Men Washing His Car

How to Clean Your Car for Coronavirus

At Mercedes-Benz of Boston, we fully understand the concerns our clients have about exposure to COVID-19, or coronavirus. Many people in Boston and across Massachusetts are taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of exposure to germs, including wearing masks and frequently using hand sanitizer. In addition, they're also wiping down items they purchase during their errands. What's easy to overlook, though, is that once those items are loaded into their vehicles, they're 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 model is comprised of many different materials, including but not limited to metal, plastic, leather and even carbon fiber in some cases. Because of this, you'll find that several tools are needed to properly sanitize your vehicle. 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 cleaning your vehicle, and be sure to wear disposable 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. If you have extra disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer to spare, keep some in your vehicle.

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. If you have cleaning and disinfecting products on hand that work specifically on vehicles, feel free to use them on your Mercedes-Benz. In the case that you don't have these products on hand, combining dish soap and water is the easiest and most convenient option that will work on a variety of surfaces. If you're using chemicals, make sure to test them on a hidden spot in your vehicle to ensure they work correctly. Don't know which chemicals you can or can't use? Read this article from Consumer Reports for more information.

When you’re cleaning, be sure to pay close attention to high-touch surfaces, including:

  • 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?

Thanks to the sun, wind, rain and other weather elements, germs are less likely to live on the exterior of your Mercedes-Benz. That being said, it's still smart to disinfect areas you touch frequently, including door handles, handle buttons and the gas cap.

bleach container

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.

Worker washing of interior leather seats

How to Clean Leather Seats in My Car

Wondering how to clean the leather seats in your Mercedes-Benz SUV or sedan? Make sure to only use leather cleaner and spot test it on a hidden area within your vehicle's interior to ensure it works properly on your seats. Also, use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching or scuffing the leather. If you don't have any leather cleaner, simply mix two parts vinegar with one part water to make your own solution. Afterward, apply leather conditioner to make your seats really shine.

Here at Mercedes-Benz of Boston, 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 Greater Boston Mercedes-Benz dealership.