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Disinfecting & Sanitizing Your Vehicle

Disinfecting & Sanitizing Your Vehicle Blog

You may think that a car is an enclosed space, so there is less probability of contamination. Well, you’re mistaken. According to a survey, car steering wheels were found to be four times dirtier than toilet seats. Though the coronavirus pandemic has made many to be working from home and spending less time on the roads, cars and steering wheels can still be a breeding ground for viruses.

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Where To Disinfect In And Out The Car

The first step to cleaning and disinfecting your car interior is knowing where to disinfect. There are some surfaces you touch more frequently, and there are some grey areas you rarely touch. All these areas are essential to be disinfected regularly. Here is a quick rundown of those areas:

  • Steering wheel
  • Key and remote fob
  • Interior and exterior door, trunk handles and pulls
  • All buttons and knobs
  • Rearview mirror
  • HVAC vents
  • Gear selector
  • Trunk signal lever
  • Windshield wiper controls
  • Center console and armrest
  • Seat belt and buckle
  • Parking brake handle and release lever
  • Display screens and touchscreens
  • Cupholders
  • Seats and seat adjustment knobs

What To Use?

Though most common domestic disinfectants are quite useful, however, some are not ideal for use on your car. These include bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, thinners or other harsh and abrasive cleaners. These disinfectants can damage your car’s fabric and interior surfaces. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists disinfectants that meet the criteria against the coronavirus. The common brand names include Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Lysol brand Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner and Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes.

For most vehicle’s dashboard and dials, 70% Isopropyl alcohol is safe. It’s a common disinfectant used in schools and hospitals. Rigorous washing with soap and water will work just fine too and sometimes may be a good choice if you have older, cracked upholstery. As the temperatures increase, you probably want to reconsider keeping large bottles of hand sanitizer in your car. Heat buildup could cause the bottle to swell and burst, thereby creating a mess. While no amount of cleaning can give the assurance that one is exempted from the coronavirus infection, experts agree that vigilance and cleanliness are critically crucial to preventing the spread.

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How To Properly Disinfect A Car

The Center for Disease Control recommends wearing disposable gloves for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. However, before you begin the process, wash your hands with soap and water. If a surface appears dirty, you probably want to clean it with soap and water before disinfection. For car interior, a soft cloth dampened with soap and water should do just fine to wipe down hard surfaces. After that, the following these steps follow:

  • Begin the process with the four exterior door handles and fuel cap, wash with soap and water, then work on the interior.
  • Empty all surfaces and areas you would normally empty.
  • Clean and wash the nooks and crannies of the interior surfaces with car-safe soap and water thoroughly.
  • Spray hand sanitizer onto a clean, soft cloth towel and wipe over surfaces.
  • Disinfect hard surfaces by wiping down with the disinfectant solution. Finally, wash your hands with soap and water.
Nick Lai
the authorNick Lai
Founder & CEO of NickMetrics Group

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