Men Washing His Car

How To Clean and Sanitize Your Car
Tips on How to Clean Your Car

At Herb Chambers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT® of Millbury, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Millbury and beyond are frequently using hand sanitizer, wearing masks and wiping down items they purchase to reduce the risk of exposure to germs outside their homes. What's easy to forget, though, is that once those items are loaded into your vehicle, they are then touching the interior. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that the coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. That means that you should be sanitizing the interior of your car to kill any germs it may have collected on your last visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. 

Car cleaner wiping car door with rag

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

You'll find that your car, truck, van or SUV is made up of many different materials, including but not limited to leather, cloth, plastic and even carbon fiber in certain cases. To properly disinfect all these surfaces, you'll need several tools. According to the National Institutes of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel. Another study suggests that similar viruses can live on "inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days."

Cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

What's the Best Way to Sanitize My Car's Interior?

Before sanitizing your car, wash your hands. Do you have disposable gloves? It's smart to wear them during the cleaning process. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well for sanitizing your vehicle. Just be sure to read the product's label to make sure it's safe for the surface you're planning to use it on. Keep disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer in your car at all times, so you're always ready to wipe down things as needed.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Do you have leather seats in your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram or FIAT? It's important to note that only leather cleaner should be used on them. To ensure the cleaner you have works properly, simply spot test it on a hidden area. And when cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to prevent scratching. If you don't have any leather cleaner, you can make your own by mixing one part water with two parts vinegar. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to give your seats an extra polish.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your car to keep clean are the dashboard and the steering wheel. Bacteria tends to collect in these spots, as air is cycled throughout the vehicle. To clean your dash, simply use soap and water. Dish soap can be used for this application. Simply dampen the surface of what you'd like to clean, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Pay special attention to your dash, steering wheel and other high-touch surfaces, including:
  • Door Handles
  • Door Buttons
  • Key Fob
  • Steering Wheel
  • Inside Door Buttons
  • Seat Belts
  • Gear Shifters
  • Touchscreens
  • Buttons on the Dash
  • Buttons for Lights
  • Buttons for Windshield Wipers
  • Glove Compartment

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Thanks to the sun and other weather elements, germs are less likely to live on the exterior of your vehicle. That being said, it's still smart to disinfect areas you touch most frequently. These surfaces can include door handles, handle buttons and even your gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your car, truck, van or SUV's interior surfaces, don't use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. These can damage the vinyl and plastics in your cabin. You should also avoid any ammonia-based cleaning products used to clean glass, as they can break down the vinyl on the dashboard. Heat and light may then cause your dashboard to become sticky.

Here at Herb Chambers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT of Millbury, we want to do our part to help educate our clients and keep them safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions about car care or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Jeep dealership in Millbury, MA.

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