Car interiors can be a petri dish for germs, bacteria, and all sorts of other Clean Car Enemies that can make you and your family sick. That's a big reason why keeping your vehicle clean can contribute to a happier, healthy life.
We know it can be hard to keep things clean, especially when you're in a hurry or don't have the proper cleaning supplies to access the nooks where germs can build up. So here are some tips on how to keep your car clean and safe from germs all year long.
Wash your hands before entering your car to keep your car germ free
This one seems easy, especially in the wake of a pandemic, but it's always important to mention: Washing your hands with soap and water is the key to maintaining good health and hygiene. That's especially true when entering your vehicle and interacting with any of its high-touch points.
If you're making stops along your day — like to the office, mall, or a fast-food restaurant — try to wash your hands before heading back to your car each time. You don't want to bring any unwanted germs from the door knobs or other surfaces into your car with you. And never don't forget to wash up after using the bathroom, especially a public one! Any chance to reduce germs entering your vehicle, especially from threats like coronavirus is well worth the effort.
Keep tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes in the car
If a bathroom isn't available and you can't wash your hands, keep hand sanitizer handy in your car interior. It's also helpful to keep a pack of tissues or disinfectant wipes in your glovebox compartment or center console. That way, if anyone sneezes, coughs, spills, or messes that may occur while on the go you’ve got the supplies to keep germs contained. It never hurts to have a few light cleaning products and microfiber cloths for to clean bigger spills or messes where germs can fester.
Sanitize and clean your car's high-touch areas and fabrics
Sanitizing your car’s hard surfaces and high-touch areas regularly is a good idea, especially if you have kids who like to put their hands on everything. High-touch areas include a car's touchscreen and controls, armrests, car seats, steering wheel, cup holders, gear shifter, door handles, and seatbelts. We also recommend cleaning your seat cushions, door panels, and backrests with a disinfectant spray and then using a wet napkin or towel to thoroughly clean and dry these areas.\
Use a vacuum cleaner on the carpeting and floor mats inside your vehicle at least once per month, more often if necessary after pets ride in it or if someone has been sick recently. You can also use an upholstery shampoo if necessary.
When pets are taken anywhere in cars — even if just from home to the vet — carriers should be placed on a towel or blanket to prevent hair and pollutants from collecting on your seats or floors over time. This will help kill germs and prevent dust mites from building nests under carpets and rugs, which can do a number on any allergen-sensitive passengers.
Keep the inside of your car cool and dry to inhibit germs from spreading
Germs and bacteria thrive in hot and damp environments, so keeping your car cool and dry is a good rule of thumb. Use your air conditioner when traveling with multiple people in the car, especially if you're sweaty from exercise or practice. If you don’t have A/C, keep your windows cracked for cross-ventilation and provide fresh air circulation throughout the car. Make sure to regularly check and replace your cabin air filter when needed.
Sweaty gym bags can stain your vehicles and bring in germs. Keep them in your trunk whenever possible and remove them when you get home. If you're coming back from the gym, sports practice, or any sort of activity, lay towels down on seats to catch extra moisture and prevent smells from developing and lasting on the upholstery and fabric.
Use your car wash membership often!
Visiting your favorite local car wash and using your membership is a great way to keep your car clean and germ-free, inside and out! If you have a full-service membership, a professional car wash staff will do much of the cleaning for you.
If you're a member at an express exterior wash, check to see if free vacuums are available to you onsite. Keep a small cleaning kit in your trunk to disinfect your interior after using the vacuums to pick up any dirt and debris from your seats, crevices, and floor mats.\
EverWash membership is also 100% contactless, so there's no need to exchange cash or cards with anyone. You don't even have to roll down your window to activate the wash.
Hopefully, this post has helped you understand how to keep your car free of germs and grime. Remember to wash your hands, sanitize the high-touch surfaces in your car, and use contactless or mobile payment whenever possible when you're out and about.