Illustration for article titled Get The Coronavirus Out Of Your Car
Screenshot: Ammo NYC

Here we are, in the middle of a global pandemic stuck at home with our cars sitting dormant in the garage. Everything is closed, there’s nowhere to go, and it’s best practice to stay home and avoid contact with others anyway. For the few of us who do still have to go out into the world, it’s important to be well prepared to stay as safe as possible. That means cleaning your car. Really well.

The COVID-19 virus can live on some surfaces for several hours or even days. According to a study conducted at UCLA, the virus remained detectable for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Car interiors have plastic! It’s important to kill it where it lies so that you don’t pick it up or transmit it to anyone else. The name of the game is keeping humanity safe here.

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Your seats, steering wheel, radio buttons, door handles, and cup holders are all filthy (probably), and it’s a good idea to put your best foot forward in cutting this disease off at the pass. By starting with a clean car, you can maintain that cleanliness so much easier. Instead of hours spent cleaning, a simple once-over can make all the difference.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Ammo Larry comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom, “clean your car”.

I’m not usually one to spend much time cleaning my car. In fact, after most road trips, I’ll usually just crack the windows to let it air out. Traditionally that has been enough for me, but now I’m thinking I need to take this cleaning thing more seriously.

In order to properly clean and disinfect viruses and bacteria from your car, you need to follow a few pretty clear and simple steps. They are far easier said than done, however, as each step will likely take quite some time to do it right.

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Start by doing an old-school deep clean to agitate the existing oils, dirt, and grime up and off of the surfaces. The hope here is to remove a lot of the things that viruses would already be stuck to, taking any existing virus with it. A good car interior cleaner won’t kill the bug or disinfect, but it may remove altogether.

The disinfection takes place in the next step, and requires a lot of reading instructions to figure out how the product you’re using works. Did you know that some disinfecting wipes require up to 3 minutes of visible wetness to properly kill germs? I didn’t know that.

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The final step is to prevent illness as it relates to your car is to prevent it from coming in the car in the first place. Make sure you wear gloves or at least use a towel at the fuel pump, and keep a few sanitizers and cleaners in your door pocket to keep the gunk from building up on your interior again. Drive clean. Drive safe.

You can learn all that and a whole lot more from Larry Kosilla of Ammo NYC.

These are scary times, folks. Let’s do everything we can to keep each other safe. I haven’t been out of the house in a little over a week, but I’m still going to be giving my cars a deep clean tonight. If nothing else, it’ll make me feel like I’m doing something. You should, too.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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