We are all concerned about the spread of the Corona Virus these days. But one place you may not think about is your CAR. Can you get sick from surfaces in your car? The answer is YES. So we’ve compiled a list best practices to reduce the spread of virus-carrying bacteria and keep your vehicle cleaner!
1. Stay informed!
What is the coronavirus? Coronaviruses have been around for many years. They commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illnesses like the common cold. This new Virus is called The Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and has not been seen before.
Current containment recommendations for many places around the world include a quarantine in place and constantly clean surfaces for at least a 14-day period.
2. What should I do if I feel sick?
If you feel sick, contact your doctor. They will be able to guide you as to what steps to take.
3. Can I get sick from my vehicle surfaces?
If not properly cleaned, your vehicle could house the bacteria carrying COVID-19 and other infections and germs. Therefore it is important to sanitize and wipe down the interior of your car and any other areas that are touched or open to sneezes, coughs, etc. Experts say to sanitize your hands and high touch areas on an hourly basis when in use.
You should be especially vigilant about rental vehicles, ride-sharing vehicles like Uber and Lyft, share cars, share bikes and taxis. It is important to sanitize any areas that human hands typically touch, including door handles, door latches, window buttons, mirrors, radio and climate control buttons, lock buttons, seat belts and buckles, etc.
4. What should I use to clean my vehicle?
First off, don’t store cleaning items with alcohol in your car. If the temperature gets too high – you could have a problem with leakage. Better to just carry a smaller bottle on you and replenish as needed.
Soap and water are always a good choice. And alcohol is the cleaner most used by manufacturers of most automotive interiors today. A quick wipe with either will clean most germs and fingerprints. Pay special attention to your steering wheel. According to CarRentals.com, the steering wheel has four times the amount of germs found on an average toilet seat! Eww! Gross!
Also be sure to get all the cracks and crevices on the rim and spokes. PRO TIP: Use disinfecting wipes for harder to get to areas like radio, paddle shift levers, gear selector lever or the turn signal stems. You will be shocked at how much dirt accumulates on surfaces like door handles, vents and pull handles, so be sure you don’t miss these regularly. Cleaning more often is recommended over harder scrubbing. If you scrub too hard, you might scratch surfaces or rub off dyes.
5. Is there anything I should NOT use to clean my vehicle?
Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide on your vehicle! These can cause damage to vinyl and plastics. And here is a VERY IMPORTANT TIP: Never use ammonia-based cleaning products like Windex on vinyl or leather. It will break down the material and damage it beyond repair possibly. Additionally, glass cleaner should not be used on touch screen displays, to avoid damage to anti-glare coatings.
BE SURE YOU NEVER COMBINE THESE CLEANING PRODUCTS:
- Bleach + Vinegar = Toxic Chlorine Gas.
- Ammonia + Bleach = Toxic Chloramine Vapors.
- Rubbing Alcohol + Bleach = Toxic Chloroform.
- Hydrogen Peroxide + Vinegar = Toxic Parecetic Acid.
- Baking Soda + Vinegar = Ineffective Cleaning Solution.
6. Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands!
We cannot stress this enough. If you have dirty hands – all that cleaning has gone down the drain! It’s important we all stay vigilant and clean – including our cars!
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks during this trying time! We hope you and your family stay safe and well!