To help prevent COVID-19 from surviving inside your car, here are some cleaning tips that can make your life hard.
With the coronavirus crisis currently hitting the planet, it is important to follow the advice given to us by authorities and experts. This includes recommendations and specific instructions on how to disinfect our immediate environment, including that of the car we use. Of course, this is all the more important if it is to be shared. Think of taxi drivers, UBER owners, etc.
Even for us who are called upon to change vehicles every week, the issue is topical. Ditto if you are about to acquire a used vehicle. In short, the situations are multiple.
Therefore, here are some instructions to keep the interior of your car as free from germs as possible. Note that the following information is taken from a file published by the American site Autoblog.
When the time comes to disinfect the interior of a vehicle, the risk of unwanted chemical reactions can be worrisome, as certain ingredients contained in cleaning products can cause permanent damage to the materials and surfaces that make up the vehicle. cockpit.
The good news is that it is actually quite simple to keep the interior of your car free from harmful viruses and other unwanted elements if you follow a few guidelines. As such, Autoblog called upon an expert on the chemical components that can be found in cleaning products. The latter works for an international chemical and consumer goods company and wanted to remain anonymous. However, she was kind enough to share her expertise with some practical advice.
The key ingredient
The key ingredient in any good cleaning operation is “the good old traditional soap.” Soap interacts chemically with the virus so that it degrades very quickly and destroys it, essentially, “said the expert.
If you’re used to an environment where the use of hand sanitizers is encouraged, this may sound counterintuitive, but you have to understand that if alcohol-based products like Purell do a good job of eliminating threats microbial, they are not really ideal for car interiors.
The good news is that soap is one of the key ingredients in many easy-to-get items like liquid hand and dish soap (think Dial), for example. The idea here is to avoid cleaners labeled as detergent-free.
If you already have an army of automotive cleaners, you’re probably wealthy. The simplest Armor All cloth, for example, contains a mild detergent.
For people who have to deal with leather draped interior, cleansing wipes are an excellent solution. The reason is simple; skin care products usually contain moisturizers, which is good for organic materials.
“Unlike our skin, which hydrates naturally, the interior of your car cannot do it,” added the specialist.
No alcohol (in products)
Alcohol-based and detergent-based cleaners can dry organic materials. Therefore, if they leave your hands dry after use, chances are they will also dry out the natural oils in your car’s leathers.
If you don’t have access to detergent-based cleaners containing moisturizers, or if you plan to use an alcohol-based cleanser, you can lessen the effects of drying with leather conditioners. These will replenish the oils that your cleaning process has eliminated.
In addition, leather conditioners usually contain surfactants (surfactants). These are the chemicals that help cleaners do their job. They reduce the surface tension of the water, helping it to get to places it would not otherwise reach. In other words, they make the water more… humid.
Have you ever used dish soap to clean a tent, only to find out that water was flowing through the material? Congratulations, you now know how surfactants work and they do the same to the outer layer of the coronavirus, effectively neutralizing it in the process.
However, you shouldn’t just rely on conditioners to keep your leather surfaces virus-free, and you don’t want to overdo it, as they will leave oily leather if you saturate it. If you are using a product that claims to be effective in cleaning and treating interior surfaces, make sure the packaging indicates that it is safe for leather.
No matter what product or how you use it, remember to wipe the surfaces after treating them. Even the mildest cleaners should not dwell on your materials.
For those who don’t have real leather, it’s even better. While vinyl or other synthetic interiors should not be cleaned with alcohol or bleach products, there is an advantage: they are much easier to disinfect.
“They don’t absorb anything, so once you’ve cleaned the surface, it’s clean,” says the specialist.
And what about other surfaces or objects such as key rings and the like that may not have been built to the same exacting standards as the interior parts?
“Painted surfaces don’t like alcohol, but generally tolerate bleaches well. Vinyl-coated surfaces – many “chrome” surfaces are in fact vinyl-coated – their finish may be damaged. Simple plastics can tolerate bleach well, ”she added.
Other products to avoid?
“All solvents (alcohols, acetone, kerosene, etc.) must be avoided, not only because they can damage expensive interior parts, but also because they do not really affect viruses,” adds the expert. .
If you must use household cleaning wipes such as Lysol or Clorox, absolutely avoid anything that contains bleach. And beware of aerosol disinfectants (again, Lysol), as they only work by direct contact. If you forgot a stain, it’s like you haven’t used anything at all.
The person consulted by Autoblog also gave advice to those who, like us, frequently exchange cars that do not belong to us.
“Concentrate on the steering wheel, switches, gear selector and multimedia interface. The mirror also deserves to be cleaned and don’t forget the filler cap. “
If you run out of cleansers, you can probably afford to skip the seat surfaces, as they don’t really touch the parts of your body that may be in contact with viruses. Unless, of course, you are driving for a service like Uber or Lyft.
The best advice she gave to those who carry passengers for a living is to do so in a car with the simplest and easiest interior to clean. Plastic dashboards and vinyl seat surfaces are much easier to maintain than those adorned with more luxurious materials.
In summary, if you are cleaning the interior of your car, keep these tips in mind:
• Soap is always your best ally. It will destroy the coronavirus.
• Avoid bleaches, except on basic plastics.
• Do not use solvents.
• Hand sanitizers contain alcohol which can dry leather. Use a leather conditioner to keep it in good condition.
• If in doubt, test your cleaners on a surface that is not necessarily visible inside.
• Wipe the surfaces after cleaning them; do not allow chemicals to act on them.
• Favor the surfaces you touch. Don’t forget the buttons and switches, the mirror, and the filler cap.
• The simplest interiors are the easiest to clean.