With the spread of COVID-19 moving across the country, we all know how contagious it is. We have heard about washing our hands and disinfecting surfaces. Those two factors are the best way to defend against the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We are all donning masks and gloves every time we go out, but are we making sure our cars are clean and disinfected as well? This article will help you understand the importance of cleaning and disinfecting your car's interior without damaging it in the process.
If you are using your car during this time, it is a good idea to give it an initial cleanup and periodically go over your car’s interior to make sure there are no lingering germs hanging around. The following are tips you can use.
- Use cleaners that disinfect – It is not enough to just make your car smell clean; it has to be disinfected in order to kill the coronavirus germs. Most of the same household cleaners that kill coronaviruses on hard surfaces at home can also clean a car’s interior surfaces without damaging its interior. Chances are, you may already have some of these products at home. According to the CDC, alcohol solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus. For the most part, nearly every interior surface of a vehicle can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol without any damage to it. You can even use disinfecting wipes to wipe down the interior of your car and any other area that could be considered a high-touch area.
- Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide - While they both kill coronaviruses on surfaces, they will most likely damage your car’s upholstery. They can cause damage to the vinyl and plastics used in most modern vehicles today. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens either. These cleaners can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
- Protect your leather - Most car leathers and imitation leathers have a protectant urethane coating, which is safe to clean with alcohol. But over time, cleaning leather with alcohol can leave it prone to damage and discoloration. You should use a good leather cleaner, then a good leather conditioner afterward.
- Clean all surfaces touched by hands - steering wheel, door handles, shift lever, any buttons or touch screens, wiper and turn signal stalks, passenger and driver door armrests, grab handles, and seat adjusters.
- Keep a sanitizing kit in your car – With all the work you put into sanitizing your car’s interior, you don’t want to ruin it by being out and about in your car without a way of maintaining it. Keeping supplies inside your car just for those times is a good idea. You can make a kit of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and spray, masks, and gloves to keep you going. Make sure you remove your gloves before you open your car door and get inside. You don’t want to cross-contaminate your vehicle when you get inside with your gloves and masks? You can clean your door handle and steering wheel all day long, but if you have dirty hands, you put that dirt back on when you touch it.
It’s virtually impossible to turn on the television, radio, or computer without hearing about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Don’t panic, just be as prepared as you can. Nothing can guarantee you will avoid catching the bug, but these tips can help to minimize the risk. I hope you can use this information to help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle as clean as possible while reducing the spread of the virus.
Stay safe out there!