18th Jun 2020 @ 1:06 pm

On Lanzarote, cars are frequently used by more than one person, and in the “new normality” hygiene will be paramount. If you’re handing a vehicle over to anyone who isn’t in your immediate household, you’re advised (and may be legally required) to disinfect it. Here’s how…

First published in Gazette Life, June 1st 2020.

Cars are, in many ways, the perfect transmission grounds for viruses. Once you’re sitting in one, any coughs and sneezes are likely to infect your own hands as well as any surfaces nearby. Meanwhile, you’re touching several parts of the car every minute, spreading those viruses around all over the place.

Use alcohol wipes or a soap and water solution to wipe down surfaces inside your car. Avoid ammonia, bleach and hydrogen peroxide, which can all damage vinyl finishes irrevocably. Do not underestimate soap – it is the most effective household agent against coronaviruses.

Wipe any areas that human hands typically touch. These include door handles , door latches, lock buttons, seat belts and buckles, gearsticks, window buttons, light and indicator switches, mirrors, radio and climate control buttons and more. Outside, clean inside door handles, boot locks and petrol caps.

Once you’re done, think about using disposable gloves when driving. The latex ones will provide more grip and safety than polythene ones. On Lanzarote, be careful where you keep hand sanitiser in your car, as the heat can make it react, causing unsightly spills

Masked Drivers

Social media has been full of people mocking drivers who wear facemasks while driving alone. However, the last laugh may be on them.

A sneeze in a car is likely to infect pretty much anything in sight with whatever you’re carrying. A mask won’t stop that, but it will cut it down considerably.

More importantly, official guidelines advise people to touch their masks as little as possible once they’ve put them on. Ideally, you should wash your hands before donning the mask, wash them again before removing it, then discard or wash the mask.

Soap and water isn’t an option in most vehicles so, unless you’ve got hand sanitiser in your car, you’re taking a risk by putting your mask on in your car. For professional or non-professional drivers who may have to make several stops to visit shops, businesses, friends and clients, permanent mask use is the only sensible approach