Men Washing His Car

How To Sanitize Your Vehicle
For Coronavirus

At Premier Ford, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Brooklyn Ford fans and other NY drivers have been using hand sanitizer, wearing gloves and cleaning items they’ve purchased at the store to reduce the risk of exposure. However, once those items are loaded into the vehicle, germs are transferred to 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?

Ford interiors include several types of materials ranging from cloth and leather to plastic and metal. This means you may need multiple cleaners and tools when sanitizing your car. 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?

Make sure to wash your hands before you begin, and it’s a good idea to use disposable gloves if you have some. 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.  To ensure your Ford as germ-free as possible, keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in your car if you have enough.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Spot test leather cleaner on a hidden area before you begin sanitizing. Wipe the surface down with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching or scuffing the leather. Don’t have leather cleaner on hand? Mix two parts vinegar and one part water for a DIY solution. It’s a good idea to apply leather conditioner after cleaning to keep your Ford interior looking its best.

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. Use dish soap or another gentle house cleaner to dampen the surface you’re cleaning and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Because you touch the steering wheel and dashboard most frequently, it’s a good idea to pay special attention to these areas. There are several other high-touch places that should be sanitized, though.

These 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?

Due to sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less lively to survive on your vehicle’s exterior surfaces. However, you should still disinfect high-touch areas 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 vehicle’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 Premier Ford, we want to do our part to help educate our customers 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 Brooklyn Ford dealership.

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