Car cleanliness to fend off COVID-19

Virginia is under a stay at-home order by Gov. Ralph Northam to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); however, that doesn’t mean that everyone is actually staying in their homes.

To retrieve needed supplies or simply to get some fresh air, a lot of people are spending increased time in their cars as well.

Whether it’s waiting in the car at the drive-thru, doing homework in the Patrick Henry Community College parking lot or going to the bank, residents of Martinsville-Henry County are still potentially exposing themselves to the risks of COVID-19 if they aren’t taking time to sanitize the inside of their automobiles, according to
the automotive resource company Edmunds.

To prepare for more time spent behind the wheel and in the vehicle, Edmunds has provided some tips to keeping their car COVID-19 proof.

Tying into guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the automotive company suggest cleaning the inside of the car as you would your hands during the pandemic. Using disposable gloves is recommended to prevent the spread of the virus to other surfaces on the inside of the car.

Rubber, plastic, aluminum and leather surfaces are listed as hotspots, and the group recommends using common household
cleaners to disinfect those areas. For a more specific list of cleaners, the American Chemistry Council has provided guidance on
EPA-approved products. An easy-to-find example are tubes of disinfectant wipes that are found in most stores.

Edmunds cautions, however, that some disinfectants may be bad for leather surfaces but the combination of soap, water and leather conditioner is a suitable alternative.

As far as which areas need to be cleaned, the automotive group said anything commonly touched by fingers. The list includes the steering wheel, gear shifter, lane change (turn signals) and windshield wiper stalks, door handles, radio knobs, infotainment controllers, storage bins and seat belts. The CDC recommends cleaning these surfaces daily for the best protection.

While cleanliness of the car is important, Edmunds suggests limiting trips outside as the best advice for remaining COVID-free. They say restricting movement to essential tasks only will
go a long way in preventing the spread of the disease.

For more information on proper sanitization methods, visit

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