Even though you may not be using your car much right now, it's still important to keep it clean. During the global coronavirus pandemic, it's more important than ever to sanitize all the surfaces you touch, including those of your vehicle.

How Coronavirus Could Get in Your Car

Battling Coronavirus by Keeping Your Car CleanHandling contaminated items and then touching other surfaces can spread the coronavirus, and it can come in contact with your car after a grocery store trip, or even a run to pick up food.

The virus can spread in unexpected ways. By walking through an area after someone sneezes or coughs, your shoes can pick up traces of the virus. When you speak, sneeze, and cough, microscopic droplets are expelled which, if you’re infected, can contain COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, these droplets are heavier than air but can contaminate any surface they come in contact with as they fall.

In the past few months, we've learned a lot about the virus, including how long it can survive on common materials such as plastic, metal, paper, and cardboard. Any of these materials could transfer the virus to you if they've come in contact with droplets. COVID-19 can survive for 24 hours on cardboard and paper, and up to 72 hours (three days) on plastic and stainless steel. So, to help keep you and those around you safe, it could be time to deep clean your vehicle.

Disinfect for a Deeper Clean

The good news is that regular soap and water can keep your car clean. It also helps to disinfect your vehicle with Lysol or a similar disinfectant product after a thorough cleaning. You can also clean and disinfect surfaces with an alcohol solution that's at least 70% alcohol, or with bleach, but both can be damaging to your car's interior.

To get the deepest clean possible, focus on all the surfaces you touch. There may be more surfaces than you think, so don't forget to go through a typical drive in your head to find the hot spots that you often touch.

Some common areas are the doors, interior and exterior door handles, door and console armrests, and major and minor vehicle controls. Don't forget about your seat belt, both the part you pull and the part it locks into, as well as the gas cap, fuel door, trunk release, steering wheel, gear shift, infotainment/stereo systems, and any compartments you might handle like a glove box.

Tips for Keeping Your Car Virus-Free

In order to protect you and your car, use these tips to help – not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cold and flu season as well. Here are some ways you can keep the virus from remaining in your vehicle:

  • Wash your hands before and after being in your car.
  • Keep disinfectant wipes and rubber gloves in your vehicle.
  • Wipe down anything that goes into your car.
  • Don't handle a gas pump handle with your bare hands.
  • Follow proper protocols when allowing other people in your vehicle.
  • Don't forget to spray your seats with disinfectant after cleaning other surfaces.

Need a Vehicle You Can Clean?

If you're ready to put these tips to practice in a different car than you have now, but don't know where to start due to credit issues, turn to us at Drivers Lane. We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that are teamed up with lenders ready to help. We want to match you to a dealer in your area, and the process is free of cost and obligation. Simply fill out our easy online auto loan request form to get started now!