The Coronavirus or COVID-19 disease, has officially become a global pandemic, infecting over a million people already. This rapidly spreading virus is leaving many people asking about effective ways to sanitize the surfaces around them. And while there's plenty of information on general hygiene, there's less specific information on what you should do about your own vehicles.
How Coronavirus is Transmitted
According to the World Health Organization, the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. The droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person. If someone nearby touches these objects or surfaces then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth, the person will likely be infected. The disease can also be spread if a person with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes and someone nearby breathes in the droplets.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands and avoiding close contact with people has become the best method to prevent the illness. But clean hands won't help you if the surfaces you touch are dirty. The vehicles we drive, rent and ride in are all susceptible to helping spread the coronavirus if the proper precautions are not taken around inside and limit the risk of transmitting the virus from your vehicle to outside buildings and other people. If you're using a hand sanitizer, make sure it has at least 60% alcohol content.
Washing your hands and avoiding close contact with people have become the best methods to prevent the illness. But clean hands won't help you if the surfaces you touch are dirty. The vehicles we drive are susceptible to helping spread the coronavirus if the proper precautions are not taken.
How Coronaviruses Can Spread in Vehicles
The problem with cars is that their interiors normally contain many different kinds of surfaces, from leather and metal to rubber and plastic. The virus can spread while sharing airspace with an infected person, the surfaces the person touched, or even the airspace after an infected passenger has left. Numerous studies are being conducted, but some of the early reports suggest that the virus can persist in the air for up to three hours and for two to three days on stainless steel and plastic surfaces. Another study related coronavirus that causes SARS found that the virus can survive on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days.
Have the Right Tools
While there isn't yet a vaccine for COVID-19 in people, the good news is that it is possible to disinfect and kill the virus on external surfaces. There are several ways to prepare your vehicle to be especially clean and safe during the outbreak. Experts recommend using disposable gloves while cleaning or dedicating reusable gloves for COVID-19 disinfection purposes only.
Most common household disinfectants will work. Here is an approved list of effective cleaners, but be sure to read the labels to make sure the cleaner is safe to use on the different surfaces in your vehicle. We recommend keeping a tube of disinfectant wipes in the vehicle as an easy and effective preventive measure.
The CDC has recommendations for homemade solutions given that many brand-name disinfectants have been in short supply.
Focus on Common Vehicle Touchpoints
You'll want to clean the places you come into contact with the most. Besides the obvious places such as a door handle, key fob or steering wheel, the most important part of the interior to keep clean is the dashboard, that's the worst site in terms of the total number of bacteria. Air is constantly being sucked over and circulated inside the car.
Other places to clean include the inside door buttons, seat belts, gear shifters and touchscreens. How often should you do this? While your individual circumstances with your vehicle will vary, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting touched surfaces daily.
It is still a good idea to clean door handles and other exterior touchpoints. Gas pump handles and keypads at gas stations are also locations to be wary of.
What not to use
We would advise against using any type of bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the vehicle’s interior. Both chemicals can put a welcome end to the coronavirus, but they will also cause damage to the vinyl and plastics used in most modern vehicles today. Under no circumstances should you use any ammonia-based cleaning products. These can be found in “Blue Glass Cleaners.” The ammonia breaks down the vinyl on the dashboard, making it sticky when subjected to heat and light. Additionally, to avoid damage to anti-glare coatings, the glass cleaner should not be used on touch display screens.
Finally, if you find yourself without any disinfectant wipes or other cleaners, a good scrubbing with soap and water can actually rid surfaces of coronavirus and other germs. It just may take a little bit longer to effectively clean it properly. Don’t scrub too hard, though, as you might find you are removing some of the surface coatings or dyes.
Is all of that enough?
Unfortunately as much effort as you put into cleaning your car, that will only protect it for the immediate future. If you want to go the extra step you should check out Freedom Auto Spa's Covid-19 Car Care package. They have taken it upon themselves to try and protect the local community by making your car a safe-haven. (check out the video below)
Freedom Auto Spa has secured a breakthrough product that kills COVID-19 and continues to disinfect for up to 6 months after use. They have created a 4 step process to rid all of the decontaminates, and protect your vehicle going forward.
Step 1: Professional Steam
Step 2: Vehicle Decontamination
Step 3: Ozone treatment
Step 4: Ceramic Pro Tag Application
COVID-19 CAR CARE FEATURES
• Disinfects Surfaces
• Kills Bacteria’s & Viruses
• Photocatalytic purification
• Is Safe for Kids & Pets
• Lasts For Up to 6 Months
You can see more info on this package HERE
Freedom Auto Spa is here for you and is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe during this challenging time.