As the world scrambles to deal with the fallout from the global Coronavirus pandemic, good hygiene and disinfection are paramount. In this unprecedented state-of-reality, where “social-distancing is the new-normal. And keeping all surfaces you come into contact with germ-free is absolutely essential. This would include properly disinfecting your vehicle’s surfaces for any virus particles that may have been contaminated with viral contagions. This is especially important for ride-sharing or public transportation vehicles such as taxis and buses, or app-based services like Uber. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto we have compiled a comprehensive guide on properly disinfecting your vehicle in the age of the Coronavirus.
Properly Disinfecting Your Vehicle: Where?
The steering wheel is one of the most important areas to focus on when disinfecting your vehicle. Did you know that a car or truck’s steering wheel can house up to four times the amount of germs and contagions as the average toilet seat? Aside from the steering wheel, focusing on any surface areas with high volumes of contact is key. Areas such as seats, dashboards, door handles, shifters, buttons and the seat-belt apparatus should be paid special attention. You will also want to concentrate on seat adjusters, the turn signal and wiper blade control. Additionally armrests, cup holders, storage containers, air conditioning vents and grab handles.
When cleaning any automotive touch screen displays, it is imperative not to use an excessive amount of water, which can damage electrical components. We also caution against using harsh abrasive chemicals when cleaning a touch screen, leading to the loss of its protective coating. Later in the blog, we discuss which cleaning products to use and which ones to avoid.
Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, serves as a highly effective disinfecting agen. It eliminates most viral or bacterial contagions. Alcohol also delivers exceptional cleaning power, with the ability to break down and remove tough stains from a wide variety of surfaces. The main drawback of isopropyl alcohol is its continuous prolonged use will lead to premature wear-and-tear of vehicle surface materials.
Soap and Water
Common household soap, water and a little elbow grease are all you really need to rid your ride of any pesky virus particles. Most regular soaps on the market (think Dove or Ivory) are able to chemically break down virus cells similarly to how they dissolve oils. The friction generated from cleaning also contributes to the elimination of any virus or bacteria particles. Soap and water also serve as an effective, non-abrasive cleaning agent. Soap and water are effective on delicate surfaces such as leather, fabric and suede.
Bleach-free disinfectant wipes provide a convenient, portable option for cleaning and sanitizing your vehicle on the go. Standard household disinfectant wipes deliver a quick effective way to eliminate most viral and bacterial contagions. A variety of automotive surface materials can handle disinfectant wipes to clean the surfaces.
When Properly Disinfecting Your Vehicle, Do Not Use
Here at Carolina Mobile Auto we advise all of our esteemed clients against using any bleach or hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning products. We also caution against the use of any ammonia-based blue-glass-cleaners like Windex on your vehicle’s surfaces. While the aforementioned products do a respectable job at cleaning and disinfection, they will also damage your vehicle’s surface materials. Not only will these products damage materials like leather and vinyl, they will also strip your vehicle’s surfaces of their color and protective coatings.
Wash Your Hands
The cornerstone in both fighting the spread of COVID19, as well as properly disinfecting your vehicle is washing hands. As you’ve probably heard countless times in the past several weeks, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds eliminates virus particles from your hands. Frequent hand washing also mitigates the amount of contact any virus particles can potentially have with your vehicle’s surfaces. What’s the point of thoroughly disinfecting your car or truck, if you are constantly introducing a new barrage of viral contagions via your hands? Washing your hands on an hourly basis is a good rule that applies to staying healthy and stopping the spread the pandemic.
If vigilantly washing your hands frequently isn’t an option, then do the next best thing. Use an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer frequently. Sanitizing your hands helps prevent the transmission and spread of any virus cells to your car or truck. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto we recommend keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer handy when you leave your home. Practice caution when leaving hand sanitizer in your vehicle. High temperatures can cause the gases inside the sanitizer solution to expand and burst.
From the team over at Carolina Mobile Auto, stay safe, remain healthy. In these times of global crisis, we urge all citizens to remain calm and follow the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines by staying home, washing your hands and practicing social-distancing. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.