How to Sanitize the Interior of Your Car


With fears of the Coronavirus on the rise, it’s important to be prepared and practice preventative measures. You probably know to wash your hands for twenty seconds or two rounds of “Happy Birthday,” but you may need a few pointers on how to clean and sanitize a place you might spend hours every day: your car. 


The handles and interior of your car can hold and transport all the germs you come into contact with. Everything you touch in a public space is then transported to your car, making it a literal vehicle (pun intended) for pathogens to enter your home. Your best defense is to frequently sanitize the interior of your car and wash your hands immediately when you enter your home. Here are the ways we at Steve Landers Kia recommend cleaning your car to protect yourself and others.


How to Clean Leather Seats


Leather upholstery has a finish that can be damaged by some solvents or cleaners, so you can’t clean it with just anything. Surprisingly, the best way to thoroughly sanitize leather without damage is simply by washing with soap and water. Before cleaning, put on a pair of disposable gloves. Next, lightly dampen the seats and lather soap (most household soaps will work just fine) onto the leather seats for at least 20 seconds. Soap breaks down the lipid (fatty) bilayer of many viruses, dissolving the fat membrane and killing pathogens. After cleaning, you can mitigate any drying effects by using a leather conditioning product. As an added bonus, most leather conditioners contain surfactants which can help breakdown the fat membrane of the Coronavirus or other microbes. 


How to Clean the Car Dashboard 


To avoid degradation or damage to the dashboard, the best solution to clean with is soap and water. Simply dampen the dashboard and thoroughly lather the soap on all surfaces for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with a clean, damp paper towel or washcloth. 


Your best bet for cleaning electronic controls, screens and buttons is to clean them with a sanitizing wipe, alcohol based cleaner or other EPA-tested cleaner that is shown to effectively kill pathogens. It is important to note that each cleaner has different guidelines. Make sure to read the packaging to see how long surfaces must be saturated to effectively sanitize surfaces


How to Clean the Steering Wheel, Seat Belts, Handles, and Other Car Surfaces 


The solution you use to clean your steering wheel depends on the material it’s made of. If it is a leather wheel, you can clean it with soap, however, this is a surface you should clean frequently. The quickest and easiest way to clean it is by using sanitizing wipes or sprays. Keep a container of wipes in your glove box to clean frequently touched surfaces like the steering wheel, seat belts, controls, door handles and gear shift daily at least. If you are worried about damaging any surfaces, you can test the product in an inconspicuous area first to prevent any discoloration or degradation.


 Another great idea is to keep hand sanitizing gel in your car to use after pumping gas or returning from an errand. Fully saturate your hands in the gel and let it dry. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should sit on the skin for at least 15 seconds to be effective. However, the most effective way to sanitize your hands is by washing with soap and water. Hand sanitizing gels should only be used when soap and water is not available. 


At Steve Landers Kia, we are dedicated to keeping our customers and employees safe. If you have any questions, concerns or you need special accommodation, please reach out to us. Most importantly of all, keep yourself safe. If you are feeling ill and exhibit symptoms, visit the CDC website to find testing and treatment. 


Read the EPA’s List of Cleaners to Kill Coronavirus 

Categories: Car Tips