Fall Road Trip! The Safer Way to Clean Your Car

Fall Road Trip! The Safer Way to Clean Your Car

Ken Arnswald |

Are you planning a fall road trip? Cooler weather often prompts people to head out on the road and see the sights in different areas. Doing so in a clean car can make the experience even better and keep you healthier throughout the trip. There are some simple things you can do to clean your car that won’t involve much time. Even more than that, we have some tips on how to safely clean your car so that you can enjoy the wide open road. People often think to thoroughly clean their homes for healthier living, but often forget the same for their cars.

How to Safely Clean Your Car

1 Simple Hack for the Car Wash

When you visit a car wash you probably assume that you are getting a quality cleaning of the outside of your car with minimal risk. While that might be true if you pay for a high end car wash that promises safe cleaning products, it is less likely in most common car washes. In fact, the drive-thru car wash can be a dangerous place to visit if you are concerned with the air your family breathes in the car. Here are a few things you should know about the car wash and one hack that will help you enjoy the car wash safely.

In most car washes, there are a lot of strong chemicals being used. Car washes are buying low-priced chemicals that will quickly clean the car. They are using aggressive chemistry to clean off the bugs and dirt off the car. Many of the solutions are caustic and can irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs. While they may wash off of the car, they are still impacting your health.

This is because these cleaners are being brought into your car through the air conditioning and car fan that you use. These air supplies pull from outdoor air in order to bring cool air into the car. The problem for this will come when you are bringing those chemicals into your car as well. When small children and animals are in the car, they are breathing in the chemicals. These chemicals can irritate the lungs.

There is a simple solution!

Turning off the air conditioning or fan while going through the car wash will greatly reduce the chemicals that are able to enter your car. This will give you the ability to utilize the car wash without the higher risks of some of these cleaning supplies. By turning off the fans or air conditioning you are utilizing only the air that is already in the car. Make the car wash a fun experience for kids while keeping it safer.

Did you know new car smell can be a bad thing?

When people buy a new car they often reminisce about the new car smell. There’s something about that smell that seems to bring people back to that new car purchase. However, that new car smell is actually not healthy for you or your family. New car smell is a combination of chemicals used to prepare the car for sale. Some of these chemicals include VOCs (volatile organic compounds), PVCs (polyvinyl chlorides), heavy metals, and flame retardant.

The smell many relate to a new car is actually part of a process called off gassing. This means that the chemicals in the newer vehicle are reacting to the heat and releasing into the car. Some have noticed a hard time cleaning inside of the windows on a new car. This is because those chemicals stick to the glass. When you are getting into a new car, you are getting in with all of those chemicals and they can bioaccumulate in your body.

You can help fix some of this!

While off gassing can be unhealthy, it can be treated in a way that will help make your car safer. One big way to help with safely off gassing your car is to open the windows and leave it in the sun. The heat will react with the chemicals and they can air out via the windows instead of staying in the car. You can also use the method of running the heat in the car and leaving the windows open to help with off gassing as long as you are supervising the car.

Taking the time to utilize some of these methods for off gassing safely can reduce the chemical impacts on your family exponentially.

Let’s talk about cleaning out the car!

Cleaning out the car can be an overwhelming task. There are countless chemical products on the market that promise to help clean your car the right way. Many of these promise a fresh smell that is sure to reinforce the fact that your car is clean. However, many of these products are actually leaving behind a chemical footprint that your family doesn’t want. When cleaning out your car, you want to opt for natural safe cleaners.

  • Carpets and Fabrics - Many cars are made up of fabric covered seats and carpet on the floors. Cleaning these can be overwhelming and many chemical cleaners can actually damage the carpets while exposing your family to unnecessary chemicals. Switch out carpet cleaners for a natural carpet cleaner that will safely clean these areas without the chemicals others might leave behind.

  • Hard Surfaces - Areas like the dashboard, door handles, and doors have hard surfaces that sometimes hold onto dust, dirt, and residue from day to day life. While it may be tempting to grab a chemical cleaner, it is important to remember that those chemicals will stay in the car long after you finish cleaning. Instead, you want to spray a cloth with a natural all-purpose cleaner. Then wipe down these areas safely without the same harmful residue.

  • Windows - When cleaning windows, stay away from cheap chemical cleaners. Instead, opt for a natural window cleaner. When cleaning windows, do so with the doors open so that the car has time to air out as you clean. Spray your towel with a natural cleaner and wipe down windows for a clear and safe clean you can be proud of.

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