How To Keep Your Car Clean? - Best Routine
You can choose to do the cleaning yourself or take your car to an automatic car wash. Whatever you decide, the key to ensuring a germ-free car is to ensure that you keep your car clean as often as possible.
According to a study conducted by CarRentals.com, there are over 700 different types of bacteria in your car at any given time. This is in addition to all the dust, debris, car fumes and other pollutants that your car picks up every time you take a drive. The results from the CarRentals.com study indicate that your car could actually be dirtier than a public toilet. This is especially true if you don't keep your car clean on a regular basis.
Dirty car interiors have been shown to contain some of the most dangerous strains of bacteria including staphylococcus, a bacteria known to cause skin infections, food poisoning and MRSA, a bacterial infection that is resistant to regular antibiotics.
What Are The Dirtiest Parts of Your Car?
The dirtiest parts of your car are, in no particular order: the radio knob, steering wheel, seatbelts, cup holders and door handles.
The study by CarRentals.com found that steering wheels have 629 Colony Forming Units (CFUs), cup holders have 506, seatbelts have 403 while inside door handles have 256. CFU's refer to the number of live microorganisms in a sample.
You also expose yourself and your family to various types of molds if you don't keep your car clean.
Dangers of A Dirty Car
With 32% of people surveyed cleaning their cars only once a year and a further 12% not cleaning them at all, it is small wonder that many people have reported health problems such as allergies, salmonella and serious bacterial infections.
In addition to the health problems mentioned above, you put yourself at risk for the following dangers if you do not keep your car clean:
- Throat and eye irritation from mold in your AC vents
You expose yourself and your family to various types of molds if you don't keep your car clean.
Your AC performs the function of keeping the temperature in your car regulated. However, it can sometimes act as a disease agent, especially if you do not keep your car clean. Mold loves a warm and moist environment and will grow prolifically in any area that does not receive regular cleaning. Unfortunately, this means that every time you turn your AC on, you will be blasting millions of spores into your car's interior.
- Compromised immune system
Constant exposure to high levels of bacteria and mold means that you will keep coming down with different types of ailments. If this happens over a long period of time, your immune system could become compromised, making you even more susceptible to disease.
- General misery
If you do not keep your car clean, you can expect to feel miserable every time you travel in it. This is due to the health problems that arise when your car has high levels of bacteria, mold and other toxic substances. Many car owners complain of feeling nauseated, lethargic and fatigued every time they use their cars. Cleaning your car at least once a month should help you avoid these problems and ensure that you have a comfortable ride every time you have to use your car.
How To Keep Your Car Clean? - Best Routine
Keeping your car clean requires more than the hose down you give it once a month. Changing up your car cleaning game is especially important if you are already experiencing the negative side effects of a car interior that is full of germs.
You should at the very least put your car through an intensive cleaning session at your local car wash and wipe surfaces and interiors every fortnight. Below is a comprehensive guide to cleaning your car in order to ensure that it looks pristine and remains germ free.
 Keep Your Car Clean At Home
It is quite possible to clean your car at home, as long as you ensure that you put it through a deep clean at the car wash at least once a month. Below are the steps you need to follow in order to ensure a thorough cleaning process at home:
- Choose the right location
Cleaning your car is a pretty water intensive affair and you need to ensure that you do it in a place that allows water to drain off without leaving puddles or getting into living spaces.
You will also need to choose a location away from trees and other vegetation as falling leaves, flowers and others can undermine your cleaning efforts.
Select a part of your home or apartment block without many people moving about to avoid falls and prevent people from tacking water and mud into the house.
Finally, clean your car near a tap and use a high-pressure nozzle that will wash off dirt and soap.
- Gather your supplies
Put together the supplies you need for a thorough cleaning job in advance so that you do not have to keep going up and down looking for them.
Essential supplies for an efficient car home cleaning include:
- Car shampoo or other car cleaning solution. Avoid general house cleaner as this can strip the sheen on your car paint and even damage it.
- Hose with high pressure nozzle.
- Washing mitts.
- Tire shine and car wax.
- Dash duster.
- Microfiber towels.
You may need to add more items depending on how dirty your car is or how thorough of a clean your intent to give it.
If your car is too dirty to wash at home or you lack the time and supplies, take it to the car wash
- Set enough time aside
A comprehensive home car clean will take at least two hours so you need to ensure that you set enough time aside to complete the process. Ideally, you should choose a time when you have no work or family distractions such as a Saturday morning or other time during the weekend.
- Clean your car
Once you have gathered your supplies and set time aside for the clean. It is now time to start the process. Follow the steps below to keep your car clean at home like a pro:
A. Clean the exterior: by pre-rinsing, wash the wheels, clean the body and wash the windows. When you are done cleaning, use your microfiber cloths to dry the exterior. Finally wax the body and shine the wheels to your preference.
B. Detail the interior: This process is a bit more involving than cleaning the exterior but if you do it properly, you should end up with a fresh smelling, clean and germ-free interior. Detailing your interior involves the following:
- Clean the inside of doors and wipe your steering wheel, door handles, air vents and others.
- Clean your seats with an upholstery or leather cleaner depending on the materials they are made from. You can also use a small hoover to suck dust and debris out from inside the seats.
- Remove floor mats and shake them to get rid of dust. Wash them if they are extremely dirty.
- Use a carpet cleaner to wash the carpet in your car. Leave your doors and windows open to allow the carpet to dry completely.
- Clean window interiors.
- Spray a car deodorizer in your favorite scent to wind everything up.
- Ensure that mats and other interior components you may have removed and washed are completely dry before you replace them.
 Take Your Car To The Car Wash
Sometimes your car is too dirty to wash at home or you may lack the time and supplies to do it yourself. If this is the case, then taking it to the car wash Is the best option to keep your car clean. Automatic car washes have several advantages over hand washing. These include:
- Automatic car washes take 15-20 minutes, making them ideal for people who are short on time.
- An automatic car wash can result in a deeper clean and better interior detailing. This is because it uses advanced tools and cleaning materials in order to reach even the most concealed areas in your car.
- If you are keen on doing your part for the environment, then you should definitely go for an automatic car wash. This is because many of them use environmentally friendly cleaning materials and recycled water to clean your car. In addition, they use high pressure water systems, resulting in efficient cleaning and water savings.
- An automatic car wash is gentler on your car's exterior and protects your finish by using brushless methods that have minimum impact on your paint and other car surfaces.
- The main disadvantage of automatic car washes is that they leave water spots on your exterior, which can make it look unsightly, especially if you have a special event to attend.
- Automatic cash washes can be more expensive because they use specialized machines and cleaning materials in order to give your car the deep cleaning it needs.
Unless you want to carry out lab experiments using the germs in your car, you need to keep your car clean and free of germs as often as possible. High levels of bacteria and mold in cars have been linked to serious disease and you need to ensure that you keep yourself and your family safe by cleaning your car on a regular basis.