Now that our government has made an official announcement that there’s a restricted movement order in place, chances are a lot of you are going to be working from home – whether that’s a good thing or not. That being said, it’s almost inevitable that you will have to use your car to get around and go places, especially if you’re looking to stock up on cooking essentials and other staple home supplies.
What this means is that there is a chance you may come in contact with someone who is a COVID-19 carrier, and if that is the case your clothes and your goods may become contaminated – as will the inside of your car. While we aren’t expected to operate like a military biological warfare unit with surgical grade sterilizing agents, there are a couple of things you can do to keep COVID-19 from festering in your automobile.
Full on body bags?
A more extreme and slightly impractical option is to wrap yourself up in a full body plastic suit and gloves every time you get out of the car and strip it off before you get back in. This will likely be very costly to repeatedly do and you won’t feel very comfortable sweating inside what is effectively a plastic bag.
Alcohol might be the solution
On the harder surfaces and touch points like door handles, dash boards, buttons and the like, you could probably get away with some rubbing alcohol or a spray to sanitize the surfaces. Soap leaves a film behind so you want to avoid using it as it can also damage the surface and requires water to remove. Alcohol usually evaporates cleanly, although leather surfaces may not respond well to alcohol application.
What about nano-mist?
While nano mist type cleaning services are said to cleanse vehicles of odours, mould, and bacteria, there’s no guarantee that it will actually get rid of any viral pathogens. It definitely doesn’t hurt to get it done, but it may not be as effective as you think it will be – not to mention there’s a fair amount of cost involved as well as vehicle downtime.
The power of the sun
Perhaps one often overlooked thing that’s surprisingly effective at killing pathogens in your car is the sheer power of UV radiation from sunlight. If you can leave your car out in the sun, perhaps with the windows down so the tint doesn’t block the UV from getting in, you could probably sanitize a good portion of your car for what is effectively free. UV is effective in a matter of minutes but leave it for a good hour on a sunny day and it will probably help a great deal. Don’t confuse this with UV lamps as consumer grade lamps don’t have nearly the kind of output level that you need.
The best thing you can do is limit your exposure to the outside elements when you do have to go out. Every item you touch could possibly be contaminated so use your time and energy wisely. The vast majority of those infected with COVID-19 will likely be able to recover without adverse side effects, but take a moment to consider your loved ones – both the elderly and the young – who may be more vulnerable to the virus.