Men Washing His Car

How To Clean and Sanitize Your Car
Tips on How to Clean Your Car

At Herb Chambers Alfa Romeo of Boston, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. People in Wayland and the rest of Massachusetts are wearing masks, frequently using hand sanitizer and sanitizing items they purchase during errands to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What you might forget, though, is that those items are touching the interior of your Alfa Romeo after you load them in. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that the coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. That means that you should be sanitizing the interior of your car to kill any germs it may have collected on your last visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. 

Car cleaner wiping car door with rag

How Long Does Coronavirus Survive on Surfaces?

You may notice that your Alfa Romeo is made up of many different materials, including plastic, leather and even carbon fiber in certain cases. To properly sanitize all these surfaces, you'll need several tools. According to the National Institutes of Health, the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel. Another study suggests that similar viruses can live on "inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to nine days."

Cleaning the interior of the car with a microfiber cloth

What's the Best Way to Sanitize My Car's Interior?

Always wash your hands before cleaning your Alfa Romeo. And if you have them, wear disposable gloves. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work well for sanitizing your vehicle. Just be sure to read the product's label to make sure it's safe for the surface you're planning to use it on. Have extra disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer? Keep some of both in your vehicle, so you're ready to wipe down surfaces as needed.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Your Alfa Romeo model's leather seats should only be cleaned using approved leather cleaner. To ensure the cleaner you have works, spot test it on a hidden area within your vehicle's interior. And when you're cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to prevent scratching. You can also make your own leather cleaner by mixing two parts vinegar with one part water. After cleaning is done, apply a leather conditioner to make your seats really shine.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Alfa Romeo to keep clean are the dashboard and the steering wheel. Bacteria tends to collect in these spots, as air is cycled throughout the vehicle. To clean your dash, simply use soap and water. Dish soap works perfect for this application. First, dampen the surface of what you'd like to clean. Second and finally, scrub for 20-30 seconds. Make sure to pay special attention to high-touch places in your Alfa Romeo, like the steering wheel and dash. Other high-touch surfaces can include:

  • Door Handles
  • Door Buttons
  • Key Fob
  • Steering Wheel
  • Inside Door Buttons
  • Seat Belts
  • Gear Shifters
  • Touchscreens
  • Buttons on the Dash
  • Buttons for Lights
  • Buttons for Windshield Wipers
  • Glove Compartment

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Thanks to the sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less likely to live on the exterior of your Alfa Romeo. That being said, it's still important to disinfect the areas you touch most frequently, including door handles, handle buttons and the gas cap.

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Alfa Romeo model's interior surfaces, don't use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. These can damage the vinyl and plastics in your cabin. You should also avoid any ammonia-based cleaning products used to clean glass, as they can break down the vinyl on the dashboard. Heat and light may then cause your dashboard to become sticky.

Here at Herb Chambers Alfa Romeo of Boston, we want to do our part to help educate our clients and keep them safe and healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions about car care or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Greater Boston Alfa Romeo dealership.