Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Herb Chambers Lincoln of Norwood, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. People in Norwood and beyond are wearing disposable gloves, frequently using hand sanitizer and sanitizing items the purchase on their errands to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What they might forget, though, is that those purchased items are still touching the interior of their car when they load them in. 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?

Every Lincoln model is made up of different materials, including but not limited to leather, metal and plastic. You'll find that when cleaning the interior of your Lincoln that several different tools are needed to sanitize each surface correctly. 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 sanitizing your vehicle, and make sure to wear disposable gloves if you have them handy. 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 a package of disinfecting wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer in your Lincoln at all times, so you have quick access to them when you need them.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Lincoln 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 works well to clean the interior of your Lincoln. Just dampen the surface of what you'd like to clean and then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Make sure to focus on high-touch areas like your steering wheel and dash. Other high-touch 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 live on the outside of your Lincoln. That doesn't mean you should skip over it when sanitizing your vehicle, though. It's smart to wipe down high-touch areas like your door handles, handle buttons and especially the gas cap.

bleach container

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Lincoln 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.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Always spot test your leather cleaner on a hidden area before continuing to clean. This will help to ensure it works properly on your seats. When cleaning, also use a microfiber cloth to avoid scuffing and scratching of the leather. Don't have leather cleaner? Make your own by combining one part water with two parts vinegar. If you have leather conditioner, apply it after cleaning.

Here at Herb Chambers Lincoln of Norwood, 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 Lincoln dealership in Norwood, MA.