Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Mercedes-Benz of Natick, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Natick and beyond are frequently using hand sanitizer, wearing masks and cleaning items they purchase on their errands to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once those items are loaded into their vehicle, they are then touching interior surfaces. 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?

Your Mercedes-Benz is comprised of a wide variety of different surfaces, like leather on your seats, plastic on the dash and even carbon fiber in some instances. You'll find that to properly clean 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?

Wash your hands before sanitizing your Mercedes-Benz. And if you have them, it's a good idea to 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. Keep disinfectant wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer in your vehicle at all times, as this will help you clean areas you touch regularly.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Before using any type of leather cleaner on the seats in your Mercedes-Benz, make sure to spot test it on a hidden area to ensure it works properly. It's smart to always use a microfiber cloth when cleaning leather, too, as it prevents scratching or scuffing of the material. Don't have leather cleaner? You can mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own solution. Afterward, apply leather conditioner if possible.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Mercedes-Benz 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 perfectly well for this application. Just dampen the surface of whatever you'd like to clean, then scrub for 20-30 seconds. Make sure to pay attention to high-touch surfaces, including, but not limited to, the dash and steering wheel. 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?

Germs are less likely to thrive on the exterior of your Mercedes-Benz thanks to the sun and other weather elements. That doesn't mean you should skip over it when cleaning your vehicle, though. Sanitize the surfaces 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 Mercedes-Benz 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 Mercedes-Benz of Natick, 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 Mercedes-Benz dealership in Natick, Massachusetts.

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