Right now, it’s more than ever to keep the environment around us clean and safe to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. From personal hygiene to spring cleaning the house, we should also be making sure that when travel is essential, our vehicles are clean and hygienic.
We all know that keeping our vehicles clean is easier said than done, but sometimes we don’t realise just how many surfaces we touch before, during and after our journeys.
From grabbing the car keys to opening the doors, turning the steering wheel to changing gear, the more we touch means more exposure to dirt, germs and bacteria. Eating, drinking and having passengers means more mess left behind, from crumbs and droplets, fingerprints and loose dirt settling in our cars.
Prepare for your travel
If your travel is essential, plan a route and ensure you have everything you may need beforehand. Although the roads could be quieter in some areas, other places, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, could be busier, so take extra precautions and think of others whilst you are out and about.
Because COVID-19 is a new virus, it is not known exactly how it is spread, so it’s important to keep surface areas clean. You may want to consider packing tissues, hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes to safeguard your vehicle. Where possible, try and limit those travelling with you, especially those most at risk, and don’t travel with anyone outside of your household.
Hygiene and safety
Before leaving the house, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. If you have a pack of anti-bacterial wipes handy, clean your steering wheel, gear stick, hand brake and centre console, disposing of the wipes after use and using an anti-bacterial gel on your hands.
If it’s necessary to have passengers with you, including children, ensure their hands, mouths and noses are clean before getting in the vehicle. Have tissues and anti-bacterial gel in the car in case anyone needs to cough or sneeze. It may also be a good idea to have one of the windows down slightly, to let fresh air move around the vehicle.
Once you’re back from your journey, make sure your interior and exterior door handles are wiped down and your car keys are also clean before putting back. Once you’re back inside, repeat washing your hands thoroughly.
To stop the spread of germs and bacteria, we’ve created a handy check list.
These are the 30 areas of your vehicle you should be cleaning regularly to stop the spread of unwanted germs and bacteria:
- Exterior door handles
- Interior door handles
- Steering wheel and horn
- Gear stick or gear shift
- Power button
- Hand brake
- Indicators, windscreen and light instruments
- Heating controls
- Stereo or multimedia screen
- Glovebox handle
- Centre compartments
- Door storage
- Seat adjustment buttons
- Head rests
- Seat storage
- Grab handle
- Rear view mirror
- Sun visor
- Window buttons or handle
- Fuel cap and screw top
- Boot buttons or handles
- Parcel shelf
- Bonnet button or lever
- Bonnet lid
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, make sure you stay at home. Instead, ask a family member or friend to help you with things you may need.
There’s more advice on COVID-19, including travel issues and general information here.