How Clean is your Car?
Recent research by microbiologists at the University of Salford found higher levels of microbes on surfaces in cars than on keyboards and smartphone screens – but conversely a study carried out by Sellcar.co.uk found that most people think their cars are much cleaner than these everyday objects. So what’s the problem?
Maybe you are already feeling uncomfortable, but when did you last clean the inside of the car – or do you leave it till you are about to sell it?
Grime, spillages, food and all sorts of debris could build up and effectively turn your car into a rubbish bin with associated smells! We sit in our cars in a sort of bubble, thinking we are protected from the outside environment, but of course we bring dirt and microbes in with our shoes and passengers, including dogs. I’ve watched people at traffic lights picking their nose, coughing and blowing their nose, unaware that they are splattering their car with cold or flu viruses. If another person uses the car afterwards, they will pick up those viruses on their hands and could infect themselves just by rubbing their eyes.
- If you have a cold and share your car, clean down the surfaces that you have touched using an anti-microbial wipe that kills viruses (Dettol is good)
- Keep a pack of tissues and wipes handy in the car to attack spillages before they build up and get ingrained in the upholstery and become impossible to remove the mess before it becomes ingrained and starts to smell.
- Be aware of where germs could be transferred to your hands, and wash your hands when you get home, and keep key areas of your car clean so you don’t inadvertently ingest unwanted germs.
- Food dropped on the floor of the car will be in contact with any dirt or soil that has been carried in by shoes, and so anyone thinking the 5 second rule is ok should think again!
- Also be aware that your hands may be dirty when you get into your car – if you have just done a supermarket shop, and handled raw chicken, meat or poultry, then you could have bacteria such as Campylobacter or E. coli on your hands – so a good tip is to use an anti-bacterial hand gel to clear the germs away after you have put the shopping in the boot – that way you keep your car clean – and if you decide to tuck into a snack, you have clean hands!
- If you go for a country walk and have muddy boots, put them in a plastic bag to protect the car, and protect your boot or seats with a blanket or sheet if you have a dog.