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

post by elityre · 2020-03-11T06:12:32.926Z · score: 15 (6 votes) · LW · GW · No comments

This is a question post.


    5 avturchin
    2 kithpendragon
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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,



answer by avturchin · 2020-03-11T12:49:56.025Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

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.

comment by elityre · 2020-03-14T19:38:50.580Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
put a lot of disinfectant on the floor

What kind of disinfectant?

I guess I could fill a pan with 99% isotropic alcohol, and just leave it in the car for a day, as the fumes fill the volume.

comment by avturchin · 2020-03-14T19:59:17.509Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Be careful starting the car after it - the fumes can be flamable!

comment by elityre · 2020-03-14T20:01:15.938Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ah yes, I would be sure to let the car ventilate, first.

answer by kithpendragon · 2020-03-13T00:16:38.530Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

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.

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