Men Washing His Car

Cleaning Your CarTips on How to Clean Your Car

At Cascade Chevrolet, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. People in Wenatchee and beyond are using hand sanitizer, wearing gloves, covering their faces and sanitizing items they purchase before bringing them inside to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus while running errands. But once those purchases are loaded into the vehicle, they come in contact with the interior of your car.

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?

Car interiors contain a variety of surfaces ranging from leather seats to metal handles and plastic on the dashboard. This means you may need multiple cleaning solutions to sanitize your Chevy.

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?

Wash your hands before you start the sanitizing process, and put on a pair of disposable gloves if you have them available. 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. If you can, keep spare disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer in your car to keep up with wiping surfaces and killing germs.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Make sure you spot test any type of leather cleaner on a hidden area of your vehicle’s interior to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage to your specific leather. Wipe the leather seats with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the surface. Don’t have leather cleaner at the ready? Mix two parts vinegar and one part water for a DIY sanitizing solution. Finally, apply leather conditioner after cleaning if possible.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Chevy 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. Whether you use dish soap or another gentle household cleaner, it’s best to scrub for 20-30 seconds once you dampen the surface. You should sanitize your steering wheel and dash frequently, but don’t forget about other high-touch areas in your car while you’re cleaning.

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?

Because of weather elements and heat from the sun, germs are less likely to live on your vehicle’s exterior. However, you should still sanitize the door handles, gas cap, handle buttons and any other surfaces you touch often.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Chevy vehicle’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 Cascade Chevrolet, 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 Chevy dealership in Wenatchee.

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