How to effectively and safely sanitize your vehicle

 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people live. One readily felt effect was spending more time at home. Vehicles sat idle in driveways and even some automotive insurance providers reduced rates because people were driving much less.

Even with stay-at-home measures in place, people still need to leave their homes to stock up on essentials, such as food or medicine. In other cases, people may have been essential workers who drive for a living, including delivery drivers or health care personnel who were incapable of working from home.

Any time a person goes out in public, he or she runs the risk of contracting viruses. Bacteria and germs may reside on various surfaces, including those inside vehicles.

People want to protect themselves and now are more aware of the importance of frequently cleaning and sanitizing their cars. Keeping a vehicle safe to drive without affecting its upholstery or electronic components is paramount.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes a distinction between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but can lower their numbers. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. The following are some ways to deeply clean and sanitize a car.

• Wash hands. First and

foremost, it is crucial to
wash your hands before
and after using the car. This
can reduce the likelihood of
growing ill because of transferred viruses or bacteria.
• Use rubbing alcohol.
Solutions that contain 70
percent alcohol are effective

against many viruses and bacteria, including coronaviruses, says the CDC. Furthermore, Jeff Stout, Executive Director of
Global Innovation at Yanfeng Automotive

Interiors, says that, for the most part, nearly every interior surface of a vehicle can be
cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Plastic to
painted chrome to imitation leather have
been tested to ensure they donÕt degrade
when exposed to pure isopropyl alcohol.

• Avoid bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
While bleach and peroxide are very effective cleaners and sanitizers, they are likely
to damage a carÕs upholstery, according to
Consumer Reports.
• Use soap and water: Experts say that
vigorous washing with a soap-and-water
solution can be effective against many
contaminants because it breaks down the
protective envelope that surrounds coronaviruses and other germs to disarm them.
Friction also can help to break down germ
cells during cleaning.
• Address frequently touched surfaces. Pay

attention to the steering wheel, door handles, buttons, touchscreen displays, shift
lever, and more when sanitizing. Each of
these items can harbor germs.

“You want to do the best with what you have, so even soap and water can chip away at the risk,” said Stephen Thomas, M.D., Chief of Infectious Diseases and Director of Global Health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.

Deep-cleaning a vehicle has become a necessity since COVID-19 emerged. Frequently cleaning and sanitizing can help make vehicles safer to operate.

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