How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

Men Washing His Car

How To Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Daytona Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram & FIAT, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Drivers in Daytona Beach, FL, are taking extra care to not spread the virus into their homes. But you may forget to wipe down and clean the surfaces in your vehicle that other items, such as groceries, come in contact with. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that coronaviruses 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?

Your vehicle’s interior contains many different surfaces like leather seats and plastic on the dash, so you may need different tools to properly clean your car. According to 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?

Prior to sanitizing your car, be sure to wash your hands. If you have disposable gloves on hand you can put them on to protect yourself from potential exposure. 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. If you’re able to, keeping disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer in the vehicle makes it easier to wipe down surfaces more frequently.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Jeep or Ram 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. Dish soap is a simple solution you may have at home — just dampen the surface you’re cleaning and scrub for about 30 seconds. Besides that, focus on high-touch places within your car. 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?

Though the exterior of your Ram truck or Dodge vehicle is less likely to have germs that can transfer to you, it’s still a good idea to disinfect frequently touched areas like the door handles. You can also wipe down the gas cap before fueling up.

bleach container

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Chrysler or Jeep vehicle’s 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.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Before you use any kind of leather cleaner, be sure to spot test it on a hidden area to ensure it works with your specific leather seats. Use a microfiber cloth when cleaning to avoid scratching the leather, and apply a leather conditioner after cleaning if you’re able. If you don’t have leather cleaner on hand, you can make your own solution with two parts vinegar and one part water.

Here at Daytona Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram & FIAT, 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 FIAT®, Dodge, Chrysler, Ram and Jeep dealership in Daytona Beach, FL.