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Coronavirus: All You Need To Know About Disinfecting Your Car

May 11 2020

Swipe, wipe! Swipe, wipe! Swipe, wipe!

Owing to the lockdown, this has become a new way of life!

You too must be spending a significant amount of your time cleaning every nook and corner of your house. We bet your office would be no exception to this. They must have disinfected every desk, every chair and every particle on it, all the way down to the level of an atom. But what about your car?

If you need to drive it anytime soon or have already started using it, you should get your hands dirty and start cleaning every trace of dirt and germ on it to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We have tips that even the laziest of us would swear by on the dullest days of coronavirus lockdown for disinfecting your car.

For starters, keep these things handy:

  • Microfibers or wiping cloth
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste (non-gel)
  • Paintbrush
  • Spray bottle
  • Gloves
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Hair conditioner with lanolin
  • Baking soda
  • Soap/detergent
  • Bucket of water
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Leather cleaner

Here’s a quick DIY tip for preparing a disinfectant spray and leather cleaning solution at home:

Disinfectant spray:

While it may not be as effective as the ones you get in shops, you can add a few drops of hand washing liquid to water and use this solution. Don’t spray it directly on the surfaces inside your car. Spray it on a cloth/microfiber and then wipe the surfaces with it.

Leather cleaner:

Add dishwashing liquid to a bucket of warm water in the ratio of 5 parts of water to 1 part of a soap. Dip a cloth but get rid of the excess water from it. This prevents the water from seeping into your leather seats and staining them.

Also read: How to maintain your car’s health during the lockdown

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to put on your mask, gloves and get set, disinfect!

  • Start with high touch points in your car to reduce the risk of coronavirus. The CDC recommends to clean them daily. These include the door handles both inside and outside, the steering wheel and knobs and buttons around it, car key, gear shifter, window and door lock controllers, and radio/music system buttons or touch screen, rear-view mirror and side mirrors, seatbelt, hand break and the seat control buttons. Wipe them clean with the disinfectant spray/DIY soap solution using a cloth/microfiber.
  • Next, move to the air vents, glove box, cup holders, carpet, floor mats and crevices. Use the vacuum cleaner and paintbrush combo clean the accumulated dust followed by some wiping with soap solution/disinfectant spray.
  • While attending to the seats, spray baking soda on them and leave it for some time. Then go in with a vacuum cleaner. After vacuuming, wipe them with the leather solution. Make sure you don’t dampen the cloth too much or scrub too hard. Swipe the toothbrush between the seams. This hack will help you clean the dirt and grime that your vacuum cleaner may not be able to.
  • Pay more attention to deep clean the boot of your car if that’s where you toss your groceries shopped during the coronavirus lockdown.
  • Before you get cleaning the exteriors, make sure you also vacuum the roof of your car and wipe your windows and windshield from inside.
  • On the exterior, clean your windows, wiper blades and where you rest your arm while driving with a disinfectant spray. For the rest of the body of your car, you can use the hair conditioner if you don’t have a car cleaning solution. It is a cheap hack that can leave your car with a good shine.
  • Another hack is to wipe your headlights (if they are of plastic) using a toothpaste, one containing bleach. Later, rinse it off with water.

A handful of tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t you hydrogen peroxide and bleach on your car’s upholstery. They can damage the leather.
  • CDC has recommended isopropyl alcohol-based solutions to kill coronavirus in your car.
  • Don’t use hand sanitizers to clean your leather seats.
  • Don’t give up on disinfecting your car to kill coronavirus if you lack any of the items from the list. Go ahead with soap and water. That should suffice.
  • Be extra careful while wiping around wires and electrical parts. Don’t allow water to seep in.

After you have disinfected your car, carefully dispose your gloves and mask in a dustbin. Discard any cloth that you used for cleaning. Wash the clothes you wore separately and take a shower.

While you may have disinfected your car microscopically, it is wise to avoid taking it out for rides frequently. The less you drive it, the less it comes in contact with coronavirus. Stay home as much as you can to stay safe.

However, if you still have to hit the roads for shopping essentials, visiting your doctor or commuting to work, make sure you keep the windows open for the air to ventilate. Avoid using your AC. Keep a sanitizer, an extra mask and a pair of disposable gloves in your car. Sanitise your hands every time you get in your car and step out of it. Also, it is a good idea to buy car insurance or renew it if expired. The traffic rules will apply even in the lockdown situation and you don’t want to get caught for driving without one.

So, stay secure, stay safe and keep your car sparkly cleaned along with your home all the time during the days of quarantine.

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