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What is the best way to disinfect a (rental) car?

by elityre1 min read11th Mar 20205 comments


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I'm currently planning to rent a car and drive to another state.

I would like to disinfect that car as thoroughly as possible before spending 15 hours inside of it. Google gives me lots of suggestions for how to get rid of germs in a used car, but I'm hoping that I can get advice with better epistemic backing.

Does anyone have suggestions?

Thank you,


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2 Answers

Some ideas:

Rent a car a few days before the trip, and just let it stay (in a hot place).

Also, put a lot of disinfectant on the floor and close the car for a long time.

Spay all touchable surfaces anyway.

Drive in gloves and mask.

From what I've seen, SARS-COV-2 doesn't survive very long on cloth surfaces (a few hours, if I remember correctly), so you probably don't have to worry about the carpeting and seats. Picking up the vehicle as early as is practical and letting it sit in the sun (as avturchin suggested) will probably go a long way. Wipe down all the control surfaces with disinfectant wipes, for sure. If you're still concerned, I'd suggest some Lysol or some-such used per the bottle instructions. Just make sure to let that stuff air out before you need to use the vehicle; no point driving a super clean car if you can't breathe because of chemical fumes!

And wash your hands after using the vehicle anyway, just for good measure.