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Tips for cleaning and disinfecting your car during the coronavirus

The coronavirus has awakened us to a strange reality and a new sense of normal. As the number of cases continue to rise, schools, businesses, and public gatherings remain closed until further notice. People all around the world have become more aware of the surfaces they touch and the environments they enter. With the epicenter of the outbreak occurring here in the United States, there is no better time, than now, to minimize the spread of germs.

Taking care of our health and safety comes with the prudent responsibility to clean more often. It is necessary to keep your home and car clean so you can prevent the contagious spread of COVID-19. Each time you leave the house you are at risk for exposure. Therefore, it is crucial to continually clean and disinfect all susceptible surfaces during this time.

The following will provide imperative tips for keeping your car clean and germ-free during the coronavirus.

Disinfection vs. Sterilization

Disinfection and sterilization are powerful methods for decontamination, but what is the difference between them? The process of disinfecting involves the use of cleaners, such as sprays or wipes, to eliminate or reduce the spread of unwanted germs. The use of disinfecting products is common in bathrooms and kitchens, where germs tend to spread at a faster rate. While disinfection is useful, sterilization is even more powerful. Sterilization kills and removes all active microorganisms from a surface. The use of sterilization is generally required for medical environments, where the spread of bacteria can be detrimental.

The best solution for fighting against the coronavirus is to use both disinfection and sterilization methods. For optimal planning, make sure you have disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer on you at all times – especially in the car. Wearing gloves and protective masks are also recommended to reduce your exposure while away from home. Becoming accustomed to disinfecting and sterilizing throughout your day will not only increase your safety during the coronavirus, but it will help you stay mindful of your own exposure to the public.

Hotspots

The following list details important spots where germs accumulate frequently in your car. To ensure your safety, it is highly recommended to clean said surfaces regularly – keeping in mind how often you come into contact with each feature.

  • steering wheel
  • door handles
  • seat belts and buckles
  • radio controls
  • shifter
  • ignition
  • armrest
  • display screens

It is impossible to drive without the use of these features. For that reason, you must regularly wipe down these surfaces. The constant cleaning may seem excessive, but it is far worth the time and commitment to preserving your health.

Products to avoid

There are some products that pose potential harm to the interior of your car. Cleaners that contain bleach, peroxide, and ammonia should not be used. These chemicals, although highly effective in killing germs, have the ability to damage the plastic and vinyl surfaces in your car. It is best advised to check the ingredients in your cleaners before use. This will prevent any accidental damage from occurring. It is better to save these types of cleaners for areas in your home that can withstand its chemical potency, such as toilets, showers, and sinks.

Shortage solutions

The coronavirus has caused a wave of panic across the nation. Stores are wiped clean of essential supplies, making it more difficult than ever to get your hands on the right products. If you are having trouble finding the best cleaning products, then try not to stress. Using basic household items, like soap and water, serve as a great solution to the recent shortage. Soap and water remain an effective option for killing all germs, even in your car. You can also make your own hand sanitizer at home by mixing together household products, like rubbing alcohol and lemon juice. These simple solutions are adequate for maintaining clean surfaces when shortages are inevitable.

Ways to be productive

While you navigate the art of isolating, it is the perfect time to focus on those projects you’ve been putting off. Take a look at your car and evaluate what changes you’ve been wanting to make. Tinted windows? Detailed rims? Maybe you are in desperate need of a new set of headlights. With a quick google search, you can find yourself on trusted sites like, Headlights Depot. They offer a variety of quality, cost-effective headlights that are guaranteed to add value to your car. Dedicating time to such decisions will help keep you occupied during the quarantine. Planning ahead and staying optimistic for the future will also allow you to make the most of your time while at home.

Just keep cleaning

Awareness is the most powerful mechanism for combating the virus. The next time you make your weekly drive to the grocery store, make sure you stay mindful of the germs you are bringing back into your car. The coronavirus is highly contagious, so you do not want your car to become a hotspot or potential threat to your health. Keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes readily available, and frequently clean all the hotspots in your car. Remember that while you are away from home, cleaning and disinfecting are the best solutions for keeping yourself and others safe against COVID-19.

Michaella Malone
Hello! My name is Michaella Malone. I am a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in English. I am a freelance writer with varied experience in ghostwriting, blogging, and resume building. I have additional knowledge in creating content for ESL curriculums.

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    11 Comments

    1. This is great I pay to have a mobile detailer to come and detail my vehicle .. No touching and it gets done professionally and best of all I dont even leave my house I just pay him with a cash app.

    2. One tip is to test the cleaner on a less noticeable area to make sure it does not damage or discolor the surface. A car’s interior can have many different types of materials, make sure to test them all separately.

    3. Once you clean your vehicle, make sure to clean your hands before touching items on your vehicle in the first place. Wearing gloves when you put gas in your vehicle and removing them before you touch your car door again is easy to do and prevents germs from pumping gas from getting in your cars cabin.

    4. The outside of a sanitization bottle is paradoxically the dirtiest surface. Be careful out there guys.

      1. The Trick is to have two, three, four, even five sanitizers, and a bucket full of sanitizer in which to dunk the others. If you do that, you MIGHT be able to stay sanitized.

        1. I think you’re on to something here.

    5. This is very helpful. When disinfecting and sanitizing my car I did not take wiping the seat belts and buckles into consideration. Thank you for breaking it down!

    6. I’m totally guilty of not washing my tuck as often as I should. But I am keeping high touch points super clean right now. For me its the door handle, steering wheel, shifter, and keys. I spray my hands with rubbing alcohol before I reach for my keys and again once inside. Then I use a wet wipe on all high touchpoints. It’s not perfect, but that’s my routine.

    7. This article was very helpful, I know to keep areas like the steering wheel and shifter clean but this article pointed out many other important areas that need to be cleaned every time you enter or leave your car or truck.

    8. Wow. So many good points. And we must also remember to try not to touch our face. It is more common to feel we can do so in our home and car. But be weary that even with gloves on, cross contamination is possible.

    9. There were places I did not think to actually clean like the radio controls and the seat belt buckle. Being that the cleaning items are out of stock I love the remedy for the use of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice. This is helpful.

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