When car owners talk about car care, they often mean changing the oil, replacing old tires, or getting it washed and detailed. But a clean car in good condition can still be a germ factory. With the COVID epidemic, we’ve all been a little obsessed with avoiding or killing germs on surfaces. Here are some tips for how to sanitize your vehicle so that you can minimize the chances of passing along colds, flus, or anything else to the people who drive or ride in your car.
Cars Are Germ Factories – Sanitize Your Vehicle
Many drivers like a clean car, but it’s much more fashionable to wash the outside of a car than it is to wash the inside. Studies done on cars have shown that a car interior is filled with hundreds of strains of bacteria and that the steering wheel in particular is a huge offender. Think about it. How many times have we been told to wash our hands to stop the spread of COVID-19? How many times do you wash your hands before you touch your steering wheel? The knobs, dials, and buttons in your car are probably in similar condition. How can you keep them clean?
The first way is to wipe down all those surfaces that get regularly touched. You probably don’t take a cloth or paper towel out to your car every time you drive it, but you can keep wet wipes or a miniature spray bottle in your glove compartment. Get in the habit of using them to clear your steering wheel, door handles, radio knobs and cup holders. If you transport kids or pets in your car, stock up. Their hands and tongues are major germ spreaders.
It’s also good to clean your car out as it gets messy instead of letting the seats and floor get covered with cups, wrappers, trash, and spills and then doing a deep clean. Food in particular is a germ vector because it’s often moist or decomposes. If you have your wet wipes in the glove compartment, wiping up that coffee spill is easy, and it won’t dry and become a sticky mess in your cup holder.
Another tip is to let the fresh air in. This is simple and even enjoyable in the summer, but winter is tougher. Still, letting the doors stand open briefly during the colder part of the year will clear out some of that stagnant air that germs and bacteria flourish in. It will make your car smell better too.
Changing your air filter will help cleanse the air that comes into the cabin of your car from the engine. That air isn’t so much laden with bacteria as it is filled with pollutants. Breathing in dirty air is also not good for your lungs or your health. Regularly replacing your air filter will make it more pleasant to be in your car. Have it checked whenever you have your oil changed.
Finally, take the time to wipe down your own regularly handled items, including your car keys. You touch your keys all the time, and probably other people do too, without ever washing them first. When you wipe down the interior of your car, wipe down your keys as well. Wipe down the outside of your purse too – and your kids’ hands.
If you are in a car accident and you need collision repair services in the Grand Rapids area, please know that we at Star Collision and Star of Rockford are taking COVID-19 seriously. We take precautions when we work both inside and outside of your vehicle, and we make sure that it comes back to you clean and sanitized as well as restored to good condition. Call us if you need auto body repair. We are here to help.