How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

Men Washing His Car

How To Clean and Sanitize Your Vehicle

At Susquehanna Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Wrightsville, PA, are frequently using hand sanitizer and wiping down items they purchase to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. Just know that whatever those items touch in your vehicle are equally susceptible to germs. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that the coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. That means that you should be sanitizing the interior of your car to kill any germs it may have collected on your last visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. 

Car cleaner wiping car door with rag

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

The interior of your car is made up of many different surfaces, including soft leather seats and plastic on the dash. That’s why you need several different tools to tackle each surface with ease. According to the National Institutes of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel. Another study suggests that similar viruses can live on “inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days.”

Cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

What’s the Best Way to Sanitize My Car’s Interior?

Wash your hands and use disposable gloves, if possible, whenever you are ready to sanitize. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well for sanitizing your vehicle. Just be sure to read the product’s label to make sure it’s safe for the surface you’re planning to use it on. To avoid multiple trips in and out of your vehicle when cleaning, we recommend leaving a pack of disinfecting wipes or a bottle of hand sanitizer in an accessible place in your car.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Ram to keep clean are the dashboard and the steering wheel. Bacteria tends to collect in these spots, as air is cycled throughout the vehicle. To clean your dash, simply use soap and water. Dish soap works well for this application. Dampen the surface of whatever you’re using for cleaning, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Don’t forget to wipe your dash and steering wheel frequently as well. Other than that, wipe down all surfaces you frequently touch in your vehicle. These surfaces can include:

  • Door Handles
  • Door Buttons
  • Key Fob
  • Steering Wheel
  • Inside Door Buttons
  • Seat Belts
  • Gear Shifters
  • Touchscreens
  • Buttons on the Dash
  • Buttons for Lights
  • Buttons for Windshield Wipers
  • Glove Compartment

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car’s Exterior?

Thanks to the sun and other weather elements, germs are less likely to live on the exterior of your vehicle. While this statement is true, it’s still smart to wipe down the areas you touch most frequently, including door handles, handle buttons and even your gas cap.

a liquid container with the word bleach on it

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Jeep’s interior surfaces, don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. These can damage the vinyl and plastics in your cabin. You should also avoid any ammonia-based cleaning products used to clean glass, as they can break down the vinyl on the dashboard. Heat and light may then cause your dashboard to become sticky.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

To find out if the type of leather cleaner works on your seats, make sure to spot test it on a hidden area first. Then, use a microfiber cloth while cleaning to avoid scratching or scuffing the leather. Don’t have a leather cleaner? You can make your own by mixing two parts vinegar with one part water. After all the cleaning is done, it’s recommended to use a leather conditioner on all applicable surfaces.

Here at Susquehanna Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we want to do our part to help educate our customers and keep them safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions about car care or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Ram dealership in Wrightsville, PA.