We have all been paying a lot more attention to keeping things clean lately. While you may be focusing on washing your hands and not touching your face, it is equally important to keep the things in your environment clean. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces you touch is one the best ways to protect yourself from the spread of COVID-19. The surfaces you touch could include your car if you are still driving it to work or shop for essentials. If you are using your car and are concerned about the virus, there is a safe way to clean your car interior and kill coronavirus that could be on surfaces.
Cleaning your car interior to kill coronavirsus is an especially good idea if you or someone else who has been in your car hasn’t felt well. Surfaces to clean include things that are frequently touched, such as:
- Door handles
- Lock and window buttons
- Grab handles
- Steering wheel and shift lever
- Wiper and turn signal controls
- Knobs, buttons or touchscreens
- Arm rests
- Seat adjustment controls
You will need to be mindful of the type of cleaner you use. You want to disinfect, but you do not want to damage the interior surfaces and finishes. Fortunately, many of the same household cleaners that kill coronavirus on hard surfaces at home can also clean a car without damaging its interior.
The CDC advises that cleaning solutions containing at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus. Even alcohol on its own will work. According to Consumer Reports, isopropyl alcohol is recommended by the experts:
“Yanfeng is the world’s largest supplier of automotive interior parts, and works with almost every major automaker. If you’ve been in a car, you’ve probably seen or touched something Yanfeng has made—and it uses isopropyl alcohol for cleaning parts in its own factories.”
While you might use bleach for household surfaces, it should definitely not be used for your car interior because it is likely to cause damage. The same is true for hydrogen peroxide. And while you may use ammonia based cleaners for your auto glass, keep them away from any touch screens because they can damage their anti-glare and anti-fingerprint surfaces.
Though alcohol use is safe and effective for disinfecting, it is not the best option for repeated use, as this may cause damage over time. A simple solution of soap and water is better for general cleaning.
Because cars can vary, it is recommended that you refer to your owner’s manual for specific cleaning recommendations, or contact your local auto service shop to ask a pro.
Stay clean and be safe!