At Legends Honda, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. In order to reduce the risk of exposure to germs outside their homes, many people in Kansas City, KS, are wearing gloves, frequently using hand sanitizer and disinfecting items they purchase as soon as possible. What's easy to forget, though, is that once you purchase these items and load them into your vehicle, they are then touching the interior of your car. 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?
A difficult aspect in disinfecting your car is that the interior contains a variety of surfaces. From leather to plastic and everything in between, you may discover that several different tools will be required to clean your vehicle. 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?
Ready to sanitize your vehicle? Be sure to wash your hands and put on disposable gloves if you have access to some. 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. We also recommend keeping disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car if you have enough to spare, so you can wipe down high-touch areas frequently.
How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car
Prior to applying any type of leather cleaner, it's important to spot test it on a hidden area to ensure that will work well for your particular seats. When applying your leather cleaner, we recommend using a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the leather. And if you don’t happen to have any leather cleaner available, a DIY disinfectant sanitizer you can use includes two parts vinegar with one part water. If possible, apply a leather conditioner after cleaning.
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. Dampen the surface with dish soap and warm water, then proceed to scrub for 20-to-30 seconds. Although it's good to clean the entire cabin, we recommend focusing on wiping down high-touch areas like your dash and steering wheel. Additional high-touch 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?
The sun and warm weather can help reduce the impact of germs on your vehicle, but it's still smart to clean areas you touch 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 surface, 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.