At no point in history have we been as concerned with germs in the way we are now. We went from a carefree existence with little thought on our day-to-day bacteria interactions to rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and other cleaning supplies being hot commodities. While the coronavirus has altered the way we go about our daily lives, the best way to defend against it, as with any other virus, is still the tried and true technique of washing hands and cleaning & disinfecting high traffic areas (according to the Center for Disease Control). Most of us are now aware of the proper technique for hand washing if we weren’t already. Additionally, you are probably now aware of what cleaning products to use to disinfect your home, but have you thought about sanitizing your vehicle?
Why You Should Consider Sanitizing Your Vehicle
If you have had anyone in your vehicle showing symptoms of Covid19 (or any illness, really), you will want to clean and disinfect high touch areas such as the steering wheel, door handles, controls, and arm rests. If you are a taxi or ride-hailing driver, driving a rented vehicle, or participating in ride sharing, sanitizing vehicle surfaces inside is a must.
Products Requirements for Sanitizing Your Vehicle
The interior of your vehicle is generally not as durable as your countertops and doorknobs at home. You certainly aren’t going to want to use abrasive products that may work beautifully on your home’s hard surfaces. For a car’s interior you or going to want something that gets the job done but still can be gentle in its application so as not to damage your vehicles interior. The CDC recommends using products that contain at least 70% alcohol for effective sanitizing. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the plastic, chrome, and imitation leather (vegan leather/pleather/vinyl) without any issues or worries of degrading the material. Soap and water with some elbow grease do wonders, too.
“When it comes to keeping the interior vehicle clean and sanitized, it is extremely important to know what is in the products you’re using. Be vigilant and not just grab a bottle of “whatever” from underneath the cabinet. Certain Cleaners are mixed strong and can cause damage or stain interior trim pieces, leather, and glass”, states Dylan Mize, owner of Mize Auto Detailing.
‘Do Not Dos’ for Sanitizing Your Vehicle
You will want to make certain that the products you choose to use DO NOT contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide because such products will potentially ruin your upholstery. Additionally, avoid ammonia-based glass cleaners on touch screens as it will damage their anti-fingerprint and anti-glare. Additionally, when cleaning leather, do not rub too vigorously as it will potentially breakdown the leather faster, especially if its older.
The Elbow Grease Aspect of Sanitizing Your Vehicle
Apart from leather (which you need to be gentler with), some vigorous rubbing with isopropyl alcohol or soap and water is an important aspect of the cleaning process. The friction of the scrubbing action helps to destroy the coronavirus. Coronaviruses are surrounded by an outer layer that helps protect the virus, as well as helps it to infect other cells. The scrubbing friction helps destroy that protective envelope around the cell, effectively disarming the virus.
Tips to Remember While Sanitizing Your Vehicle
If you choose to use soap and water, we recommend ivory soap for cleaning spots and stained areas on leather. This soap is generally safe for most of your vehicle’s surfaces, except for electronics, of course. However, if you notice the leather starting to look dirtier (especially light colored leather) while you are cleaning it, you are likely removing color so clean more gently or you may want to consider taking it a place that specializes in detailing. With fabric upholstery just be sure not to use too much water otherwise your fabric may develop mold or a musty odor. We also recommend using a clean microfiber cloth so that you don’t scratch surfaces while you are sanitizing your vehicle.
Once you have completed the sanitizing of your vehicle, we recommend that you wash your hands, as washing hands is still the absolute best way of preventing the spread of viruses. If you decide that you would rather have someone else do the sanitizing, there are many reputable brick and mortar detailing companies that you can call, as well as several mobile detail companies like Mize Auto Detailing. Note, too, that If your vehicle in in our shop for auto body repair, know that we sanitize your vehicle before returning it you. This is just one way we try to add value to our services that we provide to our clients and customers.