Car cleaning advice for COVID-19 lockdown

The UK company Fixter has some useful advice to help all car users keep their vehicles hygienic during the ongoing lockdown and as we plan to come back to some level of normality. The key points of their recommendations include the use of appropriate protective clothing to stay safe whilst cleaning a vehicle. Gloves are identified as an essential item in this case, but can become non-effective if not disposed properly immediately after finishing the sanitising process, or if people touch their faces while wearing them, say the Fixter experts.

Useful cleaning products, which can often be found at home, are also recommended by Fixter. For example, certified sanitising wipes and certain UV light treatments to eliminate virus traces are recommended for cleaning car interiors. Whilst car owners are advised to wash their car interiors and exteriors thoroughly, Fixter recommends to avoid using too much water in the car, as it can cause mould and bad smells, especially if residue makes its way down the crevices of seats.

Fixter says it’s not usually necessary to go on a hunt for multiple specific cleaning products, all that’s needed is a bleach-free household disinfectant or even just soap, and a couple of bin liners. However, avoiding bleach is important, as it may damage plastics and vinyl, while chlorine bleach can weaken the fabric of seat belts – so should not be used. Media screens, such as touch displays, may be affected by household glass cleaners, due to their anti-glare coatings. Normal soap and water is recommended as a better option.

Fixter advises to clean all possible touch points, inside and outside of the vehicle including:

The driver area – (steering wheel; central console; levers and switches; internal door release) is important, as it is used the most

Front passenger area – glove compartment inside and out; central console; levers and switches; internal door release

Rear seats – cup holders; arm rests; switches; cabin lights; internal door release

Seat belt clips – are often forgotten during the cleaning process. Parents doing up seat belts for children in the back could be at risk to spread the virus or bacteria in the process

External car handles – are the first point of contact with any vehicle. The boot latch is especially important after a food shop, as most people don’t think about potentially transferring germs from the shopping cart handle to the latch of the car boot

Bonnet – bonnet release; engine bay; oil cap; windscreen fluid cap and oil gauge

Boot – internal release; parcel shelf and spare wheel compartment

As the weather is getting warmer, electric window buttons, window handles and sunshades will be used more frequently, and should be added to the list

Car keys – car keys are often attached to a key ring with multiple other important keys used daily and accumulate dirt, bacteria or viruses

In addition, Fixter experts recommend wearing robust gloves at petrol stations. The experts advise keeping a pair of latex gloves in the car at all times – therefore preparing drivers for petrol stations that have run out of gloves, or if the cheap and thin provided gloves split.

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