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How clean is YOUR car?Back

DirtyCarA new report issued this week describes how car interiors can act as ‘breeding grounds’ for micro-organism and bacteria, including E coli and Bacillus cereus – nasty.

The new research commissioned by Confused.com found that the nation’s cars are in fact a “breeding ground for bugs and dangerous bacteria”.

Microbiologists from Nottingham University took swabs from steering wheels, foot wells and seats and put them on agar plates to see what grew. The results were quite grim. Furthermore, other studies of a similar nature have found that there is between 283 and 700 bacteria per sq cm in the average car as opposed to 500 on a public toilet.

So, what can we do to prevent the spread of bacteria from our cars? Trusted Dealers lists a few top tips on how to keep your car clean below.

Be mindful of your kids

A study by Charles P Gerba, a celebrity microbiologist, found that greater numbers of bacteria were found in cars carrying children. Children can be extremely messy and will tend to drop food and drink all over your car if you let them. Try to encourage a ban on eating and drinking within the car unless absolutely necessary. If you know your child is prone to car sickness, take the necessary precautions before your journey to try to prevent the worst from happening.

Don’t eat or drink

Spillages provide food for bacteria, and it’s not just children who cause them. A survey by microbiologists at Aston University in Birmingham concluded that 70% of drivers eat or drink in their cars. The solution is to avoid drinking or eating whilst on the road, or if you absolutely have to, make sure you have antibacterial wipes handy for any unwanted spillages

Check your shoes

Bacillus cereus is a bacteria that is brought in with the soil on shoes or on pets’ feet, so check your shoes and those of your canine passengers before entering the car, and get into the habit of knocking your shoes to get any excess mud or dirt off them first. This is particularly important during the winter months when mud and grime and more prevalent.

Regularly clean

It goes without saying that a car’s interior that is regularly cleaned will stand in better stead against bugs than a dirty neglected one. The Confused.com research found that only 16% of parents clean the interior of their cars weekly, and only 9% of those without children. But cleaning a car regularly should not just be done to avoid ill health – your car will start to lose value if neglected for too long too.

Keep a waste bag

Make sure you store a bag in your car at all times for waste to be put into. Hang it over the back of a seat or in the middle foot well, and make sure your kids learn to drop things into it rather than throw them on the floor.

Be organised

Keep the clutter within the car to a minimum – invest in a back seat organiser for the kids to keep toys, books and car games in, and at the end of every journey, ask occupants to have a quick tidy up. Encourage passengers to take any litter with them out of the car and put immediately in the bin rather than stash it in the car to go mouldy and harbour bacteria.

Invest in odour eaters

If your car does smell, and you have little time to stay on top of the cleaning, there are things you can do to help prevent bacteria. Invest in freshening sprays and odour eaters that can simply be sprayed around the car after a journey – it takes a matter of seconds but could prevent a lot of embarrassment and worse still some unwanted tummy bugs.

Posted by Leana Kell on 14/08/2015