We are in the middle of the biggest ever lockdown in the history of mankind, which means that all car washing services are temporarily closed. Also, there is no one to clean your car at your doorstep to keep your vehicle spic and span. The problem becomes really serious when we consider that in our social distancing mode, we still have to step out to buy groceries and other essentials. And we can't help but wonder how disinfected and sanitized is our car after returning from the local market? But there is no need to panic, we will tell you simple ways to prevent your car from becoming a contagious site.
1. Hose down the car
The ideal way to clean your vehicle’s exteriors would be to use a high-pressure washer to clean off the layers of dirt, bird droppings, tree sap, and other particles that could scratch the car’s surface or even damage the paint. If you don’t have a high-pressure washer then a regular garden hose can also work. Once the car is washed, it’s time to clean the car with car washing liquid solution mixed with water in a bucket. Don’t use random soft cloths or old t-shirts – please invest in a couple of microfiber cleaning cloths or towels, which are affordable and can be bought with a click of a button on Amazon. They soak water easily and don't leave lint on the car's surface and, more importantly, they don’t leave any scratches. After that, you can hose down the car again and give it a final rinse with the microfiber cloth or towel.
A common mistake most of us do is to wash the car in the direct sun. If possible, try and park the car under shade or wash it on an overcast day. This way you can avoid watermarks all over the car, which are left when the leftover water on the car dries too quickly due to the sun.
2. Identify possible contact points
What are the first contact points? The key fob or the car key and the door handles. The most effective way to combat and kill germs is to use Isopropyl alcohol. So, where can you get hold of this? The easiest way is to buy an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% Isopropyl alcohol. Then you generously put some on a microfiber cloth and rub it on all possible contact points.
Apart from the two places we mentioned, the car cabin needs to be disinfected thoroughly starting from the steering wheel. According to Expedia Travel Group’s website, a steering wheel has four times the number of germs found on an average toilet seat. This should really make us all sit up and start cleaning the steering wheel on a regular basis. Other places to keep in mind are the infotainment system controls and dials, gear lever, cup holders, climate control and window buttons, air conditioner vents, seat belts and buckles, mirrors, both indicators, and windscreen wipers stalk.
The good news with Isopropyl alcohol is that it can be used on vinyl and plastics inside the cabin, but in limited quantity, and always pour it on the microfiber cloth first. Never use bleach and ammonia-based cleaning products, like the usual blue-coloured glass spray, as they will damage the interiors of your car.
The seat upholstery also needs to be cleaned properly. If you have leather seats, it is always safer to use leather care products, but in case you don’t have any at the moment, then gently soak a microfiber cloth in soap and water and simply wipe down the seats. Even if you have cloth seat covers, a gentle rub down is all that’s needed. Don't ever scrub the seat covers, as it will only damage them.
3. What to carry in the car?
Tissues: Simple and yet effective. Always carry a box of tissues, as it’s the best way to control the spreading of germs, especially while sneezing, and it's an easy way to wipe your hands and faces clean. A small trash bag is also a good idea for the disposal of the tissues.
Sanitary wipes or spray: They are very good not only for keeping ourselves free from germs but also sanitising the car.
Hand sanitizer: A small sanitizer bottle can always come in handy, as it’s one of the most effective ways of killing germs on your hands.
Microfibre cloth: A piece of microfibre cloth is good for all occasions. You can clean the car with it, both interior and exterior. You can also wipe off gunk, bird dropping, and bugs off the windshield.