Coronavirus Cleaning: Are you Properly Disinfecting Your Car’s Cabin?
With the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus and the rise in sanitizing and disinfecting of surfaces, it is justified that many car owners are now thinking about the right way to disinfect their vehicle. As the virus is known to settle on surfaces, which can then be transferred to your body through the hand or touching of the face, it is very crucial to have a disinfecting and sanitizing method in place for safe travel. More so, if you drive an Uber or Lyft, and have multiple passengers getting on and off the car.
It is not like cleaning the car’s interiors were not a part of the washing process of a vehicle. However, car owners are more conscious in the pandemic to make their car cabin a safe space for them and their family, friends, or passengers. It is as easy as washing your car, but there’s a catch. Some detergents or cleaners can harm the material of your interior, leading to degradation or destroying of your overall look.
For this reason, let’s look at how to effectively and efficiently clean and disinfect the car’s cabin.
Choosing the Correct Material
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting the car, the first step is to recognize the material of the interiors, whether it is leather, cloth, or imitation leather upholstery. Since they react differently with different cleaning agents, it is important to know which suits your car’s interior the best.
The most basic way to clean and disinfect the interior is giving it a good wash with soap. Soaps usually do not interact with any of the upholstery material and work wonders to dissipate the virus quickly, leaving your car absolutely clean. However, if you want to go up a notch, isopropyl alcohol is your perfect match!
It is a good enough disinfectant with its high alcohol content. In fact, Isopropyl is also used in many car production plants to give a final touch to the interior before they are shipped out. Soap may not be efficient in removing stains, smudges, or stubborn marks left by your kids, but isopropyl is 100% effective there.
You may want to think that Isopropyl is the solution to your car’s interior issues, but hold on. They are not compatible with the leather interior as the high alcohol content, and strong quality strips the leather off their protective coating, leading to deterioration and removal of dyes.
Apart from your leather interior, isopropyl alcohol works wonders on hard surfaces too. Remember that you have to pay attention to the high-touch points and disinfect them regularly or on a daily basis to keep the cabin as virus-free as possible. The high-touch points are steering wheels, doors, handles, knobs, rear-view mirror, armrests, seat adjusters, dashboard, cup holders, ventilation grilles, etc. Take a note where your hand goes while driving and then give all those places a good wipe with a microfiber cloth to clean efficiently.
Cleaning your Leather Upholstery
Now that we know Isopropyl alcohol does not work for leather interiors, let’s go back to the most common way of washing things – soap & water. It is the most recommended and primary way to protect oneself from the covid-19 Virus, and it works perfect on the leather seats and interiors. Make sure you’re not scrubbing too hard as it could rupture or damage the material, and avoid excess suds and water. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Additionally, you can also opt for cleaning services at Acton Service Centre.
Precautions to take while cleaning & disinfecting the car’s cabin
Your car’s interior is built to last a lifetime, however, with frequent cleaning and scrubbing, it can lead to damage and discolouration of the cabin. Try to keep your cleaning limited to gentle swipes and scrubs on the upholstery which will help to maintain the car’s interior.
Another precaution that you should take while cleaning is limiting the use of water. Excess water will find its way through the cover and into the cushion underneath. This will develop moulds and an unpleasant smell if not dried properly under the harsh sun – which might not be accessible in every season. Make sure you keep the water usage limited and dry your interiors thoroughly before taking things forward.
The correct way to use water and soap on the upholstery is with the help of a cloth or sponge. You don’t have to worry about it if you’re using isopropyl alcohol.
With the uncertainty and rapid spread of the virus, you can drive yourself into obsessive cleaning and scrubbing, which will lead to discolouration, stripping off the material, and removal of dyes in many cases. Go for thorough cleaning only when someone sick has been inside your car. Washing your hands, and maintaining distance should be just enough to get by, especially when you constantly touch the steering.
What should you not use?
You already know what you should use to clean and disinfect your car’s interior, however, many products can be very harmful and should absolutely avoid using it.
The first in the list is bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Though it is very helpful in getting rid of the virus, bleach will both destroy the vinyl & plastics used in most vehicles today.
You should also be cautious enough to not use any ammonia-based cleaning products like the one found in the glass cleaners. The ammonia breaks down the vinyl on the dashboard and makes it sticky when exposed to sunlight and heat. The ammonia-based glass cleaners should not be used on the touch display screens also to avoid damaging the anti-glare coatings.
This brings us to the end of our blog on cleaning and disinfecting your car’s cabin. Remember to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below.
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