Properly Disinfect Your Car to Prevent COVID-19 Infection
23 March 2020 - autoevolution
With the spread of the new Coronavirus, COVID-19, happening at an alarming rate, most countries are going into full lockdown mode.
For those of us who still have to drive themselves to work on the daily, here are some sound tips to flatten the curve and stay safe.
Authorities recommend practicing social distancing and staying as much as possible indoors, to prevent the spread of the virus. People who still commute by car for work should also pay extra attention these days to their personal vehicle, making sure to disinfect it properly at least every other day, if doing daily isn't possible.
Cars are particularly nasty when it comes to germs, as countless studies have already shown. The new Coronavirus can live on surfaces (cardboard, plastic and metal) for days, so deep-cleaning surfaces you touch the most is essential. This includes the steering wheel, seat belt and buckles, the touchscreen, door handles and the gas cap, shifter, rearview mirrors, seats and buttons.
If all this panic-buying has left you with a limited supply of sanitizing wipes or disinfectants, you can always use regular soap and water for most of the car interior. Make sure you apply the same 20-second rule as for washing hands to kill off the virus, and that you steer clear of areas packed with electronics.
For those, use wipes or disinfectants, after you make sure they're bleach-free. Bleach should only be used for plastics, and alcohol-based products for everything else. The Environmental Protection Agency has a full list of cleaners that work against the new Coronavirus.
Wear gloves when you're deep-cleaning and make sure you wipe off everything you put on: leaving chemicals on for longer could damage the interior. Before starting, try out a product on a less visible surface, in case you get unexpected discoloration. For leather interiors, apply conditioner after the cleaning, to protect the leather from cracking.
Before and after disinfecting your car, remember to wash your hands. As a matter of fact, do it regularly, for 20 seconds at a time, making sure you get all the spots, even if you don't own or drive a car right now, just to be safe.