The coronavirus outbreak has become a serious problem to concern over the past few months. Now the situation is under control but there are high chances of the third wave according to experts. So, it becomes necessary for us to take all mandatory precautions, social distancing, and maintaining hygiene. Maintaining a sanitized environment at home and the workplace is crucial, similarly, it’s also important to ensure clean surroundings in your vehicles.
It’s a misconception among some people that a car is an enclosed space so there is a nominal chance of contamination. But as compared to a two-wheeler, a four-wheeler is a bigger finite that is more likely to carry infection. So, before you step in your car and after you return, you must sanitize or disinfect it.
Which cleaners are safe for car sanitizing?
After doing research we have found that most of the mechanics and auto body repair shops recommend the most helpful products to kill the coronavirus are soap & water and alcohol solutions that are made up of at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. These products are also safe for the interior side of vehicles.
Products that contain bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia are effective at killing coronaviruses, but can damage leather and upholstery, and may discolor or tarnish fabrics. They may also result in skin and eye irritation and cause burning.
Here are the six main things you can do to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay while traveling in your own personal space.
An infected person’s respiratory droplets can contaminate surfaces where the virus can remain active for a few days and these chemicals are fully effective only when the surfaces are free of dirt and filth.
So, first it’s necessary to give your interiors a once-over. Vacuum clean the cabin and dust-off surfaces including the door pads, dashboards, seats. Don’t forget to rinse the grime from all the nooks and crannies too.
DISINFECT FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES
Now, let start the disinfection process after freeing cabin from dirt. Start from the oftentimes touched surfaces including the steering wheels, gear shifter, sun visors, exterior and interior door handles, seat belt buckles, brake, grab handles, dashboard, seat adjustment levers, and all the knobs and buttons throughout the cabin. And don’t forget that key fob!
Since these surfaces are highly prone to contamination due to constant use, repeat the process of disinfecting these surfaces every now and then by cleaning them with a sanitizer to neutralize any contagions.
Any soap has the ability to destroy viruses, including the coronavirus, by isolating the exterior of your vehicle. That’s why chief medical officials recommend cleaning your hands with soap for 20 seconds and disinfecting your ride with the same substance can also be used. However, to prevent damage to interior trims, it is recommended to go for a milder variety like generic shampoo or you can also prepare an ammonia-based solution by diluting glass and window purifiers with a 1:1 ratio of water.
SERVICE THE AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM
It is a good idea to clear your HVAC system of any harboring bacteria and fungi as many of the COVID-19 casualties can be attributed to comorbid diseases. If the system is serviced by expert auto mechanic shop, they will take of every necessary thing but if you are opting for the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach, don’t forget to clean the air filter and spray the air-con vents (including the back AC vents) with cleansing agents offered by any of the car maintenance brands.
CLEAN THE UPHOLSTERY
Seatback pockets, Headrests, armrests, and backrests are other places that should be rinsed as well. Here too, Soap water, as well as alcohol, can be used across a variety of upholsteries varying from leather and leatherette (vinyl) to fabrics. However, keeping a few things in mind is necessary.
In the case of leather upholstery, frequent use of alcohol or contentious scrubbing with soap can lead to discoloration, so practicing some constraint is recommended. Special products like conditioners can also be used after disinfection to assure that the quality of the leather is retained.
Lastly, always use mask and keep hand sanitizer, gloves and wet wipes in your car.