How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

Men Washing His Car

Cleaning Your Car
Tips on How to Clean Your Car

At Holz Motors, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many community members around Hales Corners, WI, are wearing gloves, frequently using hand sanitizer and disinfecting items they purchase while out on the go. What’s easy to overlook, however, is that once you buy these items and load them into your car, they are then touching the interior of your vehicle. 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?

Disinfecting your vehicle can be a challenge because its interior often contains various surfaces to worry about. From the plastic on the dash to the soft leather seats, numerous tools may be required for washing your car. 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?

Wash your hands before beginning the sanitization process and put on disposable gloves if you have them handy. 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. And if you have enough to spare, it’s smart to keep disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your vehicle.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Prior to using any type of leather cleaner, we advise to spot test it on a hidden area to ensure it will work well for your specific seats. Use a microfiber cloth during the cleaning to avoid scratching the leather, and once you’re finished, apply a leather conditioner if you have some available. Don’t have any leather cleaner in the house? Simply mix two parts vinegar with one part water to create your own DIY disinfectant product.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Chevy 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. Begin by dampening the surface with dish soap and warm water, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Be sure to focus on cleaning your steering wheel and dash, as well as additional high-touch places within your car, truck or SUV. These surfaces can include:

  • 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?

The sun and other weather elements will help kill off some germs, but it’s still smart to disinfect areas you touch regularly. Think of locations like the handle buttons, door handles or gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Chevrolet 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 Holz Motors, we want to do our part to help educate our customers 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 Chevy dealership in Hales Corners, WI.