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Vehicle Cleaning/Sanitizing Guidelines

These Vehicle Cleaning and Sanitizing Guidelines were published by GSA and disbursed to Civil Air Patrol Wings by National Headquarters

GSA Fleet Vehicle Cleaning & Disinfecting Guidance for COVID-19
Updated on April 6, 2020
GSA Fleet values the health and safety of our customers, employees, and communities. GSA
leadership wants to assure you that we are here to support you and will continue to do so during this
evolving situation. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 developments and have taken precautions to
safeguard our customers and employees.


A question frequently asked is how to appropriately clean vehicles. The response below is a summary
of information gathered from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization
(WHO), Consumer Reports, and Original Equipment Manufacturers.


We encourage all drivers to take additional precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. The CDC and
the WHO emphasize how important it is to frequently wash one's hands and to regularly clean and
disinfect frequently touched surfaces in order to prevent COVID-19 spread. We recognize that vehicles
represent a special challenge as they are most often used as shared resources. As with all other
surfaces you come into contact with, it is impossible to be positive that COVID19 is not present and the
potential for COVID19 exposure exists after each use.
Therefore, we believe it is in your best interest to frequently clean the vehicles you are using;
especially after the vehicle has left your custody for use by others, for oil changes, for maintenance
activities or other events.
What to Do:
● Sanitize frequently touched vehicle surfaces on a regular basis. (Added by ILWG LGT all drivers should sanitize COV before and after using. Don't assume that the previous driver followed these guidelines)
Be mindful of the cleaning / disinfecting agents used on vehicles to avoid inadvertently
damaging the interior or exterior.

○ Many of the same household cleaners (such as non-bleach, unscented, non-
chlorinated disinfectant cleaners and wipes) that kill coronaviruses on hard surfaces at home can also clean most car interiors without causing damage.
Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against
coronavirus, according to the CDC. Nearly every interior surface of a vehicle can be
cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. (Added by ILWG LGT recommends non-bleach sanitizing wipes or hot soap and water. Do not go shopping for cleaning supplies during the Illinois Govenor's stay at home directive.)
○ Vigorous washing with soap and water can also destroy a coronavirus. Soap and water
are safe for most car interiors. Be careful not to saturate the surfaces.
● Consult the cleaning directions provided in the Vehicle Owners’ Manual.
● Follow the cleaning agent manufacturer’s product label guidance for the recommended
disinfecting procedure, as guidance varies by cleaning product. Read all instructions and
precautions of the materials being utilized and follow all safety recommendations when utilizing
cleaning products to ensure personal safety.
● When using wipes, remove excess liquid before wiping surfaces, especially electrical
components and touch screens.
● Test selected cleaning agent in an inconspicuous location.

2

What to Avoid:
Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the inside of your car.
Don’t use scented wipes or wipes containing bleach.
● Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens or dashboards, as they can damage
anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
● Never combine cleaning chemicals as doing so may lead to toxicity.


 Vehicle High Touch Areas:
● Car keys and fobs
● Door handles, door latches and lock buttons
● Steering wheel
● Shift lever
● Any buttons or touch screens (radios, mirror adjusters, climate controls, etc)
● Wiper and turn signal stalks
● Center console and cup holders
● Driver and passenger armrests and seat belts, grab handles, and seat adjusters
● Headrests and seat pockets
Other Suggestions:
● Wash your hands before and after driving.
● Wear gloves when possible outside of your vehicle, especially when fueling. Pumps, keypads
and other surfaces are frequently touched and may not have been sanitized.
● When possible use contactless payment methods to avoid touching keypads or pens.
● Consider using your knuckles rather than fingertips to touch common use contact areas.
Compared to fingertips, knuckles will generally have less contact with other things throughout
the day.
When finished driving the vehicle for the day, thoroughly wipe down the vehicle with disinfectant
wipes or other appropriate cleaning solutions.

Resources:
1. CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection
2. EPA List of Cleaning Chemicals Effective Against Coronavirus (note check to make sure they
are safe for vehicle interiors)
3. How to Kill Coronavirus in your Car Without Damaging Interior Surfaces
Lastly, GSA Fleet has been asked if we will approve vehicle deep cleaning and sanitization services for
our leased vehicles with the expenses charged back through the Agency Incurred Expense (AIE)
process. Yes, we will allow agencies to have the sanitization performed without requiring prior approval
from GSA; but agencies must use their own procurement mechanisms to arrange and pay for these
services. We believe the decision of when to deep clean and sanitize is best left to the leasing agency.

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