Doctors advise sanitizing your vehicle during COVID-19 pandemic

Doctors advise sanitizing your vehicle during COVID-19 pandemic
People are encouraged to sanitize their vehicles along with their homes. One Baton Rouge carwash company demonstrates its process for doing that. (Source: Carmen Poe/WAFB-TV)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Doctors at Baton Rouge General say while you’re busy sanitizing all the hotspots, don’t forget your car.

A quick trip to the car wash and the outside of vehicles look like they just rolled off the lot but what about the inside.

“I feel like it should be disinfected all the way around,” said Jana Joiner, a nurse.

The good thing for this nurse on the front lines is the workers at Benny’s Car Wash think so, too. Employees who are gloved and masked up bookend the interior detail service with disinfectant at the Benny’s Car Wash on Siegen Lane.

General manager Kevin Hunter said the cleaning process starts with driver’s blasting the air.

“We want it to circulate,” Hunter said. “We want it to go through the air conditioner. That way, any particles or virus in the air conditioner, we’re going to get a good chance to attack that.”

The spray disinfectant attacks any possible germs.

“We’re going to let the air conditioner do the work,” he added.

It takes about a minute for the chemical to work, Hunter noted. Then, cars roll through the normal cleaning routine. Cracks that the owners might forget to wipe are given a little elbow grease.

Nurse Joiner understands the need for extra cleaning measures. She doesn’t enter the house wearing her scrubs and uses hand sanitizer throughout the day.

“We’ve been trying to do what we can,” she said.

The whole cleaning process takes 10 to 12 minutes. But drivers can’t leave without the hotspots getting a second spray of cleaner.

"We’re going to hit the steering wheel again. You can imagine the steering wheel has got to be collecting a lot of not so nice things right now,” Hunter explained.

Anything the staff might have touched gets cleaned, even the key. It’s an upgrade from the regular car wash but some might agree it’s what we need to flatten the curve.

Baton Rouge General infection preventionist, Connie DeLeo, said when disinfecting routinely touched surfaces, don’t forget to disinfect car seats. Soapy water or a disinfectant can be used, she added.

DeLeo also said drivers can spray a cloth with a disinfectant. However, she offered a bit of advice before using.

"Remember to read the instructions on the back of the disinfectant,” she said.

She added that drivers should clean out their trunk.

“And then use that area to transport groceries and other household items. This way, you reduce the chance of contamination,” DeLeo explained.

If you don’t visit the car wash, experts at Baton Rouge General say clean out your trunk and only use it to transport groceries. This way, you can reduce the chance of contamination.

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