April 6th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
At Fix Auto, we are committed to the safety and wellbeing of drivers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As part of our efforts, we want to teach you how to clean and disinfect your car for the Coronavirus.
Do You Need to Sanitize Your Car Interior During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Sanitizing your car interior may be crucial to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Evidence suggests that the novel Coronavirus may remain viable for hours or days on surfaces constructed from various materials, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By cleaning and disinfecting your car’s surfaces, you may lower the risk that you or someone that travels in your vehicle may inadvertently contract COVID-19.
What Is the Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting a Car’s Surfaces?
Although cleaning and disinfecting may seem similar, there are differences between the two. To effectively combat the spread of the Coronavirus, you need to clean and disinfect your car’s surfaces.
Cleaning involves the removal of germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces, CDC notes. Although cleaning can make surfaces appear pristine and tidy, it does not kill germs. However, cleaning surfaces reduces the number of germs on them, thereby lowering the risk of spreading germs that can cause an infection.
Disinfecting involves the use of chemicals to destroy germs on surfaces, CDC points out. By applying a disinfectant to a surface after cleaning, you can further reduce the risk of spreading germs that result in an infection.
Can the Coronavirus Damage My Car?
COVID-19 won’t damage your car, but it can remain on different surfaces within your car. If you come into contact with any car surfaces where the Coronavirus is present, you could become infected. Thus, you’ll want to be as thorough as possible to clean and disinfect your car’s surfaces until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
How to Disinfect a Car Interior During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Here’s what you need to do to fully clean and disinfect your car’s interior during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Wash Your Hands
Before you clean and disinfect your car’s interior, wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap is unavailable, CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Also, cover your hand’s surfaces with soap or hand sanitizer and rub them together until the hands are dry.
COVID-19 is invisible, and there is no telling if the Coronavirus is present on a surface in your car or elsewhere. But, if you wash your hands as frequently as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you can lower your risk of infection.
2. Pick Up the Right Cleaning Supplies
Soap and water together provide a safe, effective combination that you can use to quickly destroy the Coronavirus on any of your car’s surfaces. You can find soap in a wide range of everyday cleaners, including hand and dish soaps. But, you should only use soap that is free of detergents that may otherwise damage your car’s interior.
Disinfectant wipes can be used on most car surfaces, too. If your car has leather seats, use a leather conditioner in lieu of disinfectant wipes to avoid damage. And, if your car has a touchscreen, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth instead of disinfectant wipes.
Avoid any cleaning supplies that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Both of these chemicals can destroy the Coronavirus, but they can damage your car’s vinyl and plastic surfaces.
In addition, do not use ammonia-based cleaning products on your car’s interior. Ammonia causes vinyl to deteriorate, and it can make the vinyl on your dashboard sticky when it is exposed to heat and light.
You should also never use glass cleaner on any touch display surfaces in your car, as the cleaner can damage these surfaces’ anti-glare coatings.
3. Prioritize High-Touch Surfaces
The following car surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected:
- Key or start button
- Gear shift
- Dashboard buttons and knobs
- Sun visor
- Steering wheel
- Door handles and controls
- Display screens
- Cup holders
- Air conditioner vents
- Center console
These surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least on a daily basis or any time you drive your car.
4. Avoid the Temptation to Over Scrub
You may want to scrub as deep as you can to clean and disinfect your car’s surfaces. Yet, doing so can damage your car’s interior.
When cleaning and disinfecting for the Coronavirus, apply any cleaning products as you normally would. Ensure they fully penetrate your car’s surface, but resist the urge to scrub too deep.
5. Wash Your Hands Once Again
Wash your hands immediately after you clean and disinfect your car’s surfaces. Follow the CDC’s guidelines for washing your hands, and continue to do so throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fix Auto team wants to help you keep your car clean and free of the coronavirus during this challenging time. Along with offering tips to help you clean and disinfect your vehicle, we are taking additional steps to protect you and your car during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When you arrive at any of our locations, we clean and disinfect your vehicle twice. First, we clean and disinfect your car when you drop it off, and we do the same at pick-up. We also clean and disinfect all of our surfaces twice a day and require all store associates to wash their hands with soap and water as often as possible.
Our auto body shop locations are OPEN, but hours vary, so please call ahead. To learn more or to schedule an auto body shop appointment with us, please contact your preferred location, or call us at 1-800-INFO-FIX.
*Disclaimer: Continue to follow CDC recommendations to maintain a safe and healthy environment for yourself. Their guidelines and recommendations supersede those contained herein.