With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to threaten people’s health, keeping you and your family safe is a top priority. You have to make sure that your house or the other places that you often go to are free from the virus, including your vehicle.
Reminding us of the importance of vigilance during this trying time is Peter Jay Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College dean. He said, “the way we deal with the uncertainty is we have to cover all of our bases.” Therefore, all of us have a part in keeping each other safe from the pandemic.
Take Proactive Measures
Before we go in length on how you can protect your car from COVID-19, you must guard yourself first and follow proactive measures so that your vehicle won’t also be infected. If it’s not essential, refrain from going outside. Always carry an alcohol-based sanitizer with you, wear a mask, and avoid visiting crowded places. Or, if you must leave the house, be sure to wear the right protective gear.
Also, do not get in a vehicle with a person who has or a person suspected of having COVID-19. Avoid having a possible COVID-19 patient as a passenger, unless it’s detrimental. If you need to drive the patient to the hospital, wear protective gear, and immediately disinfect your car. Here are some helpful ways on how to do that.
Disinfecting Your Vehicle
Before attempting to clean and disinfect your car, make sure that you’re wearing proper and protective clothing. Although you must be used to wearing shorts and t-shirts when washing your vehicle, it will be best to dress conservatively to avoid your car’s surface to have direct contact with your skin. Wear a long-sleeved top and jeans, or any clothing that can cover your whole body.
Just like when you go outside, wear a face mask, and always bring alcohol with you. You can apply alcohol first before wearing the gloves for more certainty. Ensure that no other people are near the vehicle when you’re disinfecting, especially when they are not wearing protective gear. After preparing yourself, you may start cleaning your car.
Step #1: Like how you regularly clean your vehicle, you can start dusting the floor mats by using a vacuum cleaner. Be sure that you clean all the corners. You may also use the vacuum in clearing the seats. Afterward, dispose of the dirt from the vacuum cleaner carefully. Use a bin bag and prevent other people from getting near it.
Step #2: Prepare a large tub of water and put a regular detergent or a liquid soap inside. Take the floor mats, or any other removable fabric in your car and soak them in the tub. Leave it for half an hour or more, and dry them out in the sun.
Step #3: Use another soap-based solution in cleaning the non-removable fabric of your car. Use a sponge and squeeze it first before rubbing it in your vehicle’s inner parts so it won’t drench in too much water. Be meticulous and scrub every corner.
Step #4: Prepare an alcohol-based disinfectant and put it on a different sponge. Use it to scrub the other essential components of your vehicle. For your guide, here are the most frequently touched parts of your car.
- Car keys and fobs
- Steering wheel
- Gear shift
- Seat belts and seat belt fasteners
- Outside and inside door handles
- Buttons and controls such as the power ignition, window switches, radio, GPS, etc.
- Car seats and booster seats
- Air ventilators
- Grab handles
- Seat pockets
- Cup holders
- Roof lining
Step #5: It’s now time to clean your vehicle’s exterior. Create a soap-based mix again and use a sponge to scrub the outside. Let the soap sit for 5 minutes before washing it. Prepare a dry cloth to remove excess water after.
Step #6: Discard the gloves, mask, and other disposable materials you used. Your clothes and sponges should go straight into the laundry and take a lengthy shower.
Continue being vigilant even after you disinfect your car. Always keep sanitizing wipes in your car so you can clean surfaces immediately. Before riding your vehicle, rinse your hands for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Guarantee that all passengers will do the same. Be alert and disinfect thoroughly when touching gas pumps, parking meters, ATMs, or charging stations outside.
During this scary time, everyone has to be extra careful and mindful of their habits. We will get through this, as long as each of us does our part in stopping the spread of the disease.