Due to this Coronavirus pandemic, many of us have spent plenty of time cleaning and disinfecting our homes. For those going work, you have probably bombed your desk, keyboard, and mouse with disinfectant sprays and wipes. You now make a habit of wiping off your phone and we all have dry hands now because we overwash our hands or use hand sanitizer so much. It may be a new way to go about our daily routine, but this combined with social distancing is the most effective way to slow the spread of Coronavirus. One place you may not have thought of, however, is your car.
When was the last time you cleaned your car, let alone sanitised and disinfected it? It probably has been a very long time. You may clean your bathroom every week, but your car? It can wait, right? Think about all the things you touch only to then get in the car and touch your steering wheel, gear shift, and touchscreen. Actually, don’t think about it, because your steering wheel likely has more germs on it than your toilet!
If your daily routine includes a lot of time either behind the wheel of your car or in the passenger seat of someone else’s car, you may be wondering how best to protect yourself from the coronavirus pandemic. Or maybe you drive for mobility services and want to protect yourself and your customers.
Washing hands, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces are two of the best ways to defend against coronavirus. As COVID-19 spreads, you have probably already learned the proper technique for washing your hands and which household cleaners can destroy a coronavirus. But what about the inside of your car?
We do not often see the deep cleaning of car interiors as a priority. However, in the wake of COVID-19, most of us are rightly paying more attention to getting the inside of our cars clean and sanitized than we normally would.
If you or someone else who has been in your car shows symptoms of the illness, you should clean frequently touched surfaces, including the steering wheel, door handles, gearshift lever, any buttons or touch screens, wiper and turn signal stalks, passenger and driver door armrests, grab handles, and seat adjusters.
If you are a taxi or a ride-hailing driver who carries lots of passengers, driving a rented or shared car, or if you live somewhere with many cases of COVID-19, regularly cleaning these surfaces is a must.
With a few notable exceptions, many of the same household cleaners that kill coronaviruses on hard surfaces at home can also clean a car, but it may damage its interior surfaces. Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus. For the most part, as an emergency, nearly every interior surface of a vehicle can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. But it is not advisable long-term!
When it comes to disinfecting an interior, the potential for unwanted interactions can be daunting, especially when some cleaning ingredients can do lasting harm to the materials that make up your cockpit.
The good news is that keeping your car’s interior free of harmful viruses and other unwanted elements is simple if you follow a few guidelines. Since we at Wash.GT are a bunch of car geeks, and industry experts in automotive cleaning chemistry, let us give you some pointers.
Wash.GT is a location-based on-demand car washing smart mobile app that matches car owners with service providers. A company disrupting the car washing and car detailing industry worldwide through digital innovation and latest available technology.
Wash.GT recently launched a new range of disinfectant kits with immediate antimicrobial action, effectively eliminating pathogenic bacteria and viruses, while leaving car interior surfaces pristinely clean. Ideal for constant use on every vehicle surface prone to touch during daily activities. Water-based, alcohol-free formula with safe pH for skin and its protective dermatological layer. Ideal to maintain the vehicle’s interior always hygienic, fresh and healthy. Compatible with all materials: metal, plastic, rubber, synthetic or natural leather and infotainment screens.
Whatever you do, do not use bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the inside of your car. While they can both kill coronaviruses on surfaces, they will likely damage your car’s interior. And do not use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens, as they can damage their anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
Most car leathers and imitation leathers have urethane coatings for protection, which is safe to clean with alcohol. But over time, cleaning leather with alcohol can leave it susceptible to damage and discolouration.
So, when cleaning your car’s interior, keep these tips in mind:
- Soap is always a safe bet. It is harmful to coronavirus.
- Avoid bleach except on simple plastics.
- Do not use solvents.
- Hand sanitizers contain alcohol, which can dry out leather.
- Use leather conditioner to keep it healthy.
- When in doubt, test cleaners on a surface that cannot be easily seen first.
- Wipe off what you wipe on; do not leave chemicals to linger.
- Prioritize the surfaces you touch.
- Do not forget buttons and switches, your rear-view mirror, even your gas cap.
- Ride-hailing drivers should stick to the basics.
- Simpler interiors are the easiest to clean.
- Wash.GT provides convenient safe disinfectant kits to always have in your car.
Wash.GT recommends cleaning all surfaces with a microfiber cloth, which is included with the kit. That is because they are made of fabric that consists of tiny little loops that capture and sweep away dirt and dust particles before they can scratch delicate or shiny plastic surfaces. By comparison, the dirt and debris in your car can stick to even the cleanest paper towels or napkins and scratch surfaces like sandpaper.
Once you are finished cleaning, do not forget to wash your hands before and after driving. It is a good habit to get into even outside of the spread of COVID-19, as it will keep your steering wheel and other frequently touched surfaces in your car from looking dingy.
And do not forget! Washing your hands is still one of the best ways to defend yourself against COVID-19.