Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire

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Above: Whilst cleaning our homes and workspaces is crucial, we must also pay close attention to an oft-overlooked area: our cars.

As we enter a new autumn season, it’s fair to say that the outbreak of Covid-19 has transformed how each and every one of us goes about our daily lives. Public health and infection control have become more important topics than ever, with schools, businesses and public bodies adapting to a new normal with measures like social distancing, facial covering and regular handwashing. For the benefit of our readers and customers, Antios have shared some top tips around cleaning one of the most neglected spaces we use: our cars.

The Coronavirus pandemic has rightly prompted a dramatic rethink of how we approach hygiene, cleanliness and protecting those closest to us – including our friends, families and colleagues. Cleaning processes now form a significant priority, and we’ve already shared some expert advice on keeping areas clean and protected from Covid-19 contamination:

  1. How to Clean Personal Property
  2. How to Clean Schools & Classrooms
  3. How to Clean Offices & Workplaces

For guidance on using wipe products, see our advice on How to Use Antibacterial Wipes Safely. If there is any doubt, members of the public can consult the UK Government’s guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside of the home, as well as the Royal College of Nursing’s Advice on the Selection and Use of Antibacterial Wipes.

Why Keep Your Car Protected?

The outbreak of Covid-19 has made the regular cleaning and disinfection of public and interior spaces commonplace. However, our cars are amongst the most neglected areas we spend time in, making them significantly dirtier and therefore at a substantially higher risk of Covid-19 contamination. But what makes cars so risky?

  • Cars are covered by hard surfaces – shown in early evidence to be a fertile survival area for the virus;
  • Cars are filled with commonly touched objects, like steering wheels, gear sticks and door handles;
  • Cars are small, interior spaces;
  • Cars often have multiple passengers moving between them, carrying germs, bacteria & pathogens;
  • We often enters cars after moving through public spaces; and
  • Cars are filled with fabric – a breeding ground for viral infection

Infection Control in Personal Vehicles: 5 Steps

Cars are filled with lots of crevices and hard-to-reach areas that are often home to thousands of bacteria and pathogens. In order to ensure strong levels of infection control in our personal vehicles, Antios have the following five pieces of advice to recommend:

  • Protect yourself: When cleaning your car, you should take steps to reduce the risk of infection by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) – and that’s especially true if you’re concerned that there are traces of the virus on your vehicle. Wear disposable gloves and face covering, and take extra precautions by washing your clothes after cleaning your car. Keep a bag close to hand to discard any waste or rubbish in your car. A contamination-free car is a clutter-free car.
  • Choose the right products: Cars are filled with a range of materials, from leather and plastics through to glass and fabricated upholstery. With this in mind, it’s essential that you exercise extreme caution when choosing cleaning products as they can have adverse effects on any and all of these materials. Whilst warm, soapy water is ideal for leather trims, we recommend alcohol-based disinfectant wipes to remove dirt and dust from your car’s interior. Once this step has been taken, we recommend disinfecting with an alcohol-based product such as isopropyl. Avoid products that contain bleach. 
  • Focus on touch points: As previously highlighted, your car will contain a number of frequently-touched areas including door handles, steering wheels, gear sticks, audio controls, head rests and more. As with other areas inside your car, we recommend cleaning with an antibacterial wipe before disinfecting with an alcohol-based product. 
  • Use a vacuum cleaner: The outbreak of Covid-19 has temporarily closed car washes and valeting services across the UK due to the virus’ highly transmissible nature via compressed air. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to protect your car by using your own vacuum cleaner. Play close attention to areas under seats, ensuring that all dirt, dust and debris is removed. 
  • Practice strong hand hygiene: We will often move straight from shopping centres and other high-risk zones straight into our car. When this is the case, it is essential that we disinfect our hands before spreading any contaminants onto other parts of the car, such as the steering wheel. Before entering your car, wash your hands thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Follow the same process when you get out of your car. 

Whilst the above pieces of advice are crucial, it’s essential to bear in mind that Covid-19 is highly contagious. It is therefore essential that travel involving multiple householders in one vehicle is avoided in line with public health regulations accurate as of October 2020. For updated advice on local lockdown restrictions and guidelines around vehicular travel, please contact your local council authority. 

Keeping Cars Clean & Safe: How We Can Help

Antios are leading suppliers of antibacterial and biodegradable wipe products, offering personalised, branded and totally customisable orders ranging from a single carton of wipes up to multiple pallet-loads. With extensive stock holding facilities, deliveries are completed within an average of 1-3 working days. To inquire about large, bulk-sized deliveries or to discuss how we can help your organisation enter the new normal with a rebranding deal, get in touch with our expert team today or click here to request a free sample!

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