Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Herb Chambers Honda of Westborough, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Drivers in Westborough and across New England are wearing masks, frequently using hand sanitizer and wiping down items they purchase during their errands to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once those purchases are loaded into their vehicle, the items are then touching interior 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. 

Car cleaner wiping car door with rag

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

When disinfecting your Honda, you may notice that it's made up of a variety of different materials. Your Honda model's interior has everything from cloth seats to plastic on the dash, and even leather in certain cases. To properly clean all these surfaces, you'll find that several tools are required. 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."

Cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

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

Before cleaning, make sure to wash your hands. And if you have them handy, it's a good idea to wear disposable gloves. 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. You can even be available to sanitize your vehicle within a moment's notice if you keep a package of disinfectant wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car at all times.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Does your Honda have leather seats? You'll want to use leather cleaner on them. Spot test the cleaner you have on a hidden area to ensure it works properly. Also, be sure to use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the leather. If you don't have any leather cleaner, mix two parts vinegar to one part water to make your own. Afterward, it's smart to apply leather conditioner to give your seats a nice polish.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Honda 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. Dish soap can be used for this application. Simply dampen the surface you'd like to clean, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Don't forget to wipe down areas you touch most frequently, like the steering wheel and dash. Other than that, focus on high-touch places within your car. 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?

Thanks to the sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less likely to thrive on the exterior of your Honda. That being said, it's still smart to disinfect areas you touch most frequently, like door handles, handle buttons and the gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Honda 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.

Here at Herb Chambers Honda of Westborough, we want to do our part to help educate our clients 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 Honda dealership in Westborough, MA.