Your Car is Dirty & Needs Disinfecting

April 27th, 2020 by

Here at Lawrence Mitsubishi, we’ve taken major measures to ensure our customers are safe when shopping for or servicing their cars. We offer masks and alcohol wipes throughout the car buying experience. We are also offering Free First Responders car disinfecting. Schedule a car disinfecting appointment or come on by anytime.

With the recent pandemic of Covid-19 we’ve been reading everything we can get our hands on with regards to driving habits and vehicle detailing and disinfecting. You’d be surprised that on average Americans spend 12 days or 17,600 minutes in their cars each year. Interestingly enough, Americans drive most in the fall between October & December than in winter months January thru March. Additionally, Americans drive more than 2.5 trillion miles each year. With all the miles and time spent in cars, lots of questions around germs come to mind.

What is considered a dirty car?

Well, the obvious is easy to see and clean. Everyone knows a dirty kids car when they see one and the below two cars are beyond dirty. But what about the invisible germs? The invisible or hidden germs are the ones we need to worry about more these days.

When do we need to clean the interior of a car?

According to a study done by CarRentals.com 32% of people rarely clean the inside of their cars; essentially only doing it once a year. This doesn’t surprise me at all since everyone is so busy with work, kids and binge watching Netflix, who has time? Hopefully after you read this article you’ll make some time to not just clean your car, but disinfect it, I know I’m making time.

Washmenow.ca, a mobile detailing business, states the inside of a car needs to be cleaned once a month. And while a detail business most likely has a biased opinion on car detailing, think about it; 20% of Americans admit to eating in their vehicles. Would you not clean your kitchen counter tops after you eat?  Nope you would clean them after food has been prepared on the counter, so why don’t we clean and disinfect our cars each time after we eat in our vehicle? Time? Lack of awareness of the germ infestation in our cars? And for those of you with children, you know those kids eat in the car everyday.

Here is the thing, once a month sounds like a good interval for deep cleaning; a time to remove the dust mites and clean high touch areas of your vehicle. In the Fall months, increasing frequency based on additional time spent in your car is a good best practice.  I like to keep disinfecting interior car cleaning wipes in my car and when I’m sitting at a long light or waiting for someone or something in my car, I clean high touch surfaces more routinely.

Which parts of your car are the dirtiest?

There is an ongoing debate on the dirtiest part of a car; it’s between the driver’s side floor mat and the steering wheel.

According to realsimple.com the dirtiest part of your car is the driver’s side floor mat. Which makes sense since in order for a car to move it needs a driver and that driver walks in bathrooms, grass and even garbage. The good news, is we don’t touch our floor mats with our hands very often, unless something like our keys drop on the mats.  Wait our phones, we drop our phones all the time on the floor mats, we are doomed.

In a study done by CarRentals.com, they pulled bacteria per square centimeter and the results are enough to make you want to clean your steering wheel daily. A steering wheel is by far the dirtiest thing you’ve ever touched with your hands and we touch it daily!

A Steering Wheel is:

  • 6x dirtier than a cell phone
  • 4x dirtier than a TOILET SEAT
  • 2x dirtier than elevator buttons

According to the study, the biggest culprit in making the steering wheel dirty is the when we go to the gas pump. The average gas pump handle is 11,835x more dirty than a toilet seat! When CarRentals.com added up all the interior car surfaces and measured the infections bacteria per square centimeter, the interior of a car is 2,144x dirtier than an average cell phone.

Now think of ride sharing cars, that’s all I’m going to say about that, it’s nasty. Buy a car to save yourself!

Don’t have a ton of time to clean your car, what should you clean most?

If you don’t have a ton of time, try to clean the areas located in green below more often:

Steering Wheel
Seat Belts
Cup Holders

Dirtiest Parts of Car

These green areas are considered the most hazardous in your vehicle. Keep alcohol wipes in your car and clean these areas as much as possible like once a week if not daily. Just think 2,144x dirtier than your cell phone.

The turquoise areas above are the second dirtiest areas in your car try to clean these second:

Blue Dot

Door Handles
Gear Shifter
Air and Audio Controls

If you can combined the green and turquoise together, but if you are even more strapped for time, pick the steering wheel, clean it daily. I’ve been doing mine daily since researching and writing this article.

Be Safe and if your car is too dirty to clean, browse new Mitsubishi car for the new car smell, germ free experience.

Sources:
Hours driven in a year NEWSROOM.AAA.COM
American’s Drive 2.5 trillion miles U.S. Department of Transportation
Driving with Germs Study carrentals.com
Frequency of car cleaning Washmenow
Dirtiest place in a car Driver’s Side Floor Mats realsimple.com

Posted in Detail