Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Herb Chambers Ford of Braintree, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Because of the growing risk of being exposed to coronavirus, many people in Braintree are wearing gloves, masks and sanitizing items they purchase during their errands. What they might forget, though, is that those items are touching the interior of their vehicle once they load them in. 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 Ford is comprised of many different materials, including but not limited to leather, plastic and cloth. To properly clean all these different surfaces, you'll find that several tools are required.

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?

Ready to sanitize your vehicle? Great, but first you should wash your hands and wear disposable gloves if you have 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. And if you have extra disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, make sure to leave some in the interior of your Ford.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

If you have leather cleaner and are ready to use it, make sure to spot test it on a hidden area in your Ford model's interior before applying it elsewhere. This way you can ensure it works properly. Also, always use a microfiber cloth on leather as it prevents scratching and scuffing. Don't have leather cleaner? Just mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own solution. Afterward, apply leather conditioner to make your seats really shine.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Ford 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. You can use dish soap for this situation, as it contains antibacterial properties. Be sure to wipe down high-touch areas like your steering wheel and dash. Other high-touch 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?

The sun, wind, rain and other weather elements make it difficult for germs to live on the exterior of your Ford. Thar doesn't mean you should skip over it when sanitizing your vehicle, though. Make sure to clean areas you frequently touch, like door handles, handle buttons and the gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Ford'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.

Here at Herb Chambers Ford of Braintree, we want to do our part to help educate our clients 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 Ford dealership in Braintree, MA.

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