Disinfecting Short Term Vehicles for Use

  1. The vehicle is washed on the outside
  2. Windows washed and cleaned using glass cleaner.
  3. Interior is vacuumed.
  4. Once this is done, apply a disinfectant on all areas of the interior. A rule of thumb is that you should disinfect any surface that you may come in contact with. In our Santa Fe short term locations we use Champion spray disinfectant and in the Albuquerque motor pools we are using Lysol.
  5. We particularly focus on areas such as the shifter, steering wheel, stereo, seat belts, window switches, seat adjustment levers and switches, and door handles. These are wiped down with disinfectant wipes.
  6. Motor Pool is buying the supplies from C&C Distributing in Santa Fe.


Following are some tips from Auto Trader when it comes to disinfecting your vehicles:


How Long Can the Coronavirus Live on Car Surfaces?

Experts report that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive as long as 72 hours on the types of plastic and metal surfaces found in nearly every vehicle. Some experts suspect that survival of the virus is more robust on hard surfaces, like metal, than it is on softer surfaces, such as cloth or leather.


What Safely Disinfects Coronavirus in Your Car?

According to Consumer Reports, look for any solution containing at least 70% alcohol. It specifically identifies a mix of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water as a safe disinfectant for just about every surface in your car, whether plastics or imitation leather. The mixture is commonly sold as rubbing alcohol by most pharmacies as a disinfectant for cuts, scrapes and burns. If you can’t find rubbing alcohol, Consumer Reports [suggests applying soap and water with a microfiber cloth. If you have a leather interior, you should use a leather conditioner after washing it.


Which Coronavirus Disinfectants Will Damage Your Car’s Interior?

Many products commonly found on grocery store shelves will disinfect for COVID-19, but many of them will damage your car’s interior surfaces. Bleach and bleach-based products, for example, are effective disinfectants, but they’ll damage your car’s interior. Steer clear of any disinfectant containing hydrogen peroxide, too.

When Should You Disinfect Your Car for Coronavirus?


We suggest using common sense when disinfecting your car. You can obviously disinfect your car as often as you want. Triggers for taking on the task, though, should include an infected person being in the vehicle. A best practice would also be to disinfect your car before transporting someone extremely susceptible, such as an elderly relative, a baby or someone with immune system issues.


Which Surfaces Should You Disinfect for Coronavirus?

Disinfect any surface you might touch. That means pretty much everything. Begin on the driver’s-side door and work your way across the instrument panel to the center stack and the front passenger door. Wipe down every switch, knob and button. Don’t forget those power seat adjusters on the side of the front seats. If your car has manually operated front seats, wipe down any adjustment handles, even the ones under the seat. Pay special care to the steering wheel, shift knob, grab handles, air vents and center console. Remember the overhead console, too, as well as the switches for the reading lights, power moon roof and anything else overhead.

Repeat the same full coverage in the rear-seat areas.


What’s the Bottom Line?

A little common sense goes a long way. Every trip to the grocery store doesn’t have to trigger a major vehicle clean-up so long as driver and passengers sanitize their hands and follow other best practices laid out by WHO and the CDC.