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You already know that, in the current situation, it is best to stay home and not go out. But you may have to take the car to go to work or to shop. Or you may have to share it with other people, starting with your family. So, although a priori being inside a car will limit the risk of getting infected, you should not let your guard down. You can upload someone who has the virus or you can introduce it without realizing it, for example, after going to the gas station. And it is not about creating alarm, but about following a few basic rules that, surely, you already keep in another order of things. The Czech brand Skoda has made a rather interesting decalogue in this regard and we will summarize it for you here.
It is important, apart from personal hygiene and minimizing contact with others, to disinfect all the parts that are touched regularly, both before and after the trip. All the more reason if we share the car. Many of those areas are obvious: steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake, door handles and armrests, radio and air conditioning controls, multifunction screen if that is the case ... but don't forget the reeds that They activate the turn signals, the cleaner or functions such as cruise control. And all those other buttons, more and more scattered all over the dashboard, behind the wheel or on the roof. In addition, it disinfects the armrests and glove box covers, the seat adjustment controls, the door frames and the external handles for the doors and the boot. The latter is very important for taxi drivers and other professionals who transport travelers.
What products should we use?
In principle, the disinfectant you use is enough to clean your hands. But organizations like Consumer Reports remember that other products such as alcohol solutions with at least 70% of this element can serve. In fact, isopropyl alcohol does not harm the main surfaces of your car and is what manufacturers and their subcontractors use to disinfect parts. These products also serve for upholstery and other soft surfaces of the car, but it is advisable not to soak them or rub intensively in the case of leather, as we can discolor it . Just in case, when it comes to skin, treat them later with products that nourish and protect it. Hydrogen peroxide and ammonium-containing products are not suitable for automotive touchscreens. Microfiber cloths are ideal for cleaning all surfaces and for all cleaning methods.
When you go to refuel
Sooner or later you will have to go fill up on gasoline. Minimize contact with service station personnel and if you can, go to a self-service station. Wear gloves and if you don't wear them, wash your hands after refueling with the disinfecting liquid that you should have a boat with in the car. And when it comes to paying, better with a contactless card or with mobile applications that allow you to do it from the same refueling post, so you don't even have to enter the store . Of course, always fill the tank, whatever the price is: you will have to go fewer times.
If you have to share a car
First, make sure that your travel is collected within the assumptions allowed to travel with other people. You risk a fine of between 300 and 1,000 euros. If you are in one of the authorized cases, the first thing is to get in the car as far away from each other as possible. For example, the second person placed in the back seat and diagonally with the driver. The ideal is that, in addition, both of them wear masks. The effectiveness of these is not always the same. The simplest ones prevent you from infecting others and do not protect you as much, but something is something. For complete protection, you need at least FFP3 class respirators. In any case, check if your car has a first aid kit. In some European countries, face masks were a mandatory part of it; in some countries they still are.
Now you only have to ventilate the car thoroughly after cleaning it. And do not say that it is a pain in the ass, you will have plenty of time to do it. That ventilation, they recall in Skoda, is linked to the cleanliness of the air conditioning. Since you will not be able to take it to a workshop for them to do it, you can buy specialized aerosols for this task at the gas station or on the internet. They are not as effective as professional cleaning and a disinfection spray may not remove the coronavirus, but having a cleaner heating and air conditioning system means less risk of the virus sticking to it.
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