Every vehicle owner knows it’s best practice to wash their car’s exterior when it gets dirty and clean out the interior every so often. But is throwing out trash, vacuuming, and dusting your dashboard doing enough?
Some scientists say no. According to their research, bacteria in cars is extremely common and could even make drivers and their families sick. But exactly what bacteria is lurking in your vehicle’s interior?
How Dirty Is Your Car?
You may think that your car is sufficiently clean as long as there’s no visible dirt or grime in it. But that isn’t necessarily true. Researchers have found the average car contains more than 3,800 units of bacteria per square inch.
That number is 19 times greater than the number of bacteria commonly found on a toilet seat. So it may be time to pull out the Clorox wipes.
The Dangers of a Dirty Car
While the fact above is gross, it doesn’t directly mean your health is in danger. After all, there are all kinds of bacteria, including beneficial ones that live in our bodies. As such, the more important question is: Which strains of bacteria were found in your vehicle?
Bacillus cereus can be found in cup holders and children’s car seats; this bacterium is a common cause of food poisoning. E. coli and Staphylococcus may also be found in vehicle interiors. These bacteria can cause serious illness or even death if they go untreated.
Prevent Your Family From Getting Sick
Thankfully, preventing illness is relatively easy. All you have to do is take care of any bacteria that could be lurking in your vehicle. This means cleaning and sanitizing your car regularly. Cleaning your vehicle twice a month is a good habit for those without little kids; parents with young children might need to clean a bit more frequently.
Be sure to clean all the nooks and crannies in your car, such as the bottom of cupholders. Bacteria can thrive there and get on your hands when you take your drink out of the cupholder. Steam cleaning can be a great way to sanitize seats after a child or pet has an accident.
As a preventative measure, consider investing in neoprene truck seat covers. The high-quality truck seat covers from Fia are easy to clean and can reduce bacteria buildup on seats, meaning you won’t need to invest in a steam cleaner.
Learning what’s really in your car may be scary, but the good news is that you can protect yourself and your family’s health with something as simple as a package of sanitizing wipes.