JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, one car detailer says that cleaning your car of germs is critical to your safety.
Josef Nazareno owns True Image Auto Care in Jacksonville. He has done several kinds of jobs which include sanitizing a vehicle’s interior. Those kinds of jobs require special equipment.
“We 100% make sure to follow CDC guidelines. When it comes to something more extreme, we’re going to be wearing respirators, PPE suits and using things like ozone generators,” Nazareno said.
If you don’t have access to a professional cleaning service, household products can do the trick.
“To disinfect it, You can use household products like isopropyl alcohol, you can also use disinfectant wipes,” Nazareno said. “But as a disclaimer too, when you’re using it on the surface on your car, make sure you’re not working when it’s 100 degrees it could be 115 degrees in the car."
Other automotive groups agree.
Automotive group Kelley Blue Book suggests using disinfectant wipes on all surfaces including turn indicator stalks, voice and radio controls.
According to A CarRentals.com study, a survey of 1,000 drivers found that 32 percent only clean their car once a year.
They claim the average steering wheel has an average of 629 colony-forming units (CFUs), four times dirtier than a public toilet seat at 172 CFU.
The study says that the steering wheel, cup holders, seat belt and door handle are among the dirtiest surfaces in the car.
That study also suggests cleaning surfaces like the gear shifter and your key fob with disinfectant wipes.
While wipes work on the interior, they can be damaging to a car’s exterior paint.
Nazareno adds that it’s also good to keep yourself from spreading bacteria to the car.
“Have some disposable gloves and have somewhere to throw them around. Because once you touch a surface you are contaminating it,” Nazareno adds.
Kelley Blue Book recommends avoiding bleach products as they can also cause damage.
Nazareno says while a clean car can get rid of germs, he says it’s important for people to practice social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Travel only if you have to, you don’t want to go around and have unnecessary travel just because you’re bored,” Nazareno said.
If you’re not sure what to use, check the label on the product. The CDC has a list of cleaning products safe for various surfaces, which can be found here.