In just the past few weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken over the globe. The virus has already reached the Himalayan country and it is imperative that we take it seriously even though the number of infected is still low. The government has imposed a lockdown and encouraged social distancing to contain the spread and ‘flatten the curve’.
While moving about and meeting people is out of equation, one of the things that might carry the virus is your vehicle. Consider this. You might have come in contact with the virus from the surfaces you touched, the hands you shook, or the people you met. When you get home, you wash your hands thoroughly, ensuring you do a good job of keeping the germs away. However, the virus could very well be on the car (the door handles, the steering wheel, etc). It’s the same with the passengers who have been in your car.
No, you needn’t worry much. But have you ever heard of someone getting the virus from being too careful? That’s why we will tell you, in simple steps, how to disinfect your vehicle.
Wash the exterior
Start by washing the exterior of your car or motorcycle. Use a good car shampoo; it will work for two-wheelers as well. Foam it up in a bucket and apply generously all over your car or bike. Be extra generous on the touch points, the places you will be touching the most: think door handles, bonnet, door edges, side mirrors, and tailgate. Rinse your vehicle thoroughly to remove any contagion from its body.
Clean the cabin
The most time you’ll spend is inside the car. Respiratory droplets from an infected person can contaminate surfaces where the virus can remain active for a few days. Which is why the cabin should be thoroughly cleaned. You can start by vacuuming the car’s surfaces. Now not many will have access to high-end interior cleaners so here is what you should do, and this will also apply for motorcycles. Take a microfiber towel, dip it in water and squeeze it to a point where it is still wet but not drenched. Then wipe everything thoroughly inside your cabin; get all the dirt and grime out.
The next step is to make a solution of any antiseptic liquid, (for example: Dettol) and warm water, with the ratio of the antiseptic liquid to water being 2:1. Then you repeat the same wipe action with the towel. Pay special attention while wiping down the touch points inside the cabin: think keys, seat covers, steering wheel, indicator and wiper levers, gear lever, a/c controls, headlight controls, dashboard, infotainment controls, window switches, inside door handles, windowsill, IRVM, seatbelts, armrest, glove box, and basically everything you will touch at some point. On a motorcycle, it would be the seat, side mirrors, fuel tank, handle, switches, pillion grab handle & etc.
Service the air-conditioning
Since many of the Covid-19 related fatalities are attributed to comorbid diseases, it is a good idea to rid your HVAC system of any bacteria and fungi. Have the system serviced by professionals. Should you opt for the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach, remember to clean the air filter and spray the air-con vents (including the rear AC vents) with cleansing agents offered by any of the car-care brands.
The final step
After you have done that, you should let it sit for a while, after which you can get a can of disinfectant and spray the entire cabin to give you that extra bit of assurance. Or you can find a box of special interior wipes for your car (which will also work for motorcycles). These wipes not only act as disinfectant but also shine your cabin and leave a fragrant smell.
In the end
These are some of the things you could do to keep your car/motorcycle as clean as you keep your home and yourself.
As a general word of advice, please heed the government suggestions. Stay at home and DO NOT drive your car unless it is absolutely necessary. Keep washing your hands, and staying healthy.