Men Washing His Car

Car Sanitization Information
For Germain Nissan Customer Support

At Germain Nissan, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. In order to reduce the chance of exposure to germs and viruses outside of their home, many people in the Columbus, OH, area are wearing gloves, using hand sanitizer and cleaning the items they purchase when they return from running errands. However, what some people might forget, is that once they purchase items and load them into their car, the new items are then touching 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?

From soft leather seats to plastic on the dash, there are many surfaces inside your Nissan. And ultimately, you might realize you'll need several different tools for washing your car. This can become a challenge when disinfecting your vehicle. 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?

First, wash your hands and throw on a pair of disposable gloves. 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. If possible, keep disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car. That way you can wipe down your car frequently whenever necessary.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Nissan 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. Dish soap works well. Just dampen the surface and scrub for about 20-30 seconds. Wipe down your dash and steering wheel with a disinfectant product and focus on high-touch places within your car. 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?

It's less likely for germs to survive on the outside of your car since sun, rain or other weather elements can affect it. However, it's still important to disinfect areas you touch frequently on the outside of your car. Start by sanitizing spots like door handles, handle buttons and gas cap.

close up of a bleach container

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Nissan car'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.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

First, spot test leather cleaner on a hidden area of your car to ensure it will work well for your Nissan seats. When you're cleaning, you must use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the leather. And if you don't have any leather cleaner on hand, try mixing two parts vinegar with one part water to create your own solution. After you finish, apply leather conditioner.

Here at Germain Nissan, 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 Nissan dealership Columbus, OH.

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