Americans have different ways of cleaning their cars. But issues about the coronavirus pandemic and its transmission have changed the way car cleanliness is seen, since the virus can thrive on several kinds of surfaces that may contaminate car owners or other users. A lot of Americans have careers, shop for essentials regularly, or visit their family and friends, so they cannot just stop driving.
Here are some tips on how you can sanitize your car to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
When To Clean
If you know someone who is possibly positive of the virus and has ridden or driven your car, cleaning it is a must. But the recommendation is that you should wait for up to three days after that person has exited your car before getting inside it. Studies reveal that the virus can stay up to three days on plastic and steel surfaces.
Remember that individuals with preexisting conditions like asthma, heart disease, respiratory illness, and diabetes, including the elderly, are classified as high-risk for COVID-19. If you have plans of bringing a high-risk person in your car, you are also advised to disinfect your car before and after transporting the said individual.
Parts To Be Cleaned
Though physical contact is not the main method of transmission, it is one of the most common ways to spread the infection. Thus, cleaning the areas that you as the driver and your passengers are most likely to come in contact with. These are usually the trunk and hood releases, door handles, gas caps, and most parts inside the car. On the interior, the steering wheel is first on the list of the most important areas to clean. Then move on to the dashboard, including its controls and buttons, emergency brake, shifter, seat controls, glove box, buckles, and seatbelts.
The virus can also proliferate through air droplets that are expelled from the mouth of an infected individual who sneezes, talks, or coughs. This is why you must sanitize almost all parts of your car on the interior. Gas pump handles are not frequently touched but still need cleaning, so it is best to place a box of disposable plastics, masks, gloves, and a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car all the time, especially during this time. Every time you fill up gas, use your gloves and dispose of them immediately after filling up.
How To Disinfect
The most basic step in sanitizing your car is to get rid of anything that you don’t need, like leftover food or chips, plastic packages, and other wastes that you might have placed in the cabin while you were driving. Also, removing heavy or large items will provide you with more space inside the car, plus it also helps improve your mileage. Standard cleaning agents for exterior and interior plastics, carpets, and windows can be used.
However, preventing further spread of the coronavirus requires more than just cleaning your car but disinfecting it. There are different household sprays and wipes that are specially made to eliminate germs and viruses, and they are effective enough to use in your car’s interior. You can spray carpets and upholstery while the wipes are effective on hard surfaces.
What To Wear
If you have some gloves and an apron somewhere in your home, then they’re best paired with your cleaning clothes when you disinfect your car. These are comfortable and easy to wash when you’re done with your cleaning project.
If you do suspect that someone who is infected with the coronavirus has been inside your car, you must be extra cautious. If possible, wear surgical masks and goggles to protect your nose, mouth, and eyes while cleaning. And right after you sanitize, separate the disposable things you used from your clothes and place the disposable items in a garbage bag. Seal it snugly and throw it far from the house or your household appliances. As for the clothes you used for cleaning, make sure that you wash them immediately, and you do not mix it in your other clothes. Finally, when the job is done, remember to wash your hands with soap and water.