While it is always important to maintain a clean interior in your vehicle, it is especially crucial during the sick season when infectious viruses, such as the current spread of COVID-19, are making their way through populations. Because many of us are still using our vehicles to travel to-and-from essential jobs, the grocery store, or drug stores – our cars are vulnerable to outside bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, maintaining a clean interior isn’t too difficult; here are a few tips for keeping your vehicle clean and safe!
Remove any trash, excess clutter and vacuum
Before you start, you’ll want to throw out any waste from your vehicle. Viruses can live on all types of different surfaces, and you don’t know where most of the items have been or who may have touched them when it comes to trash. The same goes for clutter in your vehicle – the best rule of thumb is to try and keep only things you need in your car. Once you remove the excess, make sure to vacuum out your vehicle thoroughly.
Use Soap and Water!
For your car seats and dashboard, using good old-fashioned soap will get the job done. Soap breaks down viruses like COVID-19 without doing damage to your car! Make sure to scrub the entirety of each surface thoroughly before rinsing. Once finished, wipe everything down with a clean towel and you’re all set.
Use Non-Bleach Wipes on electronics and interior fabrics
For areas on your vehicle such as your stereo, navigation system, and steering wheel, use a non-bleach spray or wipe. Here is a comprehensive list from the Environmental Protection Agency with cleaners that are effective against the virus.
These are surfaces that you don’t want to get overly wet with the soap and water approach. It is also important not to use products with bleach as those could cause discoloration or damage.
Target High-Contact Surfaces
Make sure to thoroughly clean any surfaces that are often touched such as the steering wheel, gear shift lever, audio dials, touchscreens, door handles, seat-belts, turn-signal levers, and even your gas cap! These surfaces have the highest likelihood of harboring bacteria or a virus and should be cleaned most often as well.
On top of these tips, always remember to wash your hands after before and after traveling in your vehicle!