Men Washing His Car

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Car
Tips On How to Keep Your Car Clean

At Herb Chambers Lexus of Hingham, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. To reduce exposure to airborne germs outside of their homes, many people in Hingham are wearing masks and frequently using hand sanitizer. In addition, they are sanitizing items they purchase while running errands. What's easy to overlook, though, is that those purchased items are still touching the interior of their vehicle when they 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?

Every Lexus is comprised of different materials, including leather, metal, plastic and even carbon fiber in some cases. You'll find that when cleaning these various surfaces that several tools are required to properly sanitize them all. 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 sanitizing your Lexus. 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. If you have enough disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, leave both inside your vehicle. This will help you save time in the future.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Before using any type of leather cleaner, it's a smart practice to test it on a hidden area in your vehicle. This will help you ensure it works properly on your seats. Also, always use a microfiber cloth on leather, as it prevents scratching and scuffing of the material. Don't have leather cleaner? Simply mix one part water with two parts vinegar to make your own. If you have leather conditioner, make sure to apply it after cleaning is finished.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Lexus 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. Only have dish soap handy? That works perfectly well for this application. First, dampen the surface of what you want to clean. Second, scrub for 20-30 seconds. Pay close attention to high-touch areas within your Lexus interior, including 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?

Due to the sun and other weather elements, germs are less likely to thrive on the exterior of your Lexus. That doesn't mean you should skip over it when cleaning your vehicle, though. Make sure to sanitize high-touch areas, 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 Lexus 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 Lexus of Hingham, 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 Lexus dealership in Hingham, MA.