When you’re a PCO driver, your car is effectively your office, so keeping it clean and tidy at all times is a must. Not only is this important for hygiene purposes, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for making a good impression on your passengers.
It has never been more important than in the age of Coronavirus to take extra care to clean your vehicle efficiently, and it will take more than just a sponge and bucket to get the job done. So if you’re looking to step up your cleanliness and do your part in combatting the pandemic, read on to learn the best ways to keep your car clean and safe to be in.
How to deep clean for COVID-19
To meet the Government’s guidelines around PCO car hygiene during the Coronavirus pandemic, you will need to conduct a deep clean of your vehicle at the start and end of every day, as well as between each journey you make. When completing a thorough cleaning, you should ensure you’re protected at all times — wear gloves and other protective clothing, and change out of these clothes when you can, washing them immediately.
This will require using either a chemical disinfectant spray or wipes to clean the high-contact surfaces of your car, including the steering wheel, handbrake, door handles and any card payment devices. If using a disinfectant spray, don’t apply it directly to surfaces, but instead use a soft, absorbent cloth to wipe all risk areas, such as cup holders, seatbelts and the radio dashboard. You can also use soap and water, for the same reasons that washing your hands is an effective measure against the virus. You should also provide hand sanitizer for your passengers, and use it yourself on an hourly basis.
How to clean your car’s interior
Do a general tidy-up
At the start and end of every day, and between each journey, be sure to check whether there has been any rubbish in your car by passengers. Carefully throw away any dry litter, and recycle packaging that’s been left behind.
Your dashboard can easily collect dust and debris, and is also dirtied by fingerprints. However, you can tackle this by cleaning it with specialist dashboard wipes, restorer pads and treatments. Look out for cleaners which are specifically designed for car interiors, and use them to give your car a quick dust. You should also be sure to clean your dashboard before vacuuming the interior of your car, otherwise all of the dust will fall onto a clean floor.
The mats and floor
The mats inside your car are likely to be covered in dirt and dust from passengers’ shoes over time, so be sure to remove them and shake them clean to get rid of any initial mess. If you come across stubborn stains on either your mats or floors, you’ll need to brush them out with interior carpet cleaner or stain odour remover. Hoover the mats and the rest of the car with a standard household vacuum cleaner, and be sure to use a variety of nozzles so you can be certain that you’ve got all of the nooks and crannies.
The ventilation system
Your car’s ventilation system can accumulate dust and dirt during use, and the moisture it collects can encourage mould and bacteria to grow. As a result, when heating or ventilating, and conditions are dry, all the collected debris is blown around inside your car, which is unhealthy to breathe in. To clean your vehicle’s ventilation system, close the air vents, turn the ignition on, and then turn the heater up as high as it goes. Then reopen the vents one at a time, which will blast the dust out. To remove any mould, spray a suitable disinfectant into each vent before turning the ignition on.
No passenger wants to sit on a filthy seat, so ensure any stains or marks are regularly removed. It may seem obvious, you will need to ensure that you use the correct cleaner for the material of your upholstery. For instance, a bespoke fabric cleaner for fabric seats, and a specialist leather product for leather.
It’s likely that your windows will be covered in fingerprints and even grease, so to get rid of this, use a specialised cleaning product for car glass. Spray this onto a soft cloth, and wipe the glass from the inside in a figure-eight movement.
How to clean your car’s exterior
The wheels of your car should be the first part of your car’s exterior that you work on, as this can prevent brake dust and dirty water from splashing the rest of your vehicle once it has been cleaned. Spray them with a suitable alloy cleaner, and leave the product to work its magic for the recommended time. Some wheel-cleaning products will change colour once all the dirt has broken down, so you’ll know when it’s time to rinse.
Rinse off as much dirt as possible using a pressure washer, hose or bucket, then get to work cleaning it with car shampoo. Don’t be tempted to use household washing up liquid or detergent, as they aren’t effective enough, and can damage your vehicle’s paintwork. Car shampoo not only removes stubborn dirt, but leaves it smelling great too. For a finishing touch, polish the paintwork with a specialised buffer and brush.
The longer you wait to clean your car’s windscreen and windows, the more likely they will be tainted with things like dead bugs and bird mess. Your windows can also get streaky as a result of washing your car’s framework. Use a car window cleaner to make them clear and shiny, and use tar remover to tackle tar and any other tough substances.
Stay safe on the roads and make sure that you adhere to all government guidelines.