Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Herb Chambers Volvo Cars Norwood, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. People in Norwood and across Massachusetts are frequently using hand sanitizer, wearing masks and sanitizing items they purchase on errands to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What's easy to overlook, though, is that those purchased items are still touching the interior of their vehicle when they load them in. 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?

Your Volvo is made out of a wide variety of different materials, including plastic, metal and leather. You'll find when cleaning your Volvo that several tools will be needed to properly sanitize each surface. 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?

Wash your hands before sanitizing your vehicle. Also, if you have any disposable gloves, wear those while cleaning. 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. It's smart to keep a spare pack of disinfecting wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer in your vehicle at all times, so you have them handy when you need to clean again.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

The interior of your Volvo may have leather seats, which means you should take extra care and attention when cleaning them. Only use leather cleaner on them and make sure to use a microfiber cloth when doing so. Before cleaning, spot test the cleaner on a hidden area to ensure it's effective. And if you don't have any leather cleaner, you can easily make your own by mixing one part water with two parts vinegar. Apply leather condition after cleaning if you have any available.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Volvo 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 will work just fine for this application. Dampen the surface of what you'd like to clean, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Besides that, focus on high-touch areas within your Volvo model's interior, including but not limited to the dash and steering wheel. Other high-touch 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?

Thanks to the sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less likely to live on the exterior of your Volvo. That doesn't mean you should skip over it when sanitizing your vehicle, though. Make sure to sanitize surfaces your frequent most, 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 Volvo model'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 Herb Chambers Volvo Cars Norwood, we want to do our part to help educate our clients 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 Volvo dealership in Norwood, MA.