Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Herb Chambers Kia of Burlington, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. People in Burlington and across New England are wearing masks, frequently using hand sanitizer and sanitizing items they buy during their errands to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once they load those items into their vehicle, they 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?

Your Kia contains a wide variety of different materials and surfaces, including cloth, plastic and even leather in some Kia models. What you'll find when cleaning your vehicle is that several tools are required to sanitize the various surfaces. 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?

Always wash your hands before cleaning, and make sure to wear disposable gloves if you have them. 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. Keep disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer in your car, so you always have them handy when you need to wipe something down.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

If your Kia has leather seats, know that there's a special cleaner that you'll need to use on them. To make sure the cleaner works, spot test it on a hidden area. And when you're cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching or scuffing of the leather. Don't have leather cleaner? Make your own solution by mixing one part water with two parts vinegar. If you have leather conditioner, apply it after cleaning is finished.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Kia 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. Just dampen the surface of what you'd like to clean then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Make sure to focus on high-touch surfaces like your steering wheel and dash. Other important areas 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 sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less likely to thrive on the exterior of your Kia. That being said, it's still smart to wipe down areas you touch most frequently, including 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 Kia 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 Kia of Burlington, 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 Kia dealership in Burlington, MA.