Even though the majority of us are on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, many of us still need to use our car, whether it be as a critical worker commuting to work, travelling to a supermarket or delivering food and medicine to vulnerable friends and family. As Covid-19 can last on some surfaces like hard metals and plastics for up to 72 hours, your car could be the perfect breeding ground for the virus. We've got some easy tips to help keep your car safe and clean.
1. Always wear gloves
It goes without saying - gloves are essential. When cleaning your car, you can sometimes come into contact with rubbish and used tissues that may have harboured the virus. Dispose of your gloves immediately after cleaning to help stop the spread of the virus.
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2. Focus on high-touch surfaces
The experts at Design 911 recommend focusing on the areas you touch the most – think the steering wheel, gear stick, door handles, mirrors, seat belt buttons, indicators and stereo. If you have touchscreens in your car, make sure the cleaner you use is diluted and clean with a microfibre cloth to minimise damaging your display. Don't forget to clean your boot and the foot wells too.
3. Clean the exterior too
It's just as important to clean the exterior of your car too, especially those areas you touch regularly; door handles in particular, and your boot exterior too. And don't forget to clean your petrol cap as well!
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4. Don't forget about the fabric
As we carry bacteria on the surface of our skin and most germs can live on fabric for some time, it is important to clean your car's upholstery too. Soap and water are safe for most car interiors and is actually the recommended cleaning method. If you have leather seats, avoid using alcohol as it can cause damage and cause discolouration over time. Alternatively, you can use an environmentally friendly, concentrated cleaner or simply remove the fabric if you can and wash it in water and laundry detergent.
5. Disinfect the HVAC unit
The HVAC unit is the heating ventilation and air-cooling system that can carry with it a number of infections and viruses. In the midst of this global pandemic, it is wise to get this system cleaned right down to the air filter and the coolant topped up. Check your car's handbook for how to do this - it can be tricky, and is usually done by a professional cleaner. If you're not confident doing this, work on cleaning the air vents in the car; clean between the slats of the vents with a dampened cloth. Always wash your hands after cleaning for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water.