Did you know that you’re never actually alone when you’re driving to work? You’ve always got a friend on you; bacteria! Granted, it’s common knowledge that bacteria is everywhere. By everywhere, we mean everywhere. Your hands, your bed, your food, even that steering wheel you’ve been handling.
That’s totally gross right? Didn’t expect your car to be a harbor of bacteria and viruses?
So where exactly are you cultivating all these bacteria colonies in your car?
This is especially true, especially for the busy people who have their meals on the go, parents with messy toddlers, fur-parents, football mums and particularly you, whose last cleaning was 5 months ago! It’s a no brainer now where all the bacteria breeds!
Considering everyone does almost like eating, texting, transporting your kids and pets, among other things you do in your car, it’s a no brainer now where you got all that bacteria from. But which part of your vehicle is grossest?
1. Bacteria in your car’s steering wheels
If you haven’t guessed it, your steering wheel is the perfect home for bacteria that moved out of your hands and onto the wheel. How so? Well your hands have been everywhere throughout the day and whether you realise it or not, have been picking up bacteria from all over the place. So when you touch the steering wheel, you’re just rubbing the bacteria you picked up at the toilet onto the wheel. Then you go and pick up a piece of fries from your drive-through, dropping some on the floor before chomping down on the greasy food. Yummy grease and bacteria for lunch.
How to clean a steering wheel?
So, how to clean a steering wheel? Lets start by choosing a anti-bacterial cleaning solution that is suitable for your steering wheel. Whether its made from leather, wood, PVC or hard plastic, each surface will require different cleaning solutions. After choosing the right cleaning solution, spray some onto a microfibre cloth then wipe onto the steering wheel then wipe off the residue with a dry microfibre cloth to remove contaminants.
2. Carpet & mats: Another favourite place for germs
Unless you’re driving with your eyes on the car floor, you really won’t notice how dirty your carpet and mats are. Remember all the fries and crumbs you dropped from that drive-through trip? Maybe you don’t. But as they say, proof is in the bacteria you’re cultivating in the carpet.
How about that coffee spills? It doesn’t matter how careful we are, someone or somehow, accidents happens and, at any point of your trip, dropped something and may have totally forgot to clean it up. This is as gross as it sounds and could lead up to fungi growing in your car that release harmful spores. The spores could then circulate through the ventilation system that you and your family breathe in, resulting in sickness.
How to clean your car’s carpet and mats?
So, how do we clean your car’s carpet and mats? Firstly, remove all mats from your car before vacuuming the carpet surface. Then you can proceed to shampoo the carpet with a good brush and shampoo, slowly working it into the carpet in circular motions. Using a wet rag, dampen the areas you shampooed to pull up the soap, careful not to soak the carpet or you might get mold underneath. Don’t use a steamer as you might weaken the glue and cause your carpets to dislodge and come off! That’s another headache on its own! Your mats can be shampooed and cleaned the same way. Make sure your carpet and mats are fully dried before arranging everything back in position.
When choosing a shampoo, go for the low-suds formula that won’t create too much bubbles during cleaning. Suds or bubbles is not a measure of the cleaning abilities of the shampoo or the squeeky clean feel. What are low suds shampoos? Low Suds shampoos are shampoos with little or no high foaming agents. Most shampoos that have lots of bubbles contain high foaming agents such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS) which creates a deception of cleaning. Interior cleaning works best with low-suds shampoos where you will be able to clean without the pesky overbubbles, causing more time and effort to remove them.
3. Bacteria in door handles, buttons & controls
Aside from the steering wheels, you’re also spreading everyday bacteria to door handles, buttons and controls in your car. Sneezed on your hands and you wiped it on your pants then you switched on the AC & radio? That’s a the trail of germs right there!
While we know that its impossible NOT to touch anything, but you might want to reconsider what you touch in your next Uber ride. You have no idea what viruses and bacteria the last passenger was harbouring. So be careful where you touch and what you’re spreading around.
How to clean door handles, buttons & controls in your car:
Its easy. Use disinfectants! You don’t need medical grade disinfectants. Just ensure those that you are using are safer for indoor use. Spray and wipe down with a clean cloth on a weekly basis, or daily if you’re a germaphobe. Using clean cloths ensures that you’re not spreading everything everywhere!
We get that wiping every time someone touches something is ridiculous and unreasonable but! we do advocate getting it deep cleaned by a professional detailer every month or earlier. Consider getting a package signed up if you’re a ride sharing driver, or have pets and kids in your cars. This reduces flus, germs and just maintains a right level of hygiene!
Cleaning with Eco-friendly Products
Ready to fight and clean out your car? When cleaning, its also essential that the product just kills the germs, and not you. What are safe products? There are cleaning products in the market that could harm you due to the high amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the ingredients.
VOCs are gases emitted from certain solids or liquids found all around you. While harmful VOCs are not acutely toxic, they can cause long-term health effects and hurt the environment.
At IGL Coatings, we ensure that all our vehicle care and maintenance products are of low to zero VOC. We are a technology firm based in Malaysia and pioneer of low to zero VOC yet high solids coatings. IGL Coatings have distributors worldwide and accredited detailers in 50 countries that can assist you in your car care and maintenance.