What Happens To Your Body If You Never Clean Your Car

Everyone gets busy, and it can be hard to remember to keep the inside of your car clean. Left unchecked, everything from coffee cups to fast food wrappers can pile up. And, over time, you could be dealing with more than just a dirty car. You could be impacting your health. Everything from dust mites to pet hairs and germs can collect in your car and cause a wide range of health problems. 

Researchers at Aston University took samples from a number of different cars in order to gauge the levels of bacteria present. What they found was levels of contamination that rivaled the average toilet seat. The study found E. coli bacteria everywhere from the trunk to the driver's seat, as well as other bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Staph Aureus, which is linked to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Another 2014 study, published in Biofouling, showed that antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus bacteria was highly present in car interiors. 

Your car could be making you sick

It turns out, only 18% of drivers clean their cars three times a year or less, according to a 2018 survey by Motorpoint. Additionally, this comes with discovering that 94% of drivers eat and drink in their cars. When you consider, as evidenced by a 2015 study conducted by the University of Nottingham, that there is everything from Staphylococcus to fecal bacteria present in your car, that's a fairly grisly prospect. 

Of course, it's not just the discarded French fries that can be causing your car to be toxic. Bacteria from your air conditioning system caused by mold and mildew forming in the condensation can be carried throughout the car whenever you turn it on, as per Rick's Professional Auto Detailing. Over time, this can lead to what is known as toxic car syndrome. Also known as sick car syndrome, this is a condition that is marked by flu-like symptoms, such as coughing, tightening of the chest, wheezing, and drowsiness. 

Clean your car regularly for good health

In order to keep yourself from getting sick as a result of a dirty car, it's important to take steps to keep your car clean regularly. In addition to vacuuming seats and floor mats and wiping down surfaces, you should also check under your seats to look for errant fries, chips, or Cheerios that may be moldering and gathering bacteria. According to Healthline, you will want to make sure you don't overlook the high-touched surfaces in your car, including the steering wheel, gear shift, windows, and dashboard. 

You should also disinfect your car using wipes, although 70% isopropyl alcohol will also work well. However, if you have a car with a touch screen, you should not use an alcohol-based cleaner on these surfaces, as they can be easily damaged. It is better to use a mixture of water and vinegar on a microfiber cloth instead. If you are unsure of the best way to keep your car clean, you can have it done professionally as well. But, whether you do it yourself or take it to a car wash and detailer, keeping your car clean is a very easy way to stay healthy.