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How to wipe out germs hiding inside your car

Your car could be a breeding ground for unpleasant viruses and bacteria, writes Geraldine Herbert

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Deep clean: Pearse Conachy from SEAT Dunleer gets to work

Deep clean: Pearse Conachy from SEAT Dunleer gets to work

Deep clean: Pearse Conachy from SEAT Dunleer gets to work

We all now know how to wash our hands properly while singing Happy Birthday twice, but are we aware of the hidden dangers lurking in our cars? Here are just a few things to consider to help limit the spread of germs.

- Germs are not only likely to be lurking in footwells, air vents and armrests but recent research found that Staphylococcus was found in abundance on steering wheels and driver seats, car mats, gear stick and door handles. It is estimated that a virus could remain on door handles for many days.

- Car boots can contain thousands of  bacteria, including Bacillus cereus - one of the major causes of food poisoning.

- While we all love our pets, transporting them in your car can mean all sorts of germs may be festering inside your car and boot.

- Remember germs and dirt don't have to be visible to be harmful - touch-screens are ideal surfaces for bacteria  and viruses. 

So what can you do?

Disinfectant spray - clean the dashboard, armrests, steering wheel, door frames and exterior door handles. You can buy sprays and disinfectant wipes specifically designed for car interiors but you don't need a speciality product, as regular household sprays are also effective.

Floor mats - remove, shake out and vacuum the floor mats. Treat spills and stains with a carpet cleaner; they are usually simple to apply and you just wipe away with a damp cloth.

Air-conditioning - over time your air-conditioner becomes a breeding ground for germs so it's important to clean and replace filters within the recommended service intervals.

Pets - if you carry a dog or other pet in the car, invest in washable seat covers to control the number of germs they carry into your car.

Fuel pumps - take extra care when filling your car and always wear protective, disposable gloves or keep a hand-sanitiser in your car. One SEAT dealership is using the O3 Sanity system which removes bacteria, mould and viruses from car interiors.

Pearse Conachy from Conachy's SEAT Garage,  Dunleer, Co Louth is offering this service free to front line staff in the North East.

For more details contact (041 6851726) 

Sunday Independent