We are surrounded by germs. Aston University in Britain reminds us of this point in a recent report that concluded the interior of your car is a playground for germs. The report found that a typical car is heavy contaminated with up to nearly 300 different types of bacteria in every square centimeter. The gear shift and trunk were the most contaminated locations.
The study makes intuitive sense to me. When I was a youngster I had a terrible habit of getting carsick in the family car. My wife and I transport our dogs in our car, who are now in charge of getting carsick. We eat in our cars. We litter in our cars. Sometimes we sleep in our cars. We transport armies of children to various events in our cars. And, if you are like me, we only occasionally vacuum our cars so it shouldn’t be a surprise the interior of our cars are heavily contaminated with bacteria.
Germs are indeed everywhere. Many of them are not harmful to humans and some are even beneficial to our survival. However, some bacteria can serious health problems, so sitting in a germ-infested car is not the best idea. My takeaway from the report is that routine cleaning of my car’s interior is important to my health.
GreenCar.com offers a few eco-cleaning tips that will help with the germs:
1. Regularly vacuum and dust your car. Use cotton swabs to get those hard to reach places. This will reduce your need for deep cleaning with potentially toxic cleaning solvents.
2. Replace air filters regularly, particularly if your car has an interior cabin air filter.
3. Use an eco-friendly cleaning product for deeper cleaning when needed. According to GreenCar.com, Eco Touch brand cleaners are specifically designed for car interiors. They are soy- and coconut-based and do not contain toxic chemicals like phthalates and volatile organic compounds found in many home cleaning products. The material safety data sheet for Eco Touch Dashboard + Trim and Eco Touch Carpet + Upholstery backs up this statement.
Routine car cleaning today to keep the germs away!
Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of CRO Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppies.