Auto cleaning
Your car will be vital during the crisis but to protect yourself and your family the same cleanliness rules apply... Image Credit: Shutterstock

Washing your hands is the best way to defend against spreading the coronavirus but medical experts still do not know for certain how long it can survive on different surfaces.

Some say that on hard plastics and metals, it can last for nine days. Now, your home may not have many of these materials but the interior of your car does. Sure, sunlight and UV radiation can kill viruses – but most cars have window tints to block UV rays and keep the cabin cool… This means you need to give the cabin a proper clean using solutions with at least 70 per cent alcohol.

Ideally, use isopropyl alcohol as this is safe for virtually every material from plastics to painted chrome, fabric upholstery and leather. If you don’t have any of that then soap and water is also effective (but, don’t scrub too hard as this could remove colour).

Do not use bleach or hydrogen peroxide; they can kill coronaviruses on surfaces but they will damage most surfaces they’re used on.

But, where exactly should you clean? Studies have proved that the dirtiest thing in your car is the steering wheel and this is not a surprise since you hold it with both hands (at least you’re supposed to…) and hands carry the most number of germs which can be transferred to the wheel.

Auto cleaning
If you or someone else who has been in your car shows symptoms of the illness, you should clean frequently touched surfaces, including the steering wheel, door handles, gear lever, any buttons or touch screens, wiper and turn signal stalks, passenger and driver door armrests, grab handles, and seat adjusters... Image Credit: Shutterstock

Sanitizing this is vital in the fight against COVID-19 but it goes far beyond just this. There are many other frequently touched surfaces in your car and these hot spots include the door handles (inside and outside), the gear lever, handbrake, climate control buttons, controls for the electric windows, controls for the infotainment systems, the wiper and turn signal stalks, passenger and driver door armrests, grab handles and seat adjusters to mention a few. In fact, the radio knob and seat belts are the two filthiest after the steering wheel...

The coronavirus can live on all of these and more and so it is imperative to thoroughly clean each and every part of your interior using a microfibre cloth and remember, when you are done wash your hands before driving.