Given the current situation, it’s vital that you sanitise your car to protect yourself and those around you from an invisible enemy. As the lockdown restrictions are lifted and cities across India see relaxations on movement, people are gradually bound to get behind the wheel.
While it isn’t advisable to step out just yet, do take out time to take necessary precautions by cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting your car to ensure all-around safety before hitting the road. But what’s the difference between these three? Ford India has shared some handy tips. Cleaning physically removes germs with soap and water but does not kill them. Sanitising lowers the number of germs and kills bacteria, and thus the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, further complementing the cleaning and sanitising.
What to Use?
Be sure to choose a disinfecting spray safe for your vehicle’s interior. Household cleaning products contain ingredients like bleach, acetone, chlorine, and ammonia, which will damage the interior materials and paint of your vehicle. To take disinfecting your vehicle to the next level, purchase a disinfectant germ fogger.
How to Use?
When cleaning using detailing products, do not spray directly onto surfaces like the dashboard. Spray products into a microfibre towel and then apply to the surface. While you’re at it, take the dirt from fabric seats and headliner with a quick vacuum. If you have access to a wet vacuum with shampoo it will garner better results. And don’t forget a quick wash of regularly-touched exterior surfaces, specifically door handles.
What About Leather?
Try the product of your choice – again, free of harmful ingredients like bleach, acetone, chlorine, and ammonia – at the rear portion of the steering wheel and wait for its effects to materialise. If there is no stain or any discolouration on the leather you can continue using the product. Much like using the detailing products, DO NOT spray onto the surface, but spray into a clean micro-fibre towel and gently apply the product.
You’re now ready to disinfect your vehicle. Hard surfaces like plastic buttons and knobs can be wiped down with a bleach-free disinfectant wipe or apply your disinfecting spray onto a microfibre cloth. Given how often you probably interact with your infotainment screen, be it an infotainment touchscreen or otherwise, opt for an electronic-specific non-toxic device-cleaning wipe.
Where to Use?
This list might seem extensive, but it’s by no means comprehensive. Anything you find yourself touching throughout your day should be wiped down, and a solid place to start is to think of the first thing you touch as you approach your vehicle, to the last thing you touch before getting out.
- Key/Key FOB
- Exterior Door Handle
- Interior Door Handle
- Lock and Unlock Buttons and Interior Door Release
- Seatbelt and Seatbelt Buckle. Also, include the release button
- Push-to-Start Button, or Ignition Area
- Rearview Mirror, and Automatic Side Mirror Buttons
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) Buttons
- Radio Buttons and Knobs or Infotainment Touchscreen
- Gear Selector
- Parking Brake Lever
- Steering Wheel and Wheel Mounted Buttons
- Signal and Wiper Stalk
- Headlights Knob
- Centre Console and Cup Holders
Other areas to disinfect
- Window Buttons
- Terrain Management System (TMS) Rotary Knob
- Glove Compartment Handle
- Tailgate/Hatch Release and Power Close Button
- Power Folding Third Row Buttons
- Fuel Cap
Once you have finished disinfecting the car, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap. In fact, this step-up in personal hygiene is a habit that should be continued even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over. If you own a Ford car and need any other assistance for service and maintenance, the Dial-A-Ford initiative can offer the convenience and safety you seek. All you have to do is dial 1800-419-3000 and schedule a servicing. A Ford technician will come to your home and pick up your car. Once serviced, the car will be dropped at your doorstep, and you can make an online payment, thus minimizing any contact.