How To Deep Clean Your Car?
Going through the Coronavirus outbreak we all learned that protecting yourself and your family from germs is essential for disease prevention. Of course keeping your home clean and tidy is a priority but cleaning your car might not be one of those places that comes to mind when you think about germ control.
According to studies, the average steering wheel is four times dirtier than a public toilet seat. There are many other frequently touched areas in your car that are likely just as dirty. It is vital to keep the interior of your car clean to prevent the transmission of viruses and other harmful germs. Keep reading further to learn how to deep clean your vehicle the right way.
Step 1: Remove Debris
The first step toward deep cleaning is to remove the trash, debris, and unnecessary stuff that might be a hindrance while cleaning various surfaces. This also includes emptying the storage compartments, door pockets, seat pockets, and trunk space.
Step 2: Remove Dust and Mold
Vehicles are an easy host for molds and bacteria because they offer a perfectly sealed environment to grow faster in comparison to open air. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and clean any heavy debris from all surfaces. Be sure to vacuum the carpet, seats, dashboard, roof, and trunk. Remove the floor mats, shake out and vacuum.
Step 3: Clean/Replace the Cabin Air Filter
The cabin air filter is responsible to filter the air circulating inside the vehicle. It is recommended to change the cabin air filter every 6 months or 10k miles (more frequently if you live in a big city or a densely populated area). An overused cabin filter usually gives out an unpleasant smell if mold has accumulated in the filter. A new filter reduces the entry of irritating allergens, pollution, and unhealthy mold into the cabin air.
Step 4: Choose Car-Safe Disinfectants
Most car cleaning products and wipes safely remove dirt and dust but don’t prove successful in removing germs. Soap and water used with cotton or microfiber cloth is an easy alternative. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended to clean the surface with soap and water for 20 seconds, just like washing your hands. You can also use disinfecting wipes or at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize your car's surfaces.
Step 5: Sanitize Touch Points
It is essential to keep the bacteria and viruses away from the “high touch” areas of your car. Be sure to sanitize these spots:
- Steering wheel
- Key and remote fob
- Exterior door handles
- Interior door pulls
- Lift gate grab areas
- Start button, if equipped
- Windshield wiper controls
- Parking brake handle, or release lever
- Rearview mirror and its edges
- Seat belt and buckle
- HVAC vents
- Gear selector
- Turn signal lever
- Center stack knobs
- Center console and armrest
Step 6: Clean the Upholstery
Cloth and vinyl seats are safe to be cleaned with mild soap and water mix. The same mixture can be used on the carpets and to clean spots and spills on leather-trimmed interiors. Most car leathers and imitation leathers have urethane coatings for protection, which are safe to clean with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. But over time, cleaning leather with alcohol can leave it susceptible to damage and discoloration. Apply leather conditioner after cleaning leather to preserve moisture and durability. Don’t oversaturate the carpets or cushions. This would leave the surface wet for a longer period of time and would be at risk of building molds and mildew.
Step 7: Clean the Car Exterior
It is quite easy for a car's exterior to get dirty if you drive your car daily or park in an open air parking spot. Although deep cleaning the car’s exterior is not necessary, a clean exterior helps protect the car’s paint and make it look fresh. Automatic car washes are the least time-consuming way for an exterior wash. However, hand cleaning is the best way to avoid over-scrubbing the car’s paint from machine washing.
- Avoid using bleach, benzene, hydrogen peroxide, thinners, and abrasive cleaners. These chemicals will damage your car’s interior surfaces and upholstery.
- Do not use ammonia-based cleaners for the infotainment screen. They can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coating.
- Remember to wear gloves while disinfecting your vehicle and try to do this activity in a well-ventilated area. This helps in drying the surface faster and helps in getting rid of the strong smell from the cleaning compounds.
Frequently cleaning your car helps to minimize germs and maintains the value of your car. To make the cleaning activity fun, pair it with your favorite music playlist and some drinks on the side. Kick-off these germs in style!