Disinfecting your vehicle is important. As soon as fall sets in, many of us stock up on extra tissues and cold remedies. We also start thinking about easy, common-sense ways to minimize our exposure to the cold, flu, and covid viruses going around this time of year. If you want to keep these viruses at bay, regularly disinfecting your car or truck should be part of your routine.
Whether you’re carpooling for work, transporting your kids and their friends to school and activities, or simply running errands, every time you or someone else enters your vehicle, you’re potentially bringing unwelcome pathogens aboard, too. These guys can live on the interior surfaces of your vehicle for hours at a time, recirculating in the air every time you use your vehicle’s climate control system.
How can you kick these freeloaders to the curb before anyone gets sick? Read on for a disinfection routine to help keep you and your family healthy throughout the year.
Disinfecting Your Vehicle Without Damaging Car Surfaces
As accredited auto mechanics in Phoenix, Arizona, we know firsthand that vehicles need to be properly maintained on the inside as well as the outside. While bleach may be great at disinfecting kitchen countertops and bathroom faucets, your vehicle’s interior needs a gentler approach. Follow these five simple steps to disinfect your car without damaging interior surfaces:
Step 1: Air Out Your Car
Roll down all the car windows and let the car air out for several hours. As the breeze blows through, it pushes out the stagnant air that contains germs and viruses that can cause flu, bronchitis, covid, sinus infections, and other illnesses.
Step 2: Wipe Down Every Surface
When disinfecting your vehicle’s interior, wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant wipe. Wipes are often safer than sprays, as they generally won’t seep into cracks and crevices that could damage your vehicle’s electrical systems. Quick-drying aerosol disinfectants can also be effective. Whichever you use, be sure to thoroughly wipe down these surfaces:
- Steering wheel
- Gear stick or shift
- Door handles, grab handles, and power switches
- Door storage areas
- Glove compartment
- Center consoles
- Video screens
- Mounts for GPS and cell phone
- Instrument faces, including the speedometer and stereo
- Rearview mirror
- Climate control instruments and vents
- Windows, mirrors, and cup holders
- Seat belts and buckles
- Car seats
- Anywhere in the back seat where children touch
If you have questions about how to clean a particular part of your vehicle, contact our skilled auto mechanics in Phoenix, Arizona. We’re happy to answer your questions.
Step 3: Keep Your Air Filter Fresh
Make sure you keep your cabin air filter fresh. While the filter can’t screen out the viruses or bacteria that could make you sick, keeping the air in your car’s air conditioning and heating system clean is always a good idea.
Step 4: Clean Floor Mats
Floor mats house all the debris and dirt that collects on the bottom of our shoes. They’re also a resting place for germs that drift downward in the air. To clean them, remove all the mats, shake them out, and either wash them with warm, soapy water or wipe them thoroughly with a disinfecting wipe. Let them air out until fully dry before putting them back in your vehicle.
Step 5: Vacuum!
Vacuum the floor, seats, and every one of your car’s nooks and crannies to remove debris and dirt. Use a crevice tool to reach hard-to-access areas where crumbs and other small items often collect.