Men Washing His Car


At Jenkins Kia of Ocala, we fully understand the concerns our customers have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Ocala, Florida, are wearing gloves and frequently using hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs while running errands. What you might forget, though, is that anything you buy that's touching the interior of your vehicle can transfer germs. 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?

The interior of your Kia is comprised of many different surfaces, like leather seats and plastic on the dash. You'll find that you'll have to use multiple tools to disinfect these various surfaces correctly. 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 vehicle, and wear gloves if you have them. 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. Also be sure to keep disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your vehicle at all times. This makes it so you can wipe down your interior frequently without having to make multiple trips to and from where your cleaning materials are usually stored.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Make sure to spot test the leather cleaner on a hidden area in your vehicle, so you can be sure that it's effective for this application. When you're cleaning, also make sure to use a microfiber cloth, as it will avoid scuffing and scratching the leather. Don't have leather cleaner? Mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own! If you have leather conditioner, use that after cleaning.

How to Disinfect Surfaces in My Car

The most important areas of your Kia 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. Dampen the surface you'd like to clean, then scrub it for 20-30 seconds. Don't forget to wipe down your steering wheel and dash, as you're likely to touch those more frequently. 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

Are There Disinfectants I Should Avoid Using in My Car?

If you want to avoid damaging your Kia 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.

Do I Need to Disinfect My Car's Exterior?

Sun and other weather elements make it difficult for germs to live on the outside of your vehicle for prolonged periods. That being said, it's still smart to disinfect areas you touch frequently on the exterior of your car. These areas include door handles, gas cap and handle buttons.

Here at Jenkins Kia of Ocala, we want to do our part to help educate our customers 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 Kia dealership in Ocala, Florida.

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