Cars are an extension of who we are and we simply love them! We take as much care of them as we can. Clean it, dry it, wax it. But simply cleaning the exte…
Most of us practically live in our cars. On a daily basis we spend at least 3-4 hours a day inside it as we travel through dirty muddy waters, pot holed and gravel roads. Not to mention have a snack once in a while, take our pets out, talk on the phone, party, listen to music, all in our car.
Cars are an extension of who we are and we simply love them! We take as much care of them as we can. Clean it, dry it, wax it. But simply cleaning the exterior of our car isn’t good enough. Even though we spend the maximum time beautifying the exterior we do not realize that the interiors need to be cleaned too, where ironically we spend most of our time!
Various international research studies have proved that inside every car are large amount of illness causing viruses, bacteria, germs and mold that can be found. Hence it is just as important if not more to clean the insides of your car.
There are remnants of what we eat or drink, on our seats and the car floor which causes growth of mold, germ and bacteria. Secondly viruses and bacteria settled in from the outside polluted air could cause strong asthma and allergic reactions.
Here are 5 usually missed germ breeding points inside your car and how to keep them clean.
Thesurfacesthat come in maximum contact with our hands include the steering wheel, the dashboard, the gear and the window knobs. We don’t clean our hands before coming in contact with them and neither do we regularly wash hands after. These are common breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Also, these come in contact with our sweat, dust and other unwanted particles. After touching these surfaces, we don’t wash them off and proceed to do other activities, spreading the germs.
What should I do?
- Use a soft brush to dust and vacuum clean the dashboards and doors.
- Then clean these areas with a damp cloth, preferably first using a disinfectant or a laundry detergent and then with plain water.
- Make sure the cloth is only slightly moist with the disinfectant\detergent while wiping the dashboard, steering wheel.
- Do not use too much detergent, even to remove the stains. Too much detergent would later require too much water to remove and if not cleaned properly will make it worse.
- Once done wiping, dry the areas with a clean soft dry cloth.
- You can also apply dry polish (one that requires no water) with a clean soft dry cloth to the dashboard. Polish not only makes the dashboard and knobs shiny, it also protects the plastic. All you need to do after is use a soft duster periodically and they will look like new for a long time.
When we travel long distances especially during the hot, humid summers we have our car ACs permanently on. But do you realize how after a while the air becomes musty and a weird smell follows? Do you then prefer to leave the windows open for a while?
If you experience that unpleasant musty smell from the vents when the air conditioner is turned on, it probably means that there are some kind bacteria or mud deposit in your AC vent. This is the result of the icing and melting process, excessive condensing of water on the drain line, or some elements not functioning properly.
What should I do?
You can try the odor treatments which can be availed in your local auto accessories store. It kills the bacteria and removes that musty smell.
But it possible that the smell does not completely go away as internal hardened deposit cannot be removed by external sprays. In such a case you would also need to use a cleaning solvent application that will help clean the internal deposit in the vent. Clogged air conditioner drain tube and accumulation of leaves and other debris under the cowl cover (the top portion of the front part of a car, supporting the windshield and dashboard) may also cause damp mildew smell. Ask the mechanic to check and clean it when you get your next servicing done.
If you do not have any smell problems then you can simply use a smell-free disinfectant that will keep your AC vent clean and bacteria free.
Usually when we eat, we drop. The food particles that we see we pick up and throw in the bin but what about the food particles that settles in between the car seats or in between the door hinges? We usually never notice them and they continue to remain there rotting!
What should I do?
When cleaning the car use a pointed brush to remove the debris collected in between the seats onto the floor of your car. You can then later vacuum it off the floor. Vacuum the areas in between the seats to remove any dust or food debris that you may have missed. Use a wet cloth to wipe the hinges and remove any particles stuck there.
You alsoneed be extra careful of these places when you have young kids with you as they may dig something from in-between the seats and pop it right into their mouths!
- Seat Cushions and covers
Any drinks, gravy or other food substances that we have dropped on the seat will leave a stain. Even if you remove the food particle the stain will remain. It then dries and becomes a place for fungus or mould growth. Even things like sweat from our hands, dirt off our clothes, etc are unknown grime that will stick to the cushion and cushion covers.
What should I do?
First of all try to immediately wipe the place where any food may have spilled with a wet cloth. That will reduce the efforts needed later when cleaning
When cleaning the cushions first remove the cushion covers, if you use them. Wash and dry them separately.
For the main seat cushion there are a number of special upholstery (work of furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers) cleaning agents available.
If you don’t have upholstery cleaner, even normal laundry detergent will work just as well.
- Mix some detergent with warm water, dip a clean cloth into it, squeeze out well, you only need a barely moist cloth.
- Now, wipe the cushion with this cloth, once finished, dry out well with a clean, soft dry cloth.
- Make sure the water does not get into electrical components as it may cause problems. Similarly, don’t get water inside the seats or under the carpet – it could cause corrosion, stains and breed mould.
Remnants of food, drink or anything else that we may consume falls on our laps and usually ends up on the floor of the car. There they end up on the floor mats or carpets, and become breeding points for bacteria and fungus. Especially during the monsoons when we jump into our cars all wet, with our dripping umbrellas and soaked shoes. All the water usually gets soaked on the floor of cars. To know more about 5 germ hideouts inside your car you may miss!!
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