This Is the Best Way to Kill Coronavirus in Your Car

Young man cleaning his car
Photo by Ivanko80 /

Because the nation is under lockdown from coast to coast, most of us are driving a lot less than we usually do.

But there are still times when you need to take the car to get groceries, or to visit the doctor. And when you get behind the wheel, the threat of COVID-19 infection can follow you.

This is especially true if someone who has COVID-19 is in your car, or has been recently — whether that “someone” is you or a passenger, says Consumer Reports.

If that is the case — or you simply are concerned that coronavirus germs might have gotten into your car somehow — you should disinfect surfaces that are touched often, including the:

  • Steering wheel
  • Door handles
  • Shift lever
  • Buttons and touch screens
  • Wiper and turn signal stalks
  • Door armrests
  • Grab handles
  • Seat adjusters

How should you clean these things? CR says that for most surfaces, using sanitizing solutions that are at least 70% rubbing alcohol will do the trick.

In fact, even vigorously scrubbing with mere soap and water can be enough to keep the coronavirus at bay. Dr. Stephen Thomas, chief of infectious diseases and director of global health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, tells CR:

“Friction from cleaning also participates in the destruction. You want to do the best with what you have, so even soap and water can chip away at the risk.”

However, it is important to use care with these cleaners. For example, using rubbing alcohol to clean leather often can lead to damage and discoloration, CR says. Meanwhile, using too much soap or water on fabric can make it difficult to get the soap out.

And never use bleach or hydrogen peroxide inside the car, as they damage upholstery. Ammonia-based cleaners can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings on touch screens.

Looking for tips on ways to keep your home free of COVID-19? Check out “5 Household Cleaners That Can Kill the Coronavirus.”

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