Cleaning Your Car During Coronavirus

April 17th, 2020 by

Whether you have a family, drive long distances, or work for a ride-sharing service, you likely spend a lot of time picking up clutter and cleaning up your car. Luckily, due to social distancing, you may have a significant amount of free time available at home. You can use these extra hours to carefully clean your car and rid it of any unwanted germs. These tips should help you effectively clean the interior of your car to help keep you and your family members safe during COVID-19.

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Car During COVID-19

Since COVID-19 can stay on surfaces for several hours to days, the Central for Disease Control recommends cleaning any dirty surfaces that you’re confident others have touched. Properly cleaning and disinfecting your car is an effective best practice to follow that reduces the risk of you, your roommates, or family members being infected by coronavirus or any other viral respiratory diseases.

Cleaning Products to Use

Before you can get to work on your car, evaluate the cleaning products you already use to clean your home. Isopropyl alcohol or other products with alcohol in them are strong chemicals that make it easier to tackle and eliminate the virus. As you look at the other ingredients in your cleaning products, try to steer clear of any that contain hydrogen peroxide or bleach. While they’re great products to use against the virus inside your home, they can damage your car’s interior.

Try to avoid any cleaners that contain ammonia, especially if you’re cleaning any touch screens in your car. This can harm the screen and possibly disable the fingerprint coatings, which may make it difficult for the screens to identify your touch. As you clean the surfaces of your car, spray every section and item in the interior and wipe it all with a soft cloth towel. Avoid using paper towels on plastic surfaces of your car, as this can scratch and damage them.

Wiping Down Your Upholstery

Thoroughly cleaning the seats in your car is crucial for protecting both you and your passengers. You should make sure you know how to clean certain upholstery to ensure you don’t damage it. Soap and water are effective cleaning solutions to use on cloth, leather, and vinyl seats. As you scrub the soap and water, try to gently rub it into your seats and don’t scrub it too roughly. This keeps your seats squeaky clean without damaging them or allowing mold to grow in the cushions.

If you’re running low on soap, you can use alcohol to clean most types of upholstery as well, but try to be careful with alcohol and leather seats. If you use alcohol a few times on your leather seating, there’s a strong chance you won’t harm them. Constantly rubbing alcohol on the seats, however, can wear down the urethane coating and cause the leather to look damaged and lose its color. Luckily, there are also leather cleaners available as well as leather conditioners that work to remove stains and fight off pesky bacteria and germs.

Vacuuming Your Car

Cars can easily pick up outside dust particles, which causes your car to look and feel dirty. You can easily get rid of this by finding a shop vacuum or using the hose on your house vacuum. Run the vacuum over all the surfaces of your car, including the seats, floor mats, and corners where dirt easily piles up. To ensure an extra clean car, grab the floor mats before vacuuming and shake them outside. This removes as many particles as possible so you can easily vacuum up the leftovers.

Since dust may escape and flow through the air as you’re cleaning, it may be easy to breathe it in. To keep yourself breathing easily, find a dust mask or a regular mask, if available, and wear it while vacuuming to keep any unwanted particles out of your lungs.

Inspect Your Air Filters

The air filters in your car are responsible for filtering the outside air into the cabin to make it easier for you to breathe. You also have a second air filter that filters air to your car’s engine. This is a great time to check both of these filters and learn if you need to replace them.

To find your air filters, review the owner’s manual for your vehicle. It should tell you where to locate each of the filters. If they look significantly dirty, you can order new filters online that can be delivered to your house. Having clean air filters not only helps the air around you feel fresher, but it may also rid your car of any unpleasant smells the air conditioner was producing.

Checking Your Car’s Exterior

Not only is it important to thoroughly clean the inside of your car, but proper maintenance of the exterior is crucial as well. Checking the tread condition and air pressure on your tires regularly ensures your car is still being well taken care of, even if you’re not driving it as much lately due to social distancing. Grab a tire gauge and check the tire pressure to ensure it has enough air in it. You can find the exact amount of air it should have inside of your driver’s side door.

Check the outside of your tires as well. Look to see if the material looks worn or if the tread is low. A great way to verify this is by sticking a quarter in between the tire’s grooves. If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, the tread is too low. A low tread can make it more difficult for you to control your car on the road.

Cleaning your car and inspecting its exterior are effective ways to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself safe during the coronavirus pandemic. If after cleaning and inspecting your car you realize you need a service center to provide any maintenance or repairs, stop by Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth. They can check your car’s exterior to make sure everything is functioning properly to keep you safe and comfortable during the outbreak.

 

Image via Flickr by Accretion Disc

Posted in Car Tips