Having been going through a pandemic (that is more global than any pandemics before) for some 15-16 months now, where do you feel the safest? That’s right, at home. Which is the second place that feels the safest? Perhaps your car? The cabin space is all yours and you’re familiar with all the things you’ll touch in there. But a surface that actually looks clean could pose a health hazard if you’re not careful. Did you know that a car steering wheel can be way, way dirtier than a toilet seat? Allow us to list a few hotspots where dirt likes to accumulate and germs & bacteria like to inhabit.
– Steering wheel. Beginning with the big shocker because if you’ve read a report that says a smartphone screen is 3-10 times dirtier than a toilet, it’s worse for the wheel inside the car. Another research conducted by a vehicle purchasing firm in the UK suggests that the interior of our cars can be 2,144 percent filthier than our smartphones.
– Floor mats. These are where the shoes go and where the shoes have been before they enter the car is not worth talking about. A wide selection of bacteria from the ground is transported to the mats through shoes and the tiny beings find comfort in burrowing into the fibre of the mats. So, the next time you drop your lipstick without the lid or a potato crisp, think about it if you’re applying the 10-second rule.
– Driver’s seat. And its surroundings include the steering wheel and door handle. Imagine this – the driver sneezes all over the steering wheel, takes a bite of a burrito before placing his hands back on the wheel or using the door handle or if he’d indulged in the inglorious activity of nose digging. You understand the rest.
– Space between seats. No matter how careful you think you’ve been, there will be food shrapnel in the space between seats. This food settles in the dark crevices which provide a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply.
– Aircon vents: The only source of solace during summers, the air-conditioning vents can be a health hazard too during times of high humidity. Water accumulates in the vents which leads to fungi colonising the surface and then it’s pretty much blown into your face when you switch on the aircon.
What to do?
The objective here is in no way to spread mass hysteria over germs but we would recommend keeping germophobes away from this article or they’ll refuse to step into the car. The idea is to be aware and probably take some steps to keep our cars cleaner on the inside as well, especially since we’re still going through a very serious COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some that could help:
– Replace fabric carpets with rubber mats. They’re easier to clean with some soap and water.
– Regularly wipe the steering wheel and the area around the seat with anti-bacterial wipes or any other car cleanser.
– Vacuum once a week to reach between the seats.
– You could use a long brush to clean out spores, but it is simpler to turn the heat on the aircon for a few minutes to kill the fungi. Have the filter of the air-conditioning unit replaced every year.
– And not to mention, use a disinfectant spray on most exposed surfaces in the cabin to kill flu viruses as well.
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