Before the COVID-19 started showing its true colors in the United States, the country was already dealing with one of its worst flu seasons at the starting of 2020. Before our health care system could recover from the onslaught of flu, the coronavirus began burning through the population. Now, with no vaccine available for the latter, prevention stands as the only way to deal with this new virus, and naturally, social distancing and sanitization have become the buzzwords of the current year. We often clean our homes, that is well-known. But when it comes to our cars, we leave it unto the time for its thorough wash.
Obviously, a study by the Expedia group found out that almost 32% of all car owners clean their vehicles only once a year. Another research showed that a family car’s steering wheel contains more germs and microbes than a typical public toilet seat. So, all this time when you were feeling safe after cleaning your home regularly, your car might have been the true bearer of repeated cases of flu. And if it harbored the influenza virus, be sure that COVID-19 can spread from your car as well. This is why dealerships like the Family Auto sell their car after a thorough sanitization routine. They did it to avoid flu and they are doing it now for this pandemic. Follow a similar cleaning schedule for your vehicle as well, to stay safe both from the flu and the coronavirus.
Clean every surface that people are likely to touch
The steering wheel must be the first car part that you should be cleaning. Along with it, pay close attention to:
- Door handles and outlines, places we generally touch
- Gear shifts
- Dashboard, touchscreen, radio buttons, and headlight knobs
- Seats, seat position controls, belts, and belt buckles
- Rearview mirrors, both sides
- Key and the entire remote fob
- Vents and cabin filters
- Cup holders and their rims
Basically, any surface that you or your passengers touch or the cough/sneeze droplets can travel and settle on. The process might seem overwhelming as your whole car can soon start appearing menacing but plan your sanitization routine to clean the most-touched surface frequently and the rest as often as possible.
Wipe down with a proper cleaning agent
You know by now that a simple wipe down with soap and water will not help. Neither can you use just any random agent to clean your car. The best place to find out which cleaning agent is suitable for which parts of your car is the vehicle’s manual provided to you by your buy here pay here car lot. You can also look at the website of the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA to come up with a list of sanitizing products you can use in your car. Combine the products from both resources to pinpoint which sprays or water-soluble agents are perfect for killing viruses without damaging any part of your car
Keep a few essentials in your vehicle
- A box of tissues – for those uncalled-for continuous sneezes which we tend to block with our palms. Keep ample tissues available for all your passengers.
- A garbage bag – in the cargo space of your car or under the backseat. Dispose of the used tissues in that bag and throw the bag after ensuring zero chance of contamination.
- A hand sanitizer – in case the tissue was too far away, a 60% alcohol-containing hand rub should kill the viruses. Plus, you can use the same after touching a lot of foreign surfaces that were not inside your vehicle.
- A sanitary spray – for a quick wipe down. If you feel that the steering wheel has been touched a lot in one day, simply spray and wipe. Do the same with the door handles, gear stick, and the keys.
Take it a bit easy
Sure, your car can harbor the virus, but do not go into panic-mode and become obsessed with cleaning your car. If the vehicle was standing in the garage for a week, a thorough cleaning might not be necessary. You can also clean it upside down once every 7 days. Talk to the dealer from whom you bought your used cars or used trucks in Greenville, SC, and pick their expertise to know more. Beyond that, practicing social distancing should keep you safe.