As an automotive leasing company, we'd like to help as much as possible by offering some really simple tips how you can mitigate the risk of infection and infecting others while you're in the car - an often overlooked area when it comes to hygiene.
Vehicles can be exceptionally dirty and a breeding ground for all manner of bacteria and disease if they're not cleaned properly on a regular basis. Now with the prospect of a nasty virus on the loose car hygiene should not be overlooked especially if you are still intending to drive regularly and more so if you are expecting to have passengers.
In a later step, we're going to advise a deep clean, but before we can do that we effectively need a clean slate. Get everything that's in the car out and sort them in piles of what needs to be put back in and what doesn't. Put on your gloves, face mask and eye protectors here if you have them.
This step may seem trivial but almost every object and surface can harbour bacteria and germs, something you may have in your car may have been infected somewhere else such as a gym bag, hats and gloves, clothes, school bags, used tissues and even food! It's just not worth the risk.
For everything that's going back in, wash them however is appropriate and wipe them all down with some antibacterial wipes and spray. Just so we know that no stone has been left unturned why not wipe down the things which are destined to go back in the house and for anything else - bin it!
It's widely known that COVID-19 spreads via water droplets which stick to surfaces and then transmit to any person coming in contact with that surface. Anyone infected with COVID-19 could easily spread it all throughout the car without realising it, especially if they have had no symptoms and assume they don't have it. The Coronavirus disease in these droplets can live from 24 hours up to 3 days.
Give the inside of the car a thorough clearout - hoover all of the bits up and wipe down every surface with antibacterial wipes or spray including upholstery and especially the busiest areas which get touched a lot such as the steering wheel, handbrake, cupholders, infotainment system, knobs and switches gear stick, cubby holes, glove box, seat adjusters... The list goes on.
We would recommend wearing disposable gloves and a facemask and if possible to cover your eyes as you're doing all the clearing out to limit you inadvertently moving and activating some of these dormant droplets.
Car keys come into contact with hands regularly so give them a wipe down and give them a wipe down before getting back into the car again every day. Don't let anyone else handle your car keys.
Taking your car for a car wash isn't enough to get rid of any infectious droplets nor would being exposed to the elements on the drive or on the road. Spray and wipe down all high contact areas such as the door handles, boot lid, bonnet then if you really want to you can take it for a car wash to get off any smears left over from the antibacterial agent.
Once the car is cleaned thoroughly, it can still be infected with Coronavirus later on as the antibacterial agent doesn't last forever and the pandemic could go on for weeks and months. At this stage, we feel it's important to change driving habits much like we are already changing our hygiene habits at home and at work. Here are some tips: