You’ve cleaned your house. You’ve adopted a new hand-washing regimen. You’ve stopped touching your face (so often). But how have you disinfected your car?

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across Georgia and the rest of the country and globe, it’s important to be overly cautious with your cleaning and sanitizing processes. Let’s take a look at how you can go about disinfecting the inside of your vehicle without doing significant damage to surfaces and materials.

What should I use to clean my car?

The NBCI has a full list of disinfectants that will kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But the inside of your vehicle isn’t as durable as, say, your front door’s handle or kitchen countertop. All cleaning products will damage vehicle surfaces over time. It’s important to note that some products will do more harm to hard plastics, leather, cloth and other materials in your car – let alone the vehicle’s resale value.

  • Alcohol (isopropyl rubbing alcohol with 70% alcohol content) and ethanol are generally safe for short-term use.
  • Dish soap/laundry detergent and water are safe on all surfaces and highly effective at killing human coronaviruses.
  • Simple, unpainted hard-touch plastics, including your key or key fob, tend to do okay with bleach cleaners if there are no other options.
  • Disinfectant sprays can be effective on cloth seats and materials.
  • Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are not recommended on most or any car surfaces.
  • Many acidic chemicals, like peroxyacetic acid, will damage car interiors.

Various chemicals and products are available for interior car detailing and cleaning. Whichever product you choose, make sure it is a disinfectant and not a sanitizer. Sanitizers aim to reduce the number of viruses on a surface, while disinfectants kill all coronavirus germs. Also, follow the product’s contact time, which is the amount of time the surface should be saturated (wet). Per the EPA, there are some car-safe coronavirus disinfectants with short contact times:

  • AKEMI Disinfectant Cleaner (1 minute)
  • AKEMI Cleaner I Wipes (1 minute)

Having your car professional detailed is another option. Most experts will use car-safe products that disinfect, sanitize and clean the inside of your vehicle.

How long does COVID-19 stay on surfaces?

Recent studies suggest that the coronavirus has a relatively short lifespan in the air and on various surfaces. Unfortunately, the inside of your vehicle may be the perfect environment for SARS-CoV-2 to linger. This is because the virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic like the materials found in a car’s cabin. Here’s how the coronavirus can stay in the air and on other common surfaces:

  • Air: 3 hours
  • Stainless steel: 48 hours
  • Copper: 4 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours

Alternatively, you could crack open the windows and let your car sit in the driveway for 3 or 4 days – that should stop any active coronavirus in its tracks. Just be sure to sanitize your hands before you venture back into the world.

What should I clean first?

The most obvious high-touchpoint areas in your car are your steering wheel, radio and HVAC controls, and shifter. However, you may forget some other important areas when you start sanitizing.

  • Seatbelt and buckle
  • Keys or key fob
  • Door handles
  • Door pulls
  • Turn signal and headlight levers
  • Glove compartment handle
  • Cupholders
  • Air vents
  • Rearview mirror
  • Gas cap and release

What We’re Doing to Make Our Customers & Staff Safer

At Windshield ShatterFix, we’ve taken extra precautionary steps to ensure everyone stays safe during this challenging time. We’ve adopted temporary sales hours and upped our sanitation game in the service center and mobile vans. Our customers can book their services online, and schedule door step services of their vehicle. If you aren’t comfortable shopping in person, our customer service will do our best to help. Contact us at 9312931170 for details – and stay safe out there.

Tags: Coronavirus Tips, Sanitation Tips, Vehicle Disinfectants
Posted in Car Advice, COVID-19, Vehicle Sanitation