COVID Car Cleanliness
It’s been with us a while now. And, unfortunately, all the signs are that it's going to be with us for some time yet. And no, we're not talking about Piers Morgan. We are, of course, talking about COVID-19. This has had - you hardly need us to tell you – a huge impact on global society as a whole, not least on car drivers. Some of us have stopped using our cars completely, while many more of us have reduced our driving levels significantly.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about how you could look after your car if you were in the first category – that is, one of those who has parked your vehicle up for the duration. In this article we're going to look at how to look after your car if you're in the second category: still using your car - just less frequently than usual. Specifically, we're going to look at how to keep it clean. After all, a car’s cabin is a particularly compact environment, where diseases like Coronavirus can exist for an extended period of time. In fact, tests show that Coronavirus germs can survive on surfaces anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on factors such as the type of surface, it’s temperature and whether it’s exposed to sunlight.
So, how can you be sure that your car is Corona-free? Well, the short answer is that you can't be 100% sure. What you can do, though, is minimise the probability that the bug is lurking somewhere on its surfaces. How? Through the simple remedy of keeping your car clean, both inside and out.
Actually, that's something you should do even in ‘ordinary’ times, because - even without COVID-19 - the inside of a car can be a pretty mucky, and therefore potentially dangerous, place. And if such a statement leaves you unconvinced, consider a recent survey of 1000 UK car drivers. This showed that our steering wheels are, on average, six times dirtier than the average mobile phone screen and four times dirtier than the average public toilet! Measured in terms of CFU (colony-forming units – that’s groups of cells able to multiply), the average steering wheel has 629 CFUs per square centimetre. And other parts of our cars can be almost as grubby – a cupholder for instance, has (typically) 506 CFU/sq.cm, while seatbelts have 403, and door handles 256. To give these figures some context, public toilet seats have an average of 172 CFU/sq. cm!
All this, of course, points to one simple observation: keeping your car clean is definitely important - especially when it comes to the inside. Yet this is an area of car care that many of us seem to neglect. In fact, research suggests that almost 30% of car owners don’t clean their car even once a year, and more than 10% of us never clean the inside of our car! If you belong to that 10%, there’s probably never been a better time to change your ways.
In short, giving the inside of your car a regular rubdown is a big step towards keeping it bug-free. If time is tight, it’s probably a good idea to prioritise the gearshift, steering wheel, often-used buttons and door handles. You should also consider changing your pollen and air filters, and spraying disinfectant in there. If your car has fabric seats, a gentle rub with a small amount of water and laundry detergent should do the trick - otherwise soap and water. Soap interacts with viruses in much the same way as it does with oils by breaking them down and helping to eliminate them. It’s worth noting that alcohol solutions and wipes are also known to be highly effective against COVID-19 germs, especially when they contain at least 70% alcohol (however, manufacturers such as Toyota and Volkswagen advise against using alcohol solutions on touchscreens).
Products to avoid
Although many domestic cleaning products work well against the coronavirus, there are some exceptions. Try, for example, to steer clear any products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. While it’s true that both of these chemicals will destroy coronavirus, they can be very abrasive and may end up causing damage to the vinyl and plastics used in most modern vehicles. Ammonia-based cleaning products are also worth avoiding as they can cause vinyl to become sticky under heat and light. Finally, avoid using glass cleaner on any touchscreen displays as this could damage the anti-glare coating.
Given the current situation, of course, not many people are changing their car just now. But COVID-19 won’t (we trust!) be around forever. And when we’re back to some semblance of ‘normality’, a new (used) car may well be high on your agenda. If so, there’s no better place to start than the Desperateseller.co.uk used car section. You'll find - literally - thousands of great bargains there, ranging from a Vauxhall Corsa to a BMW 5 Series. Why not check it out right now!