Tips on Cleaning Your Car During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Photo Credit: CGN089/Shutterstock
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention†says postponing travel and staying home this week is the best way to protect yourself and others this Thanksgiving. Of those who decide to travel,
most will do so by car according to AAAís latest estimate. AAA forecasts that 47.8 million Americans will take a road trip this Thanksgiving.

Whether you decide to stay home or make the personal decision to travel this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to adhere to CDC, state and local health guidance. Also remain vigilant in keeping your vehicle clean and sanitized. Although no amount of cleaning is a guarantee of preventing the spread of COVID among passengers in your vehicle, there are things you can do to help minimize the risk.

  • Clean and sanitize your vehicle after every use with a sanitizing wipe or spray. (Always check instructions that note how long the method you use must dry to be effective.) Soap and water is also effective.

  • Donít forget all the car touchpoints like the gear shift, push-button start, radio knobs, steering wheel, door handles, grab handles, A/C vents, power window controls, armrests, rearview mirror, cupholders and yes, even your seatbelts, both the belt itself and latch. Don't forget to wipe down your key fob, too.

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after youíre done. If you donít have immediate access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, according to the CDC guidelines. We donít recommend keeping a bottle of sanitizer in your vehicle, however, as it could explode in hot weather.

  • If youíre carrying other passengers in your vehicle, everyone should be wearing a mask. It's also important to keep your vehicle ventilated. Crack open the windows if you're riding with other people. Make sure your vehicle is not recirculating air, but bringing it in from the outdoors.

  • Another tip is to use your voice recognition more than using a touchscreen.

  • Also, take care at gas stations, mask up and use a glove to handle the pump then throw it away in a trash can. Pay at the pump if possible. I always sanitize my hands afterwards as well.

Now a note about what NOT to use to clean or sanitize your vehicle:

  • Bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, thinners, or other harsh and abrasive cleaners. You also don't want to use harsh abrasive chemicals on your touchscreen because they can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. Look for specific wipes available made for cleaning your carís leather. It's also a good idea to apply some leather conditioner once the risk has subsided. Cleaners can cause the leather to dry out and crack if not treated.

Nissan's come up with a handy helpful checklist below:

Nissan car cleaning tips

Cleaning Child-Safety Seats

We canít forget about car seats -- they are a major place germs like to hang out. Cleaning a car seat requires a couple of steps:

  • Read the car seatís manual before doing anything because missteps when cleaning it could make the car seat unsafe.
  • To clean the car seatís plastic shell, most manufacturers recommend using a damp cloth and mild soap. The seatbelt straps should be wiped down with a damp cloth, too. Some manufacturers allow the use of a mild soap to clean it, but check before cleaning.
  • Donít wash the seat belt straps in the washing machine because it can affect its fiber strength and wash away fire retardants.

Again, read the ownerís manual before washing or consider having it done by a detailing professional. Some manufacturers allow the covers to be machine-washed (and likely air-dried), while others prefer hand shampooing and air-drying.

All of these tips should become habit and standard practice in the current world we live in today. While nothing can completely mitigate the risk of germs in your vehicle completely, these precautions can help keep them at bay.
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One important thing missing from the Keep your Car Germ Free is the Seatbelt Buckles.
The Expedia Owned CarRental. com link that was included in the article does show the seatbelt as well as many others in the display that mentions the Average amount of germs on vehicle surfaces.
I called Northridge Toyota, as my wife's car needed Service. I asked what cleaning will be done before I don my mask to pick it up. I was told that don't clean. I was shocked as virtually every car company ad talks about deep cleaning. They then told me that they would clean the car for $30.00. Needless to say I won't be returning. What's even more ridiculous, is that I live in an area with 5 Toyota dealers within 15 minutes of my house. Should I call the owner?
The Car Pro
Yes, I think that would be a again idea, Iím sure he or she would want to know this.

Jerry Reynolds
pat .
Any chance of having Car Pro dealer in the Sandusky, Port Clinton area of Ohio we are an hour from Toledo and Cleveland? Would love to see one or two
The Car Pro
Hi Pat!

Our closest dealers to you would be in Cleveland or Detroit, here are the links to our Car Pro Certified Dealers so you can check them out. Thanks for listening!

Robert .
Have you test driven a 2018 Subaru Ascent yet?
Jerry Reynolds
Not yet, but we look forward to getting behind the wheel.