Coronavirus and Your Car
Unless you are living under a rock, you have been overwhelmed with news about coronavirus disease (COVID-19). If you are living under a rock...good job. Stay there because we all should probably refrain from going out an about BUT it is unrealistic to expect everyone to stay home until it all blows over. More than likely you will be using your vehicle regardless and we at Ravishing Rides want to help you make the most informed decisions on which best practices will keep you and your vehicle as clean as possible.
What is COVID-19 exactly?
Coronaviruses are a common type of virus that makes its way around the population causing mild illnesses much like the common cold. The novel coronavirus is a version of that virus that we have never seen before. It spreads quickly from person to person but does not show symptoms for at least 14 days.
Those who contract COVID-19 generally develop fevers, a cough, shortness of breath, and mild respiration symptoms much like that of the flu. While the virus is capable of causing death, it is a very small percentage of those infected who succumb to the virus. It is still important to reduce exposure as much as possible because that only increases those who can potentionally interact poorly with it.
What does that mean for your vehicle?
Just like the surfaces of your home, KEEP IT CLEAN. If you do not have access to professional grade cleaning materials, chemicals, and equipment, don't worry. You can disinfect most of your interior with simple disinfecting wipes. If you want to take it to the next step, you can purchase some mild or natural interior cleaner like P&S Xpress Interior and use a cheap or ever professional steam cleaner like the McCulloch MC1230 on your hard surfaces. You can also use this steamer in your home so its not a one trick pony. Pay special attention to the steering wheel. It has four times the amount of germs found on an average toilet seat. Because of all the cracks, crevices, and stitching in the steering wheel, those germs tend to linger.
Most vehicle leathers are imitation and/or have protective coatings which make them ok to be cleaned with mild soaps and then disinfected with simple isopropyl alcohol. For uncoated leather (which is rare outside of flagship luxury vehicles) do not use disinfecting wipes or alcohol on them. Use an approved leather cleaner and treatment combo. A great affordable product is Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.
What not to do
At all costs, avoid harsh household products like bleach, peroxide, and detergents. When handling fabrics, avoid too much water or suds. Saturating the fabrics may lead to mold, smells, and degradation.
Also do not store any chemicals in your vehicle. That includes hand sanitizer. As it is getting warmer, the sanitizer and other chemicals may breakdown and lose their properties as well as emit a toxic mix of odors. Be smart.
The Ravishing Way
If all else fails, remember the Ravishing Way. Keep it simple. Clean your hard surfaces as you would surfaces in your home minus any harsh detergents or peroxide and bleach. Simply isopropyl alcohol and disinfectant wipes. For fabrics, use little water, mild soaps and a soft brush or something as simple as a disinfecting spray. For leathers, mild soap or the recommended OEM cleaning kit like the BMW Leather Care Set. It is much cheaper than expected. Apply these practices to the dash, steering wheel, center console, floor mats and carpets.