As the nation begins to open its doors and more people get back on the road, it’s important — now more than ever — to make safety your number one priority. Not only following all of the traffic laws, but also making sure your vehicle is clean and free of any harmful bacteria or viruses, like coronavirus.
Routine vehicle cleaning and disinfecting will ensure the safety of you and your passengers. So, whether it’s a few trips to the grocery store, getting a much-needed haircut, or returning to the office, as we head into our “new normal,” remember to consistently clean and disinfect your vehicle to help you stay healthy and safe.
Items You’ll Need
- Disposable gloves
- A bucket of warm water
- Soap (preferably anti-bacterial)
- Microfiber cloths
- Disinfectant wipes (if available)
- A portable vacuum
Cleaning Your Vehicle
Before you start, make sure to suit up in gloves and a facemask, as well as clothes that can be washed as soon as you’re done.
Next, thoroughly clean the most high-touched areas. These include:
- Steering wheel
- Gear shift
- Turn signal/wiper lever
- Navigation screen
- Door handles (inside and outside)
- Heating/cooling controls and vents
- Radio dials
- Seats and armrests
- Seatbelts and latches
- Locking/window controls
And don’t forget other places that you or someone else has touched, such as the seat adjustment controls, grab handles and cup holders.
Just as with washing your hands, you’ll need to (gently) scrub for at least 20 seconds to break down the virus. Disinfectant wipes and other automotive cleaning solutions are your best option for surfaces. If those are not available, use warm, soapy water and dry with a microfiber cloth.
For your seats, leather or upholstery, you can use disinfectant wipes, upholstery cleaner, or a small amount of warm, soapy water. To avoid damage, make sure you aren’t using too much water or scrubbing too aggressively. After washing leather seats, apply a leather conditioner/restorer to keep them from cracking, and let dry. When using any alcohol-based disinfectants, make sure they contain at least 70 percent alcohol.
Finally, make sure to regularly shake out and vacuum your floorboards and mats. These are frequently touched, yet overlooked areas of vehicles that have the potential to carry harmful germs from the bottoms of shoes.
DO NOT USE bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or any ammonia-based cleaning products in your vehicle.
Safely Riding with Passengers
It is always a good idea to keep safety and disinfectant items in your car, especially if you are transporting others. These include:
- Sanitizer (at least 70% alcohol)
- Disinfectant Wipes
- PPE – gloves and face coverings like masks, bandanas, or scarves.
When you are riding with others or using a rideshare service, it may be impossible to maintain the CDC recommended social distance guidelines. So, when in a car with others, consider wearing your mask and roll down or crack a window. It’s important to let fresh air in because ventilation in cars is usually poor.
If you are riding with someone who is infected but asymptomatic, coronavirus particles can build up inside the cabin, increasing your chances of contracting the virus. Cracking a window will help disperse the particles and decrease your chances of infection.
How California Casualty is Keeping Vehicles Clean
Customer safety and satisfaction is our main priority. That is why California Casualty partners with Enterprise to handle the vehicle rental needs of our customers during the claims process.
All vehicles rented from Enterprise carry the Complete Clean Pledge – to follow best practices recommended by leading health authorities to ensure your safety. In addition to vacuuming and wipe-down cleaning, between every rental, Enterprise uses a disinfectant to sanitize key areas throughout the entire vehicle. View them here.
For more information on the Complete Clean Pledge and all that Enterprise is doing to help keep our customers safe, please visit their website at https://www.enterprise.com/en/car-rental/on-call-for-all.html
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.