Much of the world is confined to quarters, but some still need to use their vehicles. Here are some suggestions on how to keep it clean. These suggestions also work for home.
While bleach and other harsh cleaners work best, they might damage some surfaces, particularly paint, leather, and vinyl.
- Clean before disinfecting: Give your car a scrub inside with warm soap and water or car-cleaning products beforeyou use disinfectant. Check the chemicals in these products to make sure you’re not damaging your car. Cleaning first ensures you’re removing dirt, organic matter and many germs from surfaces, allowing the disinfectant to then do its work on the more harmful, stubborn germs.
- Prioritise disinfecting areas that are frequently touched: These include door handles, the rear-view mirror, the gear stick, infotainment and dashboard controls, seats and armrests, seat belts and the handbrake. Isopropyl alcohol is a proven disinfectant, and is also safe to use on most hard car interior surfaces to remove many stains, smudges and residues, as well as kill bacteria and viruses.
- Use soap and water on leathers: Isopropyl alcohol may cause problems with leather so stick to warm soap and water for any leather interiors. No need to scrub too hard, avoid excess suds and water, and use a microfibre cloth if possible to avoid scratches.
- Use material-specific cleaners and disinfectants: For a thorough clean, use materials specifically for fabrics, exterior metal and plastic, and interior plastic, vinyl and leather. When using these products, follow the guidance on the manufacturer labels and the safety precautions.
- Avoid bleach and peroxide-based cleaners: While these kill germs, they’ll also damage vinyl and plastic, and probably discolour your car too.
- Don’t use too much water inside your car: Particularly around electronics.
- Do not stockpile products: Please think of others when buying products. A little goes a long way, particularly if you clean before disinfecting.
- Most importantly, wash your hands: Continue to wash your hands frequently and for a minimum of 20 seconds each time.