Abby Slutsky owns a bakery business and is trained in personal hygiene and sanitation for the food industry.
Staying Safe: Coronavirus Car Essentials
Item 1: Car Handwashing Station
A dear friend of mine keeps a Coronavirus handwashing station in her car. She puts a combination of water and soap in a plastic bottle and keeps a separate bottle of plain water in her vehicle, as well. Her handwashing station also includes paper towels. She cuts a roll of paper towels in half so that it takes up less room than a full one, yet still provides her with a way to easily dry off.
However, I noticed that her station works best when she needs to wash her hands outside of her car. I modified her station a little by putting my soap and water mixture and plain water in spray bottles. You can purchase these inexpensively at Dollar Stores, Target and other stores. The advantage of using spray bottles is that there may be times when you want to wash your hands while you are in your car. The spray bottles will lessen the chance of soap and water sloshing all over. Make sure you are not driving when you are handwashing.
You can also use your handwashing station to wipe down your phone, wallet, steering wheel, and credit cards. You are constantly touching these items.
Item 2: Disposable Gloves
Although disposable gloves come in contact with germs when you touch a surface, they are useful for pumping gas, opening a public doorway, or other one time use activities. Remember, if you use disposable gloves for shopping, they will protect your hands, but they will have the potential to pick up germs and dirt from whatever they contact. After removing the gloves, thoroughly wash your hands.
Disposable and Fabric Masks
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Item 3: Masks
Rather than worry about forgetting a mask, it is easy to leave disposables or a fabric one in your car all times. Disposable masks have a clearly defined interior and exterior, but some fabric masks do not. Use a pen to create a small line on the fabric’s interior to mark the side you intend to keep against your face, or put a small piece of masking tape on the mask's interior.
Item 4: Foldable Chairs
Many people have lightweight bridge chairs or collapsible chairs they use to watch children's sporting events. They are convenient for eating in a park or social distancing with friends in outdoor areas. Keeping them in your trunk will make it easy to use them at the last minute.
Item 5: Large Towel or Sheet
Cover your car seat with a towel or sheet. It will protect your car's interior while you eat in it. Recently, I met my mother for pizza; the proprietor brought a slice curbside to each car. Unfortunately, the paper plates were greasy, and my slice had turned so that the cheese was stuck to the bag. My towel-covered seat was saved from a mess. Additionally, placing items that might not fit in your trunk or floor on a covered seat will reduce unwanted germs and dirt from getting on the fabric. Simply remove the towel, and wash it after you have finished transporting your items.
Item 6: Trash Bag
Whether you are eating in your car, removing disposable gloves from your hands, or accumulating other trash, create a place to put it. Your car will stay neat, and it will help prevent you from touching items that may have been exposed to germs in the course of your travels.
Item 7: Stain Stick
If you are social distancing by picking up food, meeting friends, and eating in your respective cars, you are bound to have an occasional spill on clothing. Being prepared with a stain stick can help keep your clothing from becoming permanently ruined. If you need water to help the cleaning process, use it from your handwashing station.
Outfitting your car with these items may enhance your safety when you do errands or socialize in a public setting. Many of these items are probably already in your home or are cheap to purchase, so putting them in your car will be a snap. Be careful to replenish them, and wash cloth masks and towels regularly after use.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky