At this dreaded time of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it’s imperative now more than ever to disinfect everything; and your car should be no exception to this.
What is the coronavirus? The virus, COVID-19, is in the family of viruses that include the common cold. The coronavirus is more serious though than a common cold and generally attacks the lungs, causing shortness of breath. It can be fatal. The virus spreads quickly from person to person (from the saliva, when sneezing or coughing), and can infect an entire community. Safety precautions have already been set, including a quarantine in place and constant cleaning for at least fourteen days straight.
Although the virus has been said to have a low survival rate (especially on packaged and shipped products and imported goods in room temperature), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, precautions still need to be taken for your sake.
Is Your Car Safe From Coronavirus?
Although cars, trucks, or SUVs won’t be bothered with the coronavirus if it gets on them, not properly cleaning your vehicle can invite more germs (including the virus) to come in and infect the driver and riders. With that said, you’ll need to clean your vehicle before and after use, especially on spots that are mostly touched by people. Also, have hand sanitizer in the vehicle, so that it’s easy to clean your hands on the go.
Though, there’s more to cleaning your car than just sanitizing it and having hand sanitizer. As you read these tips, be sure to take these into consideration, so that you can increase your safety during the coronavirus outbreak.
How Best to Clean Your Car
- Be Ready – Three things need to be considered: hand-washing, cleaning, and limiting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after eating, using the restroom, coughing or sneezing, caring for other people, and leaving the house.
Also, when cleaning your vehicle, use disposable or designate gloves, so that you don’t spread the virus or other germs.
Plus, restrict your movement by not going out, unless you need to. Limiting your trips allows you to stay safe, and not spread the coronavirus to and from somewhere.
- Have Supplies – The coronavirus can live on surfaces such as rubber, aluminum, leather, and plastic – Your vehicle many have all of these. So, be sure to choose the right disinfectants for your vehicle (preferably a product that’s EPA-approved).
Also, be sure that your disinfectants are safe to use on your vehicle. Most common household cleaners should suffice. But never, ever use any type of bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the inside of your vehicle, since they’ll damage the interior. The safest option is using a mild soap and water on the surfaces. On car touch screens, don’t use glass cleaner, since it can create unwanted glares on the surface. Heavy-duty cleaning should help weaken the coronavirus; though, be careful not to scrub too hard.
- Focus On Touch Spots – Most vehicles aren’t occupied by just one person; but multiple people might be riding inside. With that said, consider the main places where people will touch with their hands: the steering wheel, the door handles, the knobs (for radio, A/C, heating, etc.), the windshield wiper stalks, the gear shifter, etc. According to the CDC, it’s best to clean touched surfaces daily.
Though, most people forget one other spot: the top of the dashboard. Why? Because that area tends to be a hotbed for microorganisms, caused by recirculating air swirling up against the windshield and sticking to the dash. Again, don’t forget to clean this area.
- Wash Your Hands, Period. – Finally, this point is extremely imperative: Wash your hands. Be sure to do this regularly. Even after you’re done cleaning your vehicle, wash your hands again. You’ll be carrying the germs from the vehicle into your home, if you don’t wash up. Regardless if you’d just cleaned your vehicle, or did anything else, always wash your hands.
As you read these tips, keep in mind that this is to better help you be ready for anything, and to help you to not contract the coronavirus. And by keeping your vehicle free of germs, and making sure that you do your part in not spreading the virus, you’ll help reduce the risk of infection, and have a clean ride while you’re at it.
Beatrix Potter writes for Write My Paper service. As a health writer, she specializes in topics like hygiene and health.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.