Pandemic Times: Car Disinfecting Tips

Interior cleaning, such as in the cabin of this Nissan Titan pickup truck, takes on a whole different meaning in pandemic times.

These are extraordinary times. America, indeed the entire world, is currently under siege by a pandemic known as COVID-19. This coronavirus has upended life as we know it and the reverberations are likely to last a long time.
The illness has taken many lives and we haven’t witnessed the end of it yet. At the same time, people need to go about their business, including driving to work, heading to the park, and shopping, among other pursuits.

Our vehicles may not have been used much over these past few months, but that’s soon to change. And with the increased driving time, another concern has arisen: how to disinfect car safely and without doing damage to the interior.

Nissan Disinfecting Tips

Nissan is offering tips on how to disinfect your vehicle to thwart the spread of COVID-19. Frequent hand washing as directed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a crucial part of staying healthy, but so is disinfecting surfaces, including those in your car.

“Most people are still using their vehicles, whether they are essential employees commuting to work or someone running to the grocery store while in quarantine,” said Ryan Fulkerson, director, New Model Engineering, Nissan North America. “We want to make sure they’re informed on how to best keep their vehicle disinfected.”

The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves for cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces. If a surface appears dirty, it should be wiped down with soap and water before disinfection. For vehicle cabins, a soft or microfiber cloth dampened with soap and water may be used to wipe down hard surfaces.

Alcohol-Based Wipes

While most common household disinfectants are effective, some are not ideal for use on a vehicle including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, thinners or other harsh and abrasive cleaners. These chemical products can damage your vehicle’s upholstery and/or interior surfaces. Instead, alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus according to the CDC and can be safely used in your vehicle.

See Also4 Car Upholstery Cleaning Tips

The infotainment screen is tricky because it’s a high-touch area that should not come in contact with aggressive cleaners. Use screen wipes or a soft cloth dampened with soap and water to clean the screen surface. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth. Ammonia-based cleaners should not be used on infotainment screens, as they can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. If the vehicle is equipped, using voice commands can help avoid touching the center screen altogether.

Your Disinfecting Checklist

The following is Nissan’s checklist to help you remember vehicles surfaces to regularly disinfect:

  • Steering wheel
  • Key and remote fob
  • Exterior door handles, both sides
  • Trunk lid or lift gate grab areas
  • Interior door pulls, both sides and interior door panels
  • Start button, if equipped
  • Rearview mirror: back and edges
  • HVAC vents
  • Gear selector
  • Turn signal lever
  • Windshield wiper controls
  • Center stack knobs
  • Center console and armrest
  • Seat belt and buckle. Avoid harsh cleaners on the belt itself, they can degrade the fibers and the belt’s strength
  • Parking brake handle, parking brake or release lever
  • Deep Cleaning, Automotive Dealership Style

If a vehicle requires more attention, remember that automotive dealerships and their service departments are deemed essential services while many businesses around the country are closed in response to government mandates aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, many service departments remain open and are available to assist with vehicle service and repairs. Many also offer no-contact drop-off or at-home pick-up and delivery, including your Nissan facility.

See AlsoHow to Detail Your Car Like a Professional

Photo copyright Auto Trends Magazine. Chart copyright Nissan North America.

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