Best Practices to Disinfect Your Vehicle

April 10, 2020

Best Practices to Disinfect Your Vehicle

Concerns about Covid-19 have prompted a whole new sense of awareness over keeping your environment clean and sterile around home and work (for many this is now one and the same). Any additional measures taken to prevent the virus is worth the effort, even if it’s not tangibly apparent. This is why special attention needs to be given to preventing your car from becoming a means of transmitting germs to yourself or others. The following are a few measures you can take for how to disinfect a car interior.

Use the Right Cleaning Agents
Just because bleach and peroxide are excellent choices for killing pathogens on countertops, this does not mean they are a good idea for use on the surfaces and fabrics inside your car. Products like these work well killing germs, but they can be equally as damaging long term to your car interior. The best recommendation is to avoid anything labeled as “detergent free.”
Generally, disinfectants that contain 70-percent alcohol are going to be effective at killing harmful germs like Coronavirus, and at the same time, these kinds of disinfectants will not be damaging to most surfaces inside your car. But, to be absolutely sure, it is important to do a little research into the right cleaning solution for the types of surfaces your car contains for best results.

Best agents: alcohol wipes, car wipes, soap/water

Take Measures to Protect the Car Interior
Using hand sanitizer when getting in and out of your car may help to keep Covid-19 from having access to your car’s interior. Wearing gloves when you drive could also help to prevent the spread of germs to the steering wheel, gear shift, blinker stocks and other components people normally touch with their hands when they drive. Covering seats and the floor with waterproof plastic covers can help to protect from allowing Covid-19 to become embedded in the fabric that covers seats or the carpeting in your car’s floor. Plus, it is generally easy to clean, disinfect and replace plastic seat and floor covers without too much hassle.

If plastic covers are not your style, fear not there is an alternative solution. Makeup wipes are recommended to wipe down leather interior. Why is this? Most makeup wipes have a layer of moisturizer that can eliminate foreign contaminants without drying out the leather and causing cracks.

Will UV Light Disinfect My Car?

Often it is claimed that exposure to UV radiation can effectively kill pathogens. While this may seem reasonable to think so in other cases, it is unfortunate that there is no evidence that UV-A and UV-B radiation found in sunlight has any effect on Covid-19. Consequently, parking your car in the sun will not necessarily provide any significant protection against the spread of coronavirus. The only UV radiation that shows any promise against Covid-19, being also safe for human use, is far UV-C light. While there are presently no devices for use by the general public to employ this form of UV radiation for killing Covid-19, such devices may be available to the general public later this year. So, far UV-C light may soon be a useful approach to killing Coronavirus inside a car and other enclosed spaces. The downside to this tactic if you have a leather interior is prolonged exposure to the UV light could do more harm than good.

Use an Ozone Generator

While there has not been a lot of extensive testing on the effects of ozone on Covid-19 specifically, it is known that Ozone is effective against killing the related SARS virus. This suggests that ozone being used to sanitize an area will likely provide a benefit. However, it is important to not breathe ozone from a portable generator in an enclosed space. It would be best to run such a device when no one is in the car and to then run the A/C with the windows down to air the ozone out before using the car or taking on passengers to prevent respiratory problems.

Dominic LoBianco is a guest author on behalf of Z Auto Service. Dominic covers a wide range of topics ranging from Distracted Driving Prevention to Paintless Dent Repair.