Dubai: From dirty seats with festering food remains to dust-clogged air-conditioning filters, your car might be the reason you feel sick. In summer, people are more susceptible to catching infections as we spend a lot of time in our cars with the air-conditioning running full blast.
Your car air conditioning must be checked regularly. Health studies point out that car air conditioning is most commonly found to be a den of bacterial infestation and fungal spores for deadly diseases affecting your ear, nose and throat all the way down your gastro intestinal tract.
Badhsha MR, services supervisor for Fast Track, at Emarat petrol station on Al Wasl Road, Dubai, told Gulf News: “The air-conditioning filters trap a lot of fine dust and disease-causing spores. Since the air that circulates in the car is through this filter, we end up inhaling this and feeling unwell,” he added.
Air-conditioning vents need to be regularly cleaned with long art brushes and fine, damp towels, filters need to be de-clogged every month and once a year these filters need to be replaced. Badshah added: "These filters are made of paper and trap fine dust particles and allergens and with dampness and humidity become a breeding ground for harmful fungal spores and bacteria. So when you go in to service your air conditioning, do make sure to ask for a filter change, once a year. That will ensure you are inhaling clean air.”
10 tips for good car hygiene
1. When eating in your car
If you have a habit of eating in the car, make sure you dispose everything same day and do not leave it overnight. Do this whenever you finish eating.
2. Throw things away regularly
Use a mini trash disposal bag or can and put in all the trash in the car in it while the car is in use and take it out daily.
3. Vacuum regularly
Use a small car vacuum cleaner to suck out fine dust and food remnants off your upholstery. Do this once a week.
4. Pay a little extra for dry cleaning
Once in six month get your fabric upholstery dry cleaned. Really steam out all the grime from your seats.
5. Use leather cleaning agents
If you have leather upholstery, vacuum out the food debris and use leather cleaning agents to get all the bacteria off the seats. Sometimes bacteria will stay on there for years without people realising. Do this once every two weeks.
6. Keep a microfibre towel in your car
Clean the internal surfaces, cup holders and glass with window cleaning liquid regularly. Do this whenever you notice dirt on your dashboard.
7. Keep an eye on the AC vents
Clean the AC vents with fine long brush and clear out all dust. You don't want to keep inhaling little dust mites.
8. Prevent the inhallation of dirty air
Get filters de-clogged at the car service station every month and replace it once a year.
9. Wash your car once a week
If it is too expensive for you to wash your car professionally every week, you should buy yourself some car cleaner and a sponge, and give it a good clean and polish every week. If you have time in the morning, make sure you dust and wipe it clean daily.
10. Use a home made natural air freshener
Most air fresheners contain some toxic chemicals that if you breathe in over a number of years could cause some problems in your respiratory system. Inhaling essential oils, on the other hand, can affect the mind and mood in a positive way. The best thing to do, is to keep your car smelling fresh with a natural air freshener, by making it at home with:
- 25 drops sweet orange (or wild orange) essential oil
- 25 drops lemon essential oil
- 12 drops ginger essential oil
- 2 tsp ethanol
- 4 oz spray bottle
- distilled water