At Honda of Olathe, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Olathe, Kansas, are wearing gloves, regularly using hand sanitizer and cleaning items they purchase in an attempt to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once you purchase these items and load them into your car, they are then in contact with the interior of your vehicle. 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.
How Long Does the Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?
One of the toughest challenges in disinfecting your car is that the interior may be made up of a variety of surfaces. From leather to plastic and everything in between, several different tools may be required to fully wash your car. 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."
What's the Best Way to Sanitize My Car's Interior?
Wash your hands before you start to sanitize your vehicle and if you have access to disposable gloves, we recommend using them. 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. What's more, you'll want to keep disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car if you have enough to spare.
How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car
Prior to using any type of leather cleaner, spot test it on a hidden area to ensure it will work well for your specific seats. Use a microfiber cloth to keep your leather seats in good condition and avoid any scratches. Don’t have leather cleaner on hand? Simply mix two parts vinegar with one part water to create your own DIY disinfectant mixture. After cleaning, you can apply a leather conditioner to complete the process.
How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car
The most important areas of your Honda 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. Begin by dampening the surface with warm water and dish soap and scrub for 20-to-30 seconds. Clean areas that you touch regularly like your steering wheel and dash. Additionally, you'll want to focus on high-touch places within your car. These surfaces can include:
- Door Handles
- Door Buttons
- Key Fob
- Steering Wheel
- Inside Door Buttons
- Seat Belts
- Gear Shifters
- Buttons on the Dash
- Buttons for Lights
- Buttons for Windshield Wipers
- Glove Compartment
Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?
Although germs are less probable to live on the outside of your vehicle thanks to the sun and other weather elements, it's still smart to disinfect areas you come into contact with frequently. Think of the door handles, handle buttons or gas cap.
Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?
If you want to avoid damaging your Honda interior, 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.