lemon juice, eucalyptus, lavender or peppermint essential oils around doors, windows, vents and any cracks or crevices. You can also place cedar blocks, coffee grounds, chili pepper, cinnamon sticks or citrus peels in your car—the strong smells will drive the ants away.

The Fortador Pro Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner is a great all-around option. With diligent prevention, baiting and proper sealing of entry points, you can enjoy driving ant-free this summer. Staying on top of Fortador’s recommended strategies will help keep your vehicle pest-free all season long.


So there you have it, an easy and eco-friendly way to get rid of those pesky ants invading your car. By using a steam cleaner, you can kill the ants on contact and decontaminate your entire vehicle without using harsh chemicals. The high-pressure hot steam penetrates into small cracks and crevices, destroying the ants and their pheromone trails to prevent future infestations. Steam cleaning your car is also highly effective at killing other insects like spiders, and will leave your vehicle looking spotless inside and out. Why use toxic sprays when you can harness the power of steam? Your car and the environment will thank you. Give steam cleaning a try – your ant problem will soon be a thing of the past.

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