10 Ways To Fight The Good Fight Against Allergens
We all know that springtime blooms often cause runny noses, coughing spells and itchy eyes. And while the outside is swirling with seasonal pollen, the inside of your car may also trap these allergens.
Simply rolling up your windows when driving around and making sure you don’t leave your windows cracked when your car is parked does help, but it’s not enough to keep your car’s cabin clean and allergen-free.
We often always think of cleaning the exterior of our car because it is constantly exposed to the elements and requires constant care. But the inside of your vehicle is just as important to keep clean, not just for the health of the car but for the passengers’ health as well.
Mike Pennington from Meguiar’s says the biggest contaminant is yourself.
“Be mindful of yourself and what you bring into your car,” says Pennington. “Think of where you were walking, are you tracking in sand, dirt or even the lotion and sunscreen you have on.”
So, above all else, keeping your car’s interior clean begins with you. But when life gets messy, here are a few tips to help keep your car’s interior clean.
10 accessories to allergy-proof your car
Pennington suggests three top accessories to help keep your car’s interior looking and smelling clean: towels, a good vacuum and a detailing brush set.
1. Keep cotton and microfiber towels on hand, exclusively for the interior of your car.
Pennington says it's important to keep these towels designated for the car’s interior, so as to not bring outside irritants. He suggests a cotton towel for leather and vinyl surfaces and a microfiber towel for dashboard, window and other interior areas.
2. The microfiber towels are great for removing pollen and dust quickly without damaging the vehicle’s finish. Plus, they work to trap pollen and other allergens so as not to spread elsewhere. Microfiber can be used dry or dampened with water for more stubborn stains.
3. Invest in a good wet/dry vacuum for your car. With the right attachments you can reach hard-to-get places, use the brush end to collect extra particulates.
Vacuum often to avoid little stains and spills turning into bigger problems. And because it’s recommended to vacuum your car regularly, keeping a portable vacuum cleaner in your car makes that easier. While not as powerful as your vacuum at home, they are nice for cleaning up small messes instantly.
4. For those hard-to-reach places, Pennington suggests purchasing detailing brushes.
These brushes can be your best friend when cleaning certain areas of your car, particularly the hard to reach spots. Use detailing brushes for air vents, door handles and between seat cushions. Brushes come in various sizes and shapes, typically in a car interior brush kit.
Tip: Pennington suggests running the vacuum cleaner while using your interior detailing brushes to capture any particulates that you’re brushing out of your car’s nooks and crannies.
5. Invest in allergy seat covers. These are seat covers designed to protect against allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. They can be easily removed and washed, helping to keep your car's interior clean and allergy-free.
6. Use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. They are designed to capture even the smallest particles, including allergens like pollen and dust. Some cars come with HEPA filters built-in, but if your car does not have one, you can install an aftermarket filter.
Just as you might have one in your home, add an air purifier in your car. It can help remove airborne allergens from your car’s interior. There are many portable air purifiers available specifically designed for use in cars.
7. Use recirculation mode on your climate control system to prevent pollen from entering the cabin. Switch to fresh air mode prior to arriving at your destination; this allows fresh air to flow through the filter drying out any moisture. It also helps prevent mold spores from accumulating on the cabin air filter.
8. Invest in all-weather floor mats. They’re easy to wash and vacuum, and they prevent allergens from getting trapped in your car's carpet. They can easily be removed and hosed off, helping to keep your car's interior clean and allergy-free.
9. Use upholstery cleaner and protectant for seats and other interior surfaces. Moisture from wet clothes can seep into the seat cushions and creates a petri dish for mold growth. Upholstery cleaners are formulated to remove dirt and stains from your car's seats and carpets. Look for a cleaner that is safe for use on your car's specific upholstery materials.
10. Cover upholstery seats with seat covers, especially if you are traveling with pets. Seat covers may be removed and cleaned regularly to remove dirt, grime and allergens.