As we are learning more about COVID-19, everyone is taking pains to disinfect their lives and take precautions against becoming infected. Hopefully, you’ve dedicated some time to clean the most frequently used items like your phone, door handles, faucets, and even your car keys. But don’t forget about your car itself. What we are learning is that Coronavirus can last on surfaces for up to two weeks! Plus, if your vehicle has tinted windows, it could live even longer because the sun’s UV rays are blocked from irradiating the virus. Though we are driving much less, if at all, disinfecting the surfaces in your vehicle will make it safe for use when you do need it. At ShortVine Star Motors, our technicians put together some tips and recommendations for the best way to clean your interior without damaging the various surfaces:
Though many people are hoarding hand sanitizer, scientists have confirmed that good old-fashioned warm, soapy water is the most effective as it actually degrades the surface of the virus. Use a clean, soft cloth and wring it out thoroughly so your surfaces don’t get water-logged. Then go over the area with a clean damp cloth to remove any soap residue. Finally, go over it with a clean, dry cloth to remove any moisture.
When you are washing your hands, take your time and sing the Happy Birthday song, but when you are cleaning your vehicle, move quickly. Leaving the soap to air dry will cause a film to form on your surfaces and could cause water-logging, as mentioned above. Work section by section: dashboard, driver side, passenger side, back seat, trunk. Pay attention to the surfaces you touch the most: wheel, seat belt buckles, gear shift, rearview mirror, door handles. If you need to go over a surface several times, be sure it is thoroughly dried in between.
For leather surfaces, a standard make-up wipe will be both cleansing and moisturizing. Avoid Lysol wipes or bleach, as they are far too abrasive and could cause damage. The moisture from a make-up wipe will prevent your leather from drying and cracking.
Making sure that you and your family are safe and protected during this time should be a top priority. While we still have the typical cold weather of Cincinnati, Ohio, we are kept indoors and should make sanitation a priority. For further reading and even more suggestions for disinfecting the different areas of your life, consult the EPA’s website: EPA List of Disinfectants.