South Africa is facing a national emergency, the novel COVID-19/Corona Virus has infected over seventy+ people, it’s an exponential mathematical equation: for every one person infected with COVD-19, they will infect two more, between those two – four more people will be infected. Within a few days, a total of seven people are infected. So, if you never had an excuse to clean-out your car before – perhaps a deadly pandemic is just the motivation. Your vehicles cabin interior is one of the most pathogen infested hot-zones you visit everyday. Whether you drive a Rolls-Royce or a Ford Fiesta – here are three of the unobvious dirtiest places in your car.

  1. The Boot

Most drivers will clear-out the mess they can see: chip packets, sweety wrappers, take-away containers, cool-drink cans and plastic water bottles. But what about, for example, the smelly rugby socks, the hair-bundled hair-brush or the sweaty stained gym towel that’s lying in your boot – for two weeks – or the water condensation caused by frozen foods we buy every week at the super market. Dark, hot and damp – your boot is an incubation chamber for fungus, mold and bacteria. Unless you are sleeping in your boot, you are not at risk of inhaling any of these pathogens – however, reach for that grubby gym towel in haste, to wipe your hands and face – you risk exposure to millions of microbe causing illnesses, from Ringworm to Pink Eye.

  • Floor Mats and Foot-well

Floor mats are no doubt one of the dirtiest places inside your car, gathering millions of germs transferred from the under-sole of your shoes, stray hairs, animal fur, food crumbs, and copious amounts of dust. Walking back to your car, across a busy parking lot, perhaps you didn’t see the trickle of sewage water you stepped in, no cause for alarm but millions of germs called E.coli have clung to the heel of your shoe – following you into your living-room, kitchen and finally into your bedroom as you toss them into your cupboard.

  • Safety Belts

Just like your steering-wheel and gear-shift – whatever or whoever your hands have come into contact with is transferred onto your safety belt – along with your passengers/passenger seat-belts. Moreover, how many people focus on cleaning their safety-belts – even when you take your car to the car wash. There is no shampoo or washable detergent to clean safety-belts albeit harbouring body-oils from hands and even food stains. Moist sweaty hands are the biggest culprit, moisture increases the growth of bacteria, and in some rare instances the build-up of mildew.

With the mass hysteria circulating due to COVID-19/Corona Virus – South Africans have become more hygienic conscious and sanitary than ever before. But ignorance still prevails. Should we not already be washing our hands before every meal, after we have used the bathroom or attended a public place. Hand-sanitiser and every disinfectant known to man is practically sold-out in the shops. Good hygiene practices should be the norm and part of our daily routine. If sanitary and hygiene care is the main focus at this point, because of Corona Virus, what were people doing before the virus hit South Africa? 

Written by Dean Joseph