How to Clean Germs From Your Car
You may take care of the outside of your car by washing it, but what about the germs inside?
The steering wheel, gear shifter, space near the cup holder, window switches and door handles are areas where bacteria and other germs are commonly found in cars, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Germs left by one person may be transmitted to others, which is why it’s a good idea to consider disinfecting your car.
Here are some tips to help tackle germs in your car:
Clean the Steering Wheel
Using disinfecting wipes or a clean rag and some interior car cleaning solution can help clean up your steering wheel, The Family Handyman says.
Disinfect the Cup Holder
Some cup holders have small crevices that can be hard to reach with a cleaning rag. The Family Handyman suggests dipping a cotton swab in cleaning solution, then swiping small areas. If the cup holder is removable, it may be easier to take it out and run it through the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning, Good Housekeeping says.
Wash Door Handles and Window Controls
Plastic parts inside your car can be washed with household hard-surface cleaner, Consumer Reports says. Use a clean rag to wipe down your door handles and window controls. You may also want to disinfect the dashboard, which can be another place prone to bacteria, Good Housekeeping says.
Other Car Sanitation Tips
If you bring your own bags when you shop, don’t store them in your car, FoodSafety.gov suggests. Reusable bags used to carry food may come into contact with bacteria like Salmonella and E.coli, and those germs tend to grow faster in higher temperatures, such as in a car or trunk. FoodSafety.gov says it’s best to store reusable bags in a cool, dry place and wash them often.
Bacteria can also grow on food that’s spilled in your car, according to the Healthy House Institute (HHI). In one study, food spilled on a dashboard had 10 times the bacteria than the seat belt or radio dial, according to the HHI. Cleaning up spills promptly may help keep germs to a minimum.
Bacteria and other germs can gather in the areas of your car you and your passengers touch the most. Regularly disinfecting key areas of your car may help keep germs at bay, and allow you to ride in a cleaner and healthier environment.
Originally published on October 7, 2013.