Is my car making me sick?

For busy parents, cars are full of kids and groceries most all of the time and with meals and snacks, toys, clothes and sport equipment. Yet within all this hustle and bustle of activity, your car can also be transporting illness-causing bacteria like diarrhea-causing E.coli, Enterobacteria (feces), Serratia (vomit), and Aspergillus niger, the mold that exacerbates asthma. I’ll explain which areas of your car are hot spots for some illness causing pathogens, and exactly how to keep your car safe for you and your most precious cargo, you’re kids.

Germ Hot Spot #1: 
Car Mats. Your shoes track in a variety of germs from the ground. These germs bury themselves into the fibers of the floor mat. Every time you touch the steering wheel, gear shift, or any other common area you risk contaminating yourself.

Safe Solution:
Replace floor mats with rubber, removable car mats. This style of floor mat is easy to take out of your car and cleanse with soap and water. I recommended Weather-tech floor mats.

Germ Hot Spot #2: 
Driver’s Seat (including the steering wheel and interior door handles.) Your steering wheel becomes a hot bed for anything that’s on your hands. Every time you eat or drink in the car, your fingers touch food and the steering wheel, gear shift, and door handle’s therefore directly exposing you to bacteria.

Safe Solution:
Regularly wipe off the wheel and seat area using anti-bacterial wipes or a foaming car cleaner, which can be found at any local auto parts store or have your car Detailed (at least the interior) periodically insuring everything inside the car is cleaned and sanitized. I can handle this for you schedule you’re appointment.

Germ Hot Spot #3:
Between the Seats. Kids (and adults) can drop food in between the seats, which can burrow into the cracks and crevices. This dark enclosed area becomes the perfect environment for producing and growing germs.

Safe Solution: 
Keep a small trash bag in the car to help cut down on food debris. Additionally, clean your car once a week with a vacuum upholstery attachment to reach into the cracks and crevices.

Germ Hot Spot #4: 
Air Vents. When the humidity is high, particularly in the summer heat here in Oklahoma, water condensation can accumulate in the air vents allowing bacteria to spawn and grow.

Safe Solution: 
Eliminate the water condensation by using a long brush with a cloth around it that can reach into the vent to clean out spores. You can also kill bacteria by turning the heat on for approx 10 minutes and having your cabin filter changed every year.

Most experts recommend you have your car detailed every four to six months, which equates to 2-3 times a year. However that’s just a rule of thumb, and your detailing frequency should depend on both your car and the type of person you are. Obviously, the more often you have your car detailed, the better condition your car will be in and the higher the resale value will stay.