A space that is very personal to people after their homes are their cars. A car’s cabin is where all those karaokes by self-proclaimed rockstars happen like no one’s watching, but a car’s cabin is also where they pick their nose like no one’s watching, sneeze, and the other forces of nature. The objective here is not to gross you out but to point out the health hazards that can arise from your car cabin. For starters, if you’ve read a report that says your smartphone’s screen is 3-10 times dirtier than a toilet, you’re in for a shock.
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. Most people clean or have their car cleaned from the outside quite frequently, but the statistics are rather ‘smol’ when speaking of the insides. So, here’s where most of the germs like to hang out inside your car.
Hotspot 1: 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.
Hotspot 2: Driver’s seat. And its surroundings that 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.
Hotspot 3: 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.
Hotspot 4: 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.
If you have germophobes in your family, do not let them read this article or they’ll get more reasons to upset themselves. The point, however, is not to cause hysteria and run around with our arms in the air. Yes, there are germs inside our cars, but then there are germs at a lot of places – our phones, our office desk, and where not. Not all of them can be gotten rid of and that’s alright. A lot of you will not make a change in your habits after reading this, but if you do wish to, here are some easy solutions to the issues above.
Solution 1: Replace fabric carpets with rubber mats. They’re easier to clean with some soap and water.
Solution 2: Regularly wipe the steering wheel and the area around the seat with anti-bacterial wipes or any other car cleanser.
Solution 3: Vacuum once a week to reach between the seats.
Solution 4: 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.