Vehicle Sanitation

Vehicle sanitation is the key, the primary, the quintessential service anyone and everyone with a vehicle should have at least twice a month. Why? Well, to begin with let’s note, globally we all just went through one of the worst pandemics in recorded history…. and it continues in America and abroad at the present. So how does vehicle sanitation impact the pandemic and various diseases with the potential to cause damage to our health? Vehicle sanitation is a clinical removal of harmful bacteria, pathogens, and debris. The same clutter and dirt we often overlook hold millions of microbes that attack the skin, mucus membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth, and once in the lungs, many cause a number of congestive breathing challenges. From the common cold to COVID-19, the potential for disease to be waiting on us in dirty, dusty, nasty vehicles is high.

Considering the variety of dirt we can experience, let’s consider the various sources. There is inorganic and organic debris. Usually both types are mixed together in a microscopic junkyard we wouldn’t want to walk through or touch, but millions of us sit and breath it all in daily. Inorganic debris is industrial solid and airborne pollution, chemicals, fossil fuels (gasoline, diesel), auto fluids and waste, trash (industrial, residential, commercial) and other substances such as concrete, asphalt, plastic, sand, metal, and dust. Organic debris is mud, soil, dirt, dust, tar, dumpster juice, street and sewer debris, food refuse, cigarette butts, pet dander, pet wastes, human hair and dandruff, bird droppings, blood, bugs, sap, resin, soot, and plant waste (grass, twigs, and leaves).

With the consideration of all the debris that could be in your vehicle, you may be apprehensive to get back in. However, Bentley Brandon of Luxury Wash USA has the solution:  a deep, comprehensive cleaning known as vehicle sanitation. The concept behind vehicle sanitation is evident in the clinical cleaning you witness in grocery stores and hospitals. The deep cleaning synonymous with the sharp spell of strong antibacterial, sporicidal, dirt-removing cleaners. Think about it, hospitals and grocery stores, gym facilities and restaurants, buses, trains, and planes, even churches and schools are key places where people bring in their fair share of dirt and debris that can be harmful to their health and others, so clinical sanitation is necessary.

On March 18, 2020, Bentley Brandon of Luxury Wash USA and Aerobiology Laboratory of Smyrna, Georgia conducted a study to address the potential for harmful microbial material to be present on and within vehicles. These microbes included bacteria, spores, and viruses. Shockingly, the study revealed the presence of anthrax in one vehicle, indicating the potential for other harmful pathogens such as COVID-19. The potential for diseases in vehicle interiors is evident on vinyl, leather, plastic, glass, chrome, metal, and rubber as well as cloth, carpet and combinations of materials found within interiors. The Bentley Brandon-Aerobiology (2020) study noted that in an average vehicle, the CFU or colony-forming unit of measure was high with 250 bacteria per square inch.

In order to be proactive in disease prevention, the Bentley Brandon-Aerobiology study posed a vehicle sanitation frequency of two to three times per month. Based on the Bentley Brandon-Aerobiology study, Governor Kemp of Georgia in his State of the State address in April 2020 stressed the need for vehicle sanitation as a primary means to reduce and eventually eradicate COVID-19 like so many contagious diseases of at the present time.

Unfortunately, vehicles are cleaned less than homes, so the transfer of disease from vehicles to other places continues the cycle of contamination and health problems. Therefore, it’s every driver’s duty to change his or her behavior by embracing the philosophy that vehicle sanitation is a health-conscious need versus a matter of vehicle maintenance alone. Your vehicle is an extension of you and impacts your overall well-being, so do the most to take care of yourself and your vehicle.

You wonder how vehicle sanitation makes a difference. Well, similar to cleaning the surfaces of public facilities, many vehicles have surfaces that hold debris. This allows for microbes, both viral and bacterial, to take root and slowly multiply, passing from person to surface to person. In a vicious cycle, the same bacteria and disease may be recycled in one vehicle merely from constant exposure to new people or animals, further spreading from surfaces external of the vehicle such as those from work, school or home to vehicle interiors. Nevertheless, the lifespan of bacteria and disease can be cut short through the application of surface appropriate, bio-friendly cleansing products and applications.

The key to vehicle sanitation that all certified technicians understand is the technique versus the chemicals alone. Customers may not see the immediate difference. But imagine just anyone washing your vehicle and flooding it with cleaners and excess water. That only adds to the problem of removing mold and dirt in the first place. Therefore, certified technicians know how to sanitize vehicles strategically and safely. First, vehicle sanitation is not a matter or rubbing cloths dipped in cleaner on cloth, leather, plastic, vinyl, or carpeted surfaces. No!

Vehicle sanitation begins with a cleanser-appropriate wipe down, followed by a steaming in which the technician places a dry cloth over the steamer for plastic and leather surfaces or the steamer directly on cloth and carpet and runs the apparatus along the entire surface. The steaming plus the initial wipe down not only kill but loosen debris and dirt from surfaces. This allows surfaces to breathe again. The better surfaces can breathe, the less chances for stains and debris to support microbial growth. Next, the tech may shampoo the cloth or carpeted surface, then apply a wet vac to remove all wastewater, cleansers, and debris. From that point, regardless of surface, the tech will wipe off any excess moisture still on the surface. The surfaces are then virtually dry and fragrant auto perfumes are applied. The look, the feel, and the smell of vehicle interiors are inviting and above all healthy for drivers and passengers alike.

Vehicle sanitation certification is essential to regulating how and who provides this essential service for motorists. The system of certification will support databases, noting legal providers and the dates when vehicles were sanitized. This will be a proficient means to monitor clinical efforts to utilize sanitation against the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. Since there are licenses provided by the state for specific businesses, the same system of certification is applicable to auto detailers and vehicle sanitation service providers, giving vehicle owners another layer of protection for themselves and their families.

Vehicle sanitation certification involves the knowledge of how to clean and detail various interior and exterior services, the proper tools and chemicals used, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

(OSHA) regulations, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water restrictions, inspections, and other key regulations. Moreover, certified vehicle sanitation specialists are members of Detailers Across America (DAA). In 2011, Bentley Brandon of Luxury Wash  established the DAA, a nationally recognized organization with a broad in 22 states. Considering the benefits for vehicle sanitation certification for auto detail/auto care professionals, the benefit for vehicle owners and their vehicles is exponential.

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