Detailing care helps keep out germs

The interior of most cars is made up of a number of different materials and because of that it is important to use the right products and techniques to disinfect a vehicle properly. Metro News Service photo
The interior of most cars is made up of a number of different materials and because of that it is important to use the right products and techniques to disinfect a vehicle properly. Metro News Service photo

With the spread of COVID-19 being the concern of all Americans, people are more cognizant of washing their hands and sanitizing surfaces in their homes and work places. Keeping cars clean can be just as important.

The number of surfaces in a car or truck that get touched on even the shortest of trips is staggering. Door handles inside and out, control knobs and buttons, the touch screen, even directional and wiper control stalks are touched almost every time a person uses their vehicle.

According to Consumer Reports the interior of most cars is made up of a number of different materials and because of that it is important to use the right products and techniques to disinfect a vehicle properly.

A good way to do that is to have your car detailed on a regular basis.

Regan Williams, owner and operator of Details Etc. in Napoleon, Ohio, says he recommends a vehicle should be detailed at least once a year. He also said cleaning your vehicle during the pandemic is vital.

“I read an article recently that the dirtiest parts of your car are the cup holders, door handles and steering wheel, and that’s true,” said Williams. “That is where a lot of bacteria and germs are located.”

Consumer Reports recommends focusing on disinfecting these vehicle hot spots: your steering wheel, door handles, your car’s shifter, window and control buttons, wiper and turn-signal stalks, door armrests, grab handles and seat adjusters. They also recommend using alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol to be effective at killing the coronavirus.

Williams said he uses cleaners and de-greasers that meet these standards, but are not too strong or abrasive.

Details Etc. works on all makes of cars and trucks, he said. He can also get out most small scratches. Dings and dents he can get out, but by appointment only. Tears in the fabric of the upholstery of the vehicle he sends out to another company to do the work.

“Usually if it is not bigger than your fingernail, we can rub and buff it out,” said Williams, who has been doing detail work on cars and trucks for 20 years.

Along with cleaning the car’s outside and inside, Details Etc. can get rotten odors out of vehicles, including cigarette smoke. Williams said he uses a charcoal ventilator and runs it through the car’s vents to air out the vehicle.

A clean vehicle can help with resale, but during the pandemic that encapsulates the world it is even more important to keep cars and trucks clean for safety reasons.

“I would recommend, with all the germs and viruses (going around), to keep your car cleaned,” said Williams. “Don’t let stuff collect in your car, keep a garbage bag in it and empty it out regularly.”