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Vehicle Sanitization Advice

The following tips for vehicle sanitization are from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, however, the information can be useful for Canadian businesses that need to sanitize vehicles to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the course of performing their services for customers, or for their own vehicles.

See also: Tips for sanitizing hard surfaces from Health Canada

Disinfecting Vehicles

The following are general guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting vehicles.

At a minimum, clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in the vehicle at the beginning and end of each shift and between transporting passengers who are visibly sick. Ensure that cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly, including the provision of adequate ventilation when chemicals are in use. Doors and windows should remain open when cleaning the vehicle. When cleaning and disinfecting, individuals should wear disposable gloves compatible with the products being used as well as any other PPE required according to the product manufacturer’s instructions. Use of a disposable gown is also recommended, if available.

  • For hard non-porous surfaces within the interior of the vehicle such as hard seats, arm rests, door handles, seat belt buckles, light and air controls, doors and windows, and grab handles, clean with detergent or soap and water if the surfaces are visibly dirty, prior to disinfectant application. For disinfection of hard, non-porous surfaces, appropriate disinfectants include:
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for concentration, application method, and contact time for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions prepared according to the manufacturer’s label for disinfection, if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
  • For soft or porous surfaces such as fabric seats, remove any visible contamination, if present, and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning, use products that are suitable for porous surfaces.
  • For frequently touched electronic surfaces, such as tablets or touch screens used in the vehicle, remove visible dirt, then disinfect following the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect.

Gloves and any other disposable PPE used for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle should be removed and disposed of after cleaning; wash hands immediately after removal of gloves and PPE with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. If a disposable gown was not worn, work uniforms/clothes worn during cleaning and disinfecting should be laundered afterwards using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Wash hands after handling laundry.