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How Dirty is My Car?

You’re probably pretty careful about trying to limit the number of harmful germs in your home, but have you given thought to your car?

You wash your hands after the bathroom, avoid touching things in public spaces, but then you just slide into your car and put your hands on the wheel and the gear shift. In one study, the average car was found to have nearly three hundred different types of bacteria, many of them located on your gear shift and even more in your trunk—the space you store everything from your kid’s gear to your groceries.

The worst offender in your car is the dashboard. Passengers may use the dashboard to put their feet up on your makeshift table/desk. And when you use the air conditioner and heater, you release airborne bacteria and fungi into the car, letting it blow onto the dashboard, and any food or drinks you have as well as into your face. Thanks to its high germ content, the dashboard has been compared to a toilet seat, definitely not something that you typically eat off of.

Cars that have the most bacteria are typically owned by married couples and women tend to have more bacteria in their cars than male counterparts and cars that transport kids have a lot of bacteria. No matter what your living circumstances, one thing is clear is that cars are significantly dirtier than homes. But they can be cleaned.

Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down your car on a regular basis. Avoid leaving food or food particles in your car as they are breeding grounds for bacteria, especially in warm climates. Toss out any trash or carry a bag or container for disposal purposes. Empty the bag regularly, like when you get gas, to avoid collecting trash and bacteria.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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