COVID-19 may have us under lockdown to one degree or another, but some of us are still able to travel by car for work or to purchase essentials. We might not be completely comfortable with leaving our homes during the global pandemic, but in general, we tend to view our cars as safe spaces well away from crowds and strangers who might cough and spray us with coronavirus germs. Alas, the perception of car as castle couldn’t be further from the truth. Cars are hotbeds of germs and bacteria; a steering wheel alone has four times the germs of a public restroom toilet seat and is six times dirtier than the screen of your smartphone. Regular cleaning of your car is a must to keep you safe from coronavirus and other communicable diseases.
It’s not just your steering wheel, either. Sanitizing your car means paying attention to car door handles, and even your car keys, on a regular basis, as items that are much handled. Clean these and your hands, with alcohol wipes, before and after driving, just to be extra safe.
Another danger zone presents at the gas station. Gas pump handles are loaded with microbes that can cause illness and disease. One study conducted by Busbud determined that gas pumps have 11,000 times the bacteria of a typical household toilet seat. How many of us are in the habit of washing our hands after filling up the gas tank? With coronavirus on the loose, it’s time to change that dynamic: no one knows exactly how long coronavirus germs live on surfaces, but alcohol-based products are a safe and effective solution, killing even coronavirus germs on contact.
Car Sanitation Safety Tips
Aside from being vigilant about cleaning your car, here are some important tips for keeping you and your car safe during this difficult time:
- Always carry alcohol wipes for disinfecting frequently handled touchpoints such as steering wheel, door handles, seat belts, car keys, and buttons for windows, radio, and climate control.
- Don’t eat in your car, as crumbs left in the warm, enclosed space of your car can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer on your person for use each time you enter your car, especially after filling up your tank at the gas station.
- Never leave hand sanitizer in your car, as the interior of your car may become hot enough to boil the alcohol in the bottle, causing cracks and leakage.
Of course, if you have a very old car, or a family car that has been through the mill and has become, quite frankly, a cesspool of germs, you may want to consider donating your car to Kars4Kids. After all, it’ll be one less thing for you to worry about during this crazy global pandemic. And one less thing to worry about it is looking really good right now. (Right?)