It has recently been discovered the coronavirus (COVID-19) can live on some surfaces for several hours or even days. Research completed by The New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus remained detectable for up to three hours in the air, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel.

Most car interiors have plastic! It is important to get rid of the virus from these surfaces so that you don’t get it or pass it on to anyone else. Your seats, steering wheel, radio controls, door handles, cup holders and payment equipment are high contact areas and can easily be cleaned to stop the spread of COVID-19.

What to clean?

  • Door handles (internal and external)
  • Internal handles above doors and grab handles
  • Seats and seatbelts
  • Head rests
  • Window controls
  • Payment terminals
  • Boot lid
  • Steering wheel
  • Dashboard
  • Control buttons
  • Gear stick
  • Cup holders
  • Centre console

What products can be used?

Surface disinfection has been shown to be effective for preventing secondary transmission.

  • Soap and water: Soap breaks down the fats in the virus shell and lifts the virus from surfaces, this can then be rinsed with water
  • Bleach: The active ingredient in bleach – sodium hypochlorite – is very effective at killing the virus. Bleach works bu destroying the proteins and ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the virus – this is the substance that enables the virus to reproduce more particles when you become infected
  • Surgical spirit: This is mostly made up of ethanol which has been shown to kill coronaviruses. Like bleach, ethanol destroys the protein and RNA the virus is made of
  • Surface wipes: The active ingredient in surface wipes is an antiseptic – usually benzalkonium chloride. They work by physically removing germs by the germs attaching to the wipe.
  • Hand sanitisers: The main ingredient in hand sanitisers that kills the virus is ethanol, the same as surgical spirit. However, the concentration of the hand sanitiser has to be over 70% for it to work effectively

Transport for New South Wales and the Point to Point Transport Commissioner have created a video guide on how sanitisation stations are being implemented to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19.

Larry Kosilla from Ammo NYC in America has compiled the current cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting recommendations from a number of health organisations in the video below. In the video, he applied the recommendations to show how to safely clean car interiors without ruining the materials in the process.