Everywhere you look, whether on the news, radio, social media or when talking with a friend, news and advice about the COVID-19 coronavirus is pervasive.
You probably already know that Governor Abbot has called a stay-at-home order to all of Texas unless going out for essential tasks and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises washing hands as well as cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces as two of the best ways to defend against spreading the coronavirus.
But for those of us who have to leave our homes such as first responders, medical staff, grocery store workers, or anyone else who has to use their car for essentials, what can you do to protect yourself and slow down the spread?
Here’s a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts when sanitizing the inside of your car and preparing for an exterior car wash:
- Do a deep clean as soon as possible. Most details shops and full service locations are closed, so find a wash that has free vacuums and do a good once over vacuuming crevices and remove any potential hazards looming. Clean door pockets and under seats of any trash and left over wrappers.
- Use a simple antibacterial soap scrub on interior of car, applying with a towel and not directly to any electronics. This will kill bacteria and while still protecting vinyl, fabric or leather upholstery on your dash, doors or seats.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces, including the steering wheel, car seats, door handles, air conditioning, keys, upholstery, seat belts, shift lever, buttons and touch screens, wiper and turn signal stalks, armrests, grab handles, and seat adjusters.
- Change your cabin filter and be sure the one replaced is a HEPA filter. (.3 micron) This is just to be safer and should be done regularly every 15K-20K miles. Although some data shows the COVID virus is smaller than .3 microns, it’s a best practice to replace and be safe
- After the interior has been cleaned well: Carry a packet of Disinfecting wipes in your car and a wipe with you when leaving to the grocery store or essential trips. Use said wipe to open door handles or gas pump handles.
- With a wipe, frequently clean the common touch points inside the car (Door handles, in and out, belt buckle, seat belt, seat adjust controls, Steering wheel, keys, FOBs, shifter, center console latches, window control, radio, climate control buttons and anywhere else you might touch).
- Clean touch screen with microfiber cloth and not a terry cloth to avoid scratching. Spray disinfecting spray on towel and not directly on the screen.
- Carry a “Small Bottle” of hand sanitizer in the your car and use each time you enter the vehicle after you’ve wiped the areas above.
- Use a disinfecting wipe on you cell phone before placing in vehicle.
- Use your hands free phone option.
- Vacuum the carpets and mats frequently. Spraying and wiping rubber mats with disinfecting spray. Bacteria can easily be transferred from our shoes, to our mats and into our homes.
- Take shoes off before entering home and try to remove clothes and wash as soon as possible.
- Don’t Use any kind of hydrogen peroxide or bleach on the inside of your vehicle. These chemicals will kill germs, but damage the vinyl and plastics used on most modern vehicles.
- Don’t use ammonia based cleaning products on the interior of the vehicle. Ammonia reacts with the vinyl on Dash and doors, creating a sticky film when subject to heat and UV rays. Not something that is repairable without professional restoration.
- Don’t carry a large bottle of hand sanitizer in the car. Warmer temperatures can cause the alcohol to boil, potentially breaking and creating a bigger mess than you want to deal with.
- Don’t let other people drive with you, unless absolutely necessary, be sure to sanitize all areas when you have a passenger
- Don’t eat in your car. It’s a habit we have to get rid of as we’re trying to stay safe and keep bacteria away from our face. Warm, enclosed environments are breeding grounds for bacteria.
- Don’t put the phone to your face when possible in or out of the vehicle
- Don’t leave wrappers, cups, bags or anything else in the car that has been subject to the outside elements. This just eliminates any adherent transfer risks.
We are currently open at our 7 Bee Clean Car Wash locations for exterior washes, but for safety of our team and community we closed our full Service wash option at the beginning of March. Metro Health has confirmed that we should remain open and essential workers or people out and about should wash their vehicles frequently.
Someone sneezing or coughing in a parking lot is all it takes to transfer something to the outside of your vehicle without even knowing.
Our vacuum lanes and public touched areas are sanitized every 15 minutes and we have every other vacuum stall available to practice safe social distancing.
We do not have a ticket writer at any of our washes so human interaction isn’t necessary at any point. Our Bee Clean App and Monthly pass allow customers to wash without even having to touch the pay kiosk, or roll down the window, in the case of a monthly pass. Just show the RFID when you pull up and the gate will open.