The Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic is as real as it gets and steps need to be taken to exercise caution and reduce the spread of infection during these times. It is advised to reduce travel, social gatherings and follow social distancing for the next few days to minimise the risk of contracting the virus. But remember, your cars are carriers of not just you but also of dust, grime, bacteria, all of which something like the COVID-19 can latch onto. So, it's all the more important to sanitise the car during this time to safeguard you and your family's health. Here are a few essential steps that you need to do to disinfect your car in the fight against the Coronavirus.
Your car attracts and collects dust and the Indian weather does no favours in reducing that. It's best to vacuum the car on a regular basis to minimise infections. Make sure to scrub and clean the carpets, floor mats, pedals, levers and more, right down to the cargo space. Deep clean your seats with soapy water or have it steam cleaned from a professional. Fabric seats tend to soak in the bacteria, which can be a breeding ground for infections. A wipe down of the centre console, instrument cluster and door locks on a regular basis is important.
Notice the Grey areas
Although you may not touch them, there are a number of places in your car that you do come in contact with. The headliner, window glass, and the headrest are just some of the examples and will need a clean-up. Do remember to wipe the exterior door handles that you do come in contact with and is unavoidable.
Clean the high touch surfaces
Make sure to clean high touch surfaces with an interior cleaner or you could make your own solution ammonia-based cleaning products. This includes all the knobs, switches, buttons, screens and more. Do make sure that the cleaner is diluted as the acidic property may damage the touchscreen display's glass or plastic surface in the concentrated form. It's usually best to apply the solution on a cloth and then cleaning the interior to minimise any damage.
Disinfect the HVAC unit
The HVAC unit circulates air in the cabin and can carry a number of infections and viruses. The best solution to this would be to deep-clean the complete system right down to the air filter. With summers approaching as well, it's a good time to get the system cleaned and the coolant topped up. Make sure to remove and clean the cabin filter that's located behind the glove compartment, and spray it with a disinfectant before putting it back in. You will also find car aerosol-based AC disinfectant spray cleaners online, but we aren't sure how effective those are in combating something as dangerous as COVID-19.
If you opt for going to a professional detailer, you can also ask for the Ozone treatment that requires the detailers to spray ozone molecules that attacks and breaks down any kind of mould, virus or bacteria in your car. You can also ask the detailers to steam clean the interior that also minimises infections.
Clean toys, gadgets, tables
If you have children travelling in the car, do get any toys in the car cleaned. Stuff toys are easy to clean with detergent while hard plastics can be disinfected by adding some bleach and detergent in a bucket of water. Do follow the washing instructions mentioned. It would be a good idea to scrub and clean those areas that often come in contact with children like the back of the seats, when inside the car. If you are using a child seat for an infant, we will recommend removing it and cleaning it completely and installing it again in the car. The same thing applies to tablets or any handheld games that children would use during their time in the car. Wipe down smaller storage pockets, trays and even the seatbelt from time-to-time.
Store Sanitisers, Wet Wipes, Masks
It's a good idea to make a small kit comprising a hand sanitiser, wet wipes and a mask in the glovebox. The wet wipes will help you frequently clean the high touch surfaces like the steering wheel, door handles, gear shift knob, handbrake lever and other controls. The idea is to keep the car clean as much as possible to minimise infections.
The Coronavirus pandemic can be contained and while the world of science is doing all it can to keep the solution in control, we need to do our bit to contribute as well. Unless you are really close to developing a cure for COVID-19, do remember to regularly wash your hands, avoid touching your face, follow social distancing and avoid mass gatherings. If you do show signs of the virus, please do get yourself tested and isolate yourself to avoid spreading the infection. Most importantly, stay calm and humanity will pull through this.