Fight COVID-19 Virus in Your Car

Fight COVID-19 Virus in Your Car

Keep Your Car Clean and Help Prevent Spread of Coronavirus
Kip Doyle
clean car interior

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed our everyday lives rapidly. It's a time to be particularly cautious, especially if you can't avoid being exposed to the public for work or other reasons.

If you are commuting to work or driving in general during the outbreak, you'll want to do your part to prevent the virus from being carried inside your vehicle.

Conveniently, most household cleaners that kill coronavirus are safe to use on a car interior without causing damage. Cleaning solutions that are at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against coronavirus, and they are generally very safe on car interiors.

Just remember, don't use bleach and hydrogen peroxide cleaners, which can also kill coronavirus, but they might also damage the car's upholstery.

When cleaning out-of-the-ordinary surfaces such as suede, Alcantara® (synthetic suede) or “mouse fur” headliners, it's smart to check the owner’s manual for automaker recommendations.

See the EPA's full list of disinfectants that can kill COVID-19 virus here.

Take some time to give your car a thorough detail cleaning while wearing disposable gloves. You may want to vacuum and remove any trash or debris if necessary. Clean dirty surfaces using detergent or soap and water before disinfecting.

When using your disinfectant solution, don't just wipe the obvious areas like the steering wheel and door handles. Make sure you are cleaning the complete interior of the vehicle.

You can follow up by applying protectorant to the interior surfaces. Professional detailers use products that preserve the original factory finish, which usually has a natural matte or satin appearance. Avoid silicone-based protectorants that leave a shiny, “greasy” finish that tends to attract dust.

Use an alcohol-based window cleaner for all window surfaces. This should work for touchscreen displays as well, but consult your car's manual to be safe. 

To be thorough, clean the carpets and floors. Carpets can be cleaned by spraying a suitable detergent solution on spots, using a brush to work it in, then rubbing with a towel to remove the stain and cleaner.

Cleaning dirtier areas, particularly floor mats and cargo area carpeting, may require the use of a carpet “steam” cleaner equipped with a hand-held attachment. Cloth upholstery is cleaned in much the same manner as carpets.

Now that your car is clean, keep some disinfectant wipes on hand to routinely wipe off commonly touched areas.

Continue to keep your car tidy and disinfected, and maybe add an air freshener to complete that "new car" feel!

AAA is looking out for our members during the coronavirus, just like you are looking out for your family members and loved ones. When you add an Associate Member to your account, they'll get all the same benefits as you - at a fraction of the price.

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