One of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (or the Coronavirus) is to disinfect any surface which has had contact with your hands¹.
COVID-19 has a protective coating that makes it very strong, allowing it to infect other cells. This coating, however, can be completely eradicated once it meets alcohol² (ie. hand sanitizer or an alcohol-based cleaning wipe).
Be careful using disinfectant wipes or any alcohol-based cleaner if you’re going to be disinfecting your vehicle, as the alcohol allows things such as the leather on seats and steering wheels to lose their natural oils and become dry or brittle.
Thankfully, the virus can also be broken down by soap and water.
It’s also important that you avoid aggressively cleaning the vehicle, as it’s best to go over an area multiple times with soap, water, and patience. Scrubbing too hard will remove dyes and surface coatings. A combination of soapy water, a few hand towels, and a vacuum will do the trick easily enough and you’ll be thanking yourself for taking the extra time and saving your disinfectant wipes.
Now, let’s go over the specific areas in your vehicle that you should focus on when cleaning your car.
It’s important that you clean the outside of your vehicle with soap and water to protect the paint job and disinfect areas of the vehicle that come into frequent contact with hands. Be sure to give extra attention to door and trunk handles. Also, consider cleaning your windows with a glass cleaner.
Starting with upholstery, it’s important to do the research on what’s best to clean whichever fabric you have in your vehicle. Be sure to avoid using disinfectant wipes on surfaces that use leather, as this can cause the leather to become discolored and damaged.
We suggest utilizing a cleaning agent such as saddle soap for leather surfaces on the steering wheel and gear shift. For spots such as the dash and paneling, mild soap and water will work best.
Carpeting and floor mats:
There are a few different cleaners that are advertised to be used on vehicle carpets. Depending on the extent of dirt on your carpets, those might be worth exploring. However, a simple spray of a carpet cleaning solution and scrub should suffice if these options aren’t available.
As for floor mats, since most are made from rubber, these are one of the easiest parts of the vehicle to clean. Wash them with warm water and soap will break down any dirt and disinfect from any germs that might have built up.
Now that you’ve thoroughly cleaned your vehicle, you can rest easy knowing that any significant germs (including those that may carry the Coronavirus) have been disinfected.
You can also read how we at Pembroke Nissan, have adjusted our business practices in light of COVID-19 here.