At Karl Flammer Ford, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. To combat the virus and reduce risk of exposure when outside, people across Tarpon Springs are frequently using hand sanitizer, wearing gloves and cleaning items they purchase. What's also important, however, is cleaning your car's interior, as anything you bring into it can contaminate its surfaces. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that the coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. That means that you should be sanitizing the interior of your car to kill any germs it may have collected on your last visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. 


How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

Properly disinfecting your car may require several different tools, as its interior contains a variety of different surfaces. From hard plastic to soft leather and more, each material may need specific treatment. According to the National Institutes of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel. Another study suggests that similar viruses can live on "inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days."


What's the Best Way to Sanitize My Car's Interior?

Before sanitizing your car, make sure you wash your hands. It's even better if you can then put on a pair of disposable gloves, if you have any. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well for sanitizing your vehicle. Just be sure to read the product's label to make sure it's safe for the surface you're planning to use it on. To be able to wipe down your car frequently, it also helps to have disinfectant wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer inside it at all times.


How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car?

The most important areas of your Ford to keep clean are the dashboard and the steering wheel. Bacteria tends to collect in these spots, as air is cycled throughout the vehicle. To clean your dash, simply use soap and water. For this, dish soap works well, and all you need to do is dampen the surface and scrub for 30 seconds or so. Also, make sure you wipe down your steering wheel and dash with a disinfecting product often, and don't forget other high-touch areas. These surfaces can include:

  • Door Handles
  • Door Buttons
  • Key Fob
  • Steering Wheel
  • Inside Door Buttons
  • Seat Belts
  • Gear Shifters
  • Touchscreens
  • Buttons on the Dash
  • Buttons for Lights
  • Buttons for Windshield Wipers
  • Glove Compartment

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Due to the sun and weather, germs are less likely to live on your car's exterior. But, your car's handles, handle buttons and gas cap all still get touched frequently, so it's wise to disinfect those high-touch areas.


Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Ford model's interior surfaces, don't use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. These can damage the vinyl and plastics in your cabin. You should also avoid any ammonia-based cleaning products used to clean glass, as they can break down the vinyl on the dashboard. Heat and light may then cause your dashboard to become sticky.


How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car?

To ensure it works on your specific seats, spot test your leather cleaner in a place that is hidden. Once you know it works, and to avoid scratching the leather, use a microfiber cloth. Don't have any leather cleaner on hand? Simply mix one part water and two parts vinegar to create your own DIY solution. And if you can, it's a good idea to apply a leather conditioner after cleaning.

Here at Karl Flammer Ford, we want to do our part to help educate our customers and keep them safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions about car care or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Ford dealership in Tarpon Springs, FL.