We’re all washing our hands because of coronavirus, but what about your vehicle? It’s important to keep it clean and sanitized, but you need to do it properly. That means killing viruses without damaging your car’s interior surfaces. Germs will happily hitch a ride from your trip to the grocery store or elsewhere back to your vehicle. Think about all the things inside your car that you touch.

What Should You Clean?

You want to disinfect all the high-touch surfaces, including the obvious ones like the steering wheel and center touchscreen. Steering wheels have four times as many germs than a public toilet seat. They should be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe or spray daily.

Cleaning also includes the door handles, inside and outside the key fob the indicator and wiper sticks gear shift lever start & stop push button door lock, window, and power mirror switches and the seat adjusters, whether power or manually- adjustable.

Clean all buttons, dials and switches, including the AC control and stereo buttons. Flat surfaces such as the dash, console, armrests, and door pads should also be cleaned. Don't forget your center console including the cup holders and your rear view mirror. If you’ve adjusted it, you’ve touched it

What Should You Use?

A lot of products are strong and they can damage the surfaces of your vehicle. If you’re not sure, try it first on a small, inconspicuous spot to see if it’s going to be a problem and always read the label and follow the product instructions.

One of the most convenient methods is a disinfectant wipe but they’re not all the same, so test on a hidden spot as some can leave a white residue. For cleaning, it’s best to use a microfiber towel. These trap dirt, unlike a paper towel, which can smear particles and potentially scratch glass or soft surfaces.

Vinegar can also be used, but as with all cleaning products, it’s always best to test on a small area, especially on soft surfaces such as cloth or leather upholstery. As with any cleaner, if the cloth turns the color of your upholstery, try something else. Just as it works on your hands, soap and water will do the job. Just don’t overdo it with the suds or water, because soft surfaces that don’t dry quickly can create mildew.

What Not To Use

Laundry bleach does an excellent job of killing viruses, and an equally decent job of ruining vehicle surfaces, so don’t use it. Also on the “don’t” list are harsh chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, or strong cleaners meant for exterior surfaces.

You’ll find various car cleaners at the auto parts store, but be cautious. If they are light duty and mostly to shine up a surface, they won’t be strong enough to kill viruses. If they are heavy duty, such as for cleaning wheels or tires, they’re too strong for interior surfaces.

For your own safety, use only one product at a time. Some household cleaners don’t play well together, and if they’re mixed, they can become corrosive or create toxic fumes.

At the Gas Station

Take the same precautions as with any other outside surface. If you can’t wash your hands after using the gas pump, use a disinfecting wipe or hand sanitizer. You could also carry disposable latex or plastic gloves to wear when filling up.

When You’re Done

Wash your hands after you’ve used your vehicle, especially if you have passengers. For a deep clean, consider taking your vehicle to a professional. No matter what you do to clean & sanitize your vehicle, continue doing it even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. People regularly get sick, especially children, and you want to get rid of those germs. Once your vehicle is clean, keep it clean.

We always use gloves to handle glass, so your vehicle is always safe & protected. If you need to have your windshield replaced while you are social distancing at home, just call your insurance company and let them know that you would like to use AutoGlass Solutions.