business man fighting virus with sword and shield

Maintaining a Hygienic Car Interior

Hygiene has never been more important. Traveling in the era of COVID-19 by whatever means, can be disconcerting as you can’t be sure if you are entering a vehicle or environment that has been properly cleansed and disinfected. This breeds a level of insecurity that discourages travel. 

As a provider of private ground transportation services, drvn is constantly researching and implementing ways to improve service and find ways to provide even better passenger care. Providing safe and healthy transportation is part of drvn’s duty of care to its passengers - that includes maintaining our fleet of vehicles to be pristine and immaculately disinfected. 

What are the most effective supplies and disinfectants used to clean a vehicle interior?

Here are some tips and tricks used by our chauffeurs that are being implemented in between every single ride.

We begin by gathering the correct supplies to execute a thorough and proper cleansing. These products are selected per the CDC’s disinfection guidelines for COVID-19. Approved cleansing tools include:

  • a microfiber cloth (or a high pickup dust cloth);
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) such as non-sterile disposable gloves, gown covering, and eye protectors (e.g. safety glasses), and;
  • a vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that alcohol solutions containing 60% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water are most effective against COVID-19, which does not degrade plastic trim, painted chrome, or imitation leather interiors.

In order to ensure that we are maintaining the quality of our vehicles’ interiors, we do not recommend using any type of bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or ammonia-based product, as these fluids can severely damage vinyl and plastic.

Instead, in order to comply with both CDC recommendations and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectants, we advise the use of the following products for both hard and soft surfaces inside vehicles.

  • Clorox Commercial Solutions Clorox Disinfecting Spray
  • Clorox QS
  • Spruce-ups by Clorox
  • Lysol Neutra Air 2 in 1
  • Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist
  • Lysol Brand Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Lysol Disinfectant Spray
  • and Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray

For general use to disinfect hard surfaces in a car interior, we have found the best wipes to clean car interiors are:

  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
  • Clorox Healthcare VersaSure Wipes
  • Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes
  • and Sani-Cloth Prime Germicidal Disposable Wipes

For leather interiors, Ivory soap and water is suitable for both eradicating COVID-19 bacteria and cleaning spots and spills on leather surfaces.

Most of the aforementioned cleansing materials can be found at Amazon or your local supermarkets, pharmacies, wholesale clubs, hypermarkets, auto shops, and convenience stores. 

How does a drvn chauffeur clean and disinfect a vehicle?

Before beginning to clean and disinfect the vehicle, all of our chauffeurs must first wash their hands to prevent the spread of any germs or bacteria, even before putting on their gloves. After their hands are washed and PPE donned, only then can the sanitizing process begin.

Cleaning a car’s interior begins with concentrating on key places (high volume contact points) to not only clean but also to disinfect. These common points of contact, or touch-points, remain largely the same for most vehicles and require exceptional care and more frequent attention. Key touch-points include:

  • door handles (interior and exterior)
  • window buttons
  • seat adjustment buttons and levers
  • seat belt clips (male and female ends)

All windows should also be wiped down with the appropriate cleaner and disinfectant on both the inside and outside of the vehicle. All vanity flaps and/or mirrors should be wiped down and vacuumed.

For passenger safety, drvn also disinfects:

  • cup holders
  • door compartments
  • arm and headrests
  • floor mats
  • and trunks (sprayed with disinfectant for transported luggage )

In addition to all the aforementioned touch-points, cleaning is performed on all driver touch-points. For our chauffeurs’ safety, drvn’s policies include sanitizing:

  • the speedometer
  • touchable indicators
  • infotainment buttons
  • all dashboard accouterment
  • the steering wheel
  • gas caps and covers
  • trunk handles
  • and car keys 

After sanitizing, chemicals applied to the interior of a vehicle should always be wiped off, as they can be harmful or damaging when left resting on a surface. 

Once disinfected, a thorough vacuuming gets rid of dust particles and lingering bacteria clinging to all surfaces. This includes vacuuming:

  • air conditioning vents
  • underneath seats and floor mats
  • headrests
  • the dashboard
  • in-between and around seating 

At drvn, we require that air filters be changed on a regular basis, but at a minimum of once a month, in each of our vehicles. This protects both passengers and chauffeurs as it eliminates airborne virus particles. HEPA filters are the recommended filtration device, which are standard in most luxury vehicles. However, HEPA filters may also be purchased and modified to fit any vehicle, which is a drvn protocol requirement.

Though there are fewer touch-points on the exterior of a vehicle, drvn still requires some  attention to be paid to cleansing the outside of each vehicle. Between each ride, the following must be disinfected:

  • driver and passenger door handles; 
  • the trunk release and handle, and;
  • gas tank cover and lid

Before departing for the first ride, the exterior of the vehicle must be washed down. After the sanitation and disinfection process has been completed, chauffeurs are instructed to dispose of all PPE and to wash their hands again. 

The vehicles drvn dispatches are cleaned using these protocols before and after each ride and cleansed and disinfected at the beginning and end of each day. This ensures that drvn private ground transportation is safe, and clean, as required by the drvn standard.

What are other ways drvn practices private car hygiene?

Beyond the sanitation and disinfecting process, there are additional preventative hygiene measures employed for drvn black car service. We have:

  • removed all reading materials;
  • removed non-individual servings of snacks, mints and water;
  • supplied (when available) hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and tissues, and;
  • ceased the practice of introductory handshakes 

(Our chauffeurs may offer a slight bow, tip of the hat, gentle salute, or other respectful means of acknowledgment when you meet.)

These processes have been put into practice and are carefully monitored with multiple checkpoints that ensure compliance to keep our passengers, and our chauffeurs, safe and healthy. They are certified by a number of international and domestic regulatory agencies, including the CDC. 

UPDATE: drvn is embracing several new protocols that have been endorsed by some experts in transmission prevention. These include:

  • the implementation of plastic shield partitions between driver and passenger for certain vehicles;
  • UV LED light disinfection, and;
  • new sanitation technologies being deployed in international markets.
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