Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus
Missouri Ford Dealer

At Metro Ford Independence, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Independence and across Missouri are doing their part to reduce the risk of exposure to germs by wearing masks, frequently using hand sanitizer and sanitizing items they purchase during their errands. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once you load those items into your vehicle, they are then touching the interior. 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?

You'll find that disinfecting your Ford can sometimes be challenging, as your vehicle contains a variety of different surfaces. To properly sanitize them all, you'll need several tools. 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 sanitizing your vehicle. And if you have them, it's a good idea to wear disposable gloves. 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 disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer in your vehicle at all times, so you can wipe down surfaces as needed.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Does your Ford vehicle have leather seats? If so, you should only use leather cleaner on them. And when you're cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to prevent scratching and scuffing the leather. If you don't have leather cleaner, simply mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own. Afterward, apply a leather conditioner to give your seats an extra polish.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Ford 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 on your Ford truck, car or SUV's interior. Just dampen the surface of whatever you'd like to clean, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Focus on areas you touch most frequently, 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 exterior of your Ford. That being said, it's still smart to disinfect areas you touch 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 Ford 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 Metro Ford Independence, 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 Ford dealership in Independence, MO.