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Quick Guide: How to Clean and Sanitize Your Vehicle

23 Mar

Quick Guide: How to Clean and Sanitize Your Vehicle

As public health institutions all over the world take measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the most common advice being given to the public about avoiding infection is good hygiene.  Everyone is encouraged to maintain social distancing, avoid contact with potentially contaminated surfaces, and to regularly wash hands as basic precautions against contagion.  It’s easy to think of keeping areas like workplaces or households clean, however, vehicles are often overlooked when it comes to matters of sanitation.  No matter what make and model it may be, the more time you spend commuting in your vehicle, the more often you should probably have it cleaned and disinfected.  Here are a few tips on the proper way to clean your car:

     1. Take it to The Drive-Thru:
     The most convenient way to clean the exterior of your car is to take it to a Drive-Thru car wash.  Drive-Thru car washes might not reach every nook and cranny on the exterior, but they do save a lot of time by rinsing off most of the dirt and dust that might’ve settled superficially on the car.  Once you’ve passed through a Drive-Thru, you can proceed to personally wipe off any missed spots with solvents and micro fiber rags.

     2.  Vacuum the Floor Mats:
     It’s good to clean the exterior of your car, but for the purposes of sterile hygiene, the interior is where you should focus the most.  The first thing you should do when cleaning inside your car is remove the floor mats, shake the debris off of them, and vacuum them clean.  In the process of clearing out your floor mats, also dispose of any large pieces of trash that may have settled onto the floor.

     3. Vacuum the Upholstery:
     Once the floor mats have been cleaned, proceed to vacuum the rest of the car and get rid of any dirt or stray particles on the upholstery.  Remember to adjust the chairs so that you can clear out everything underneath them as well.  A lot of food crumbs and stray scraps fall in between crevices over time.  If possible, use a public vacuum to clean the floors, but invest in a personal handheld vacuum to clean your chairs and higher surfaces in the vehicle.

     4.  Disinfect the Hard Surfaces:
     Once all the loose dirt has been vacuumed away, use a combination of cleaning solvents and stain-removers to wipe down the surfaces of the doors, consoles, and dashboards.  Remember to wear protective gloves for this procedure so that you don’t leave any fingerprints or streaks as you clean.  Wipe down every door handle, every cup holder, every window, every flat surface, and any area you can think of which gets frequently touched.  Focus especially on wiping down the steering wheel, gear handle, and doorknobs because these parts get contaminated easily.

Remember, even if you have your vehicle detailed by professional cleaners, there is no guarantee that they followed strict hygienic standards in order to sterilize all the surfaces of the interior.  Every driver has to take it upon themselves to at least clean surfaces such as door handles, steering wheels, and the dashboard of your car.  It’s going to take a long time before the COVID-19 outbreak is subdued.  Until then, do your part to keep your surroundings clean and be disciplined about hygiene.  It’s better to be safe than sorry in such times, and it’s also far easier to prevent infection than to treat it.