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Tips on keeping your car clean while traveling

It's especially important to sanitize your car during this pandemic.

TAMPA, Fla. — AAA estimates more than 50 million Americans are taking a road trip this week for Thanksgiving. 

That includes about 2.5 million Floridians.  Again, that's despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging people to stay home because of the spike in coronavirus cases across the country.  

So, if you are going to hit the road anyway, there are some things you can do to help keep yourself safe in your car.

Many of us who are working from home may not be driving our cars every day, but keeping it clean needs to be a priority, especially when traveling. 

When you get in your car, wipe down all the touchpoints. Things like the steering wheel, blinker, door handles, seat belt latch, radio and cup holders, and even your key fob.  Then you need to clean those hands. 

"I would keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer, maybe a small package of sanitizing wipes in their vehicle. I also know some people keep an extra pair of gloves in their vehicle just for when they fuel up their vehicles," said Bill Granger, a car care expert with Mr. Transmission in Bradenton.  

RELATED: CDC recommends Americans don't travel for Thanksgiving amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Here are some new guidelines: If someone who is not in your household is riding in your car, you should wear masks and crack the windows so you can let in the fresh air. Make sure that your air conditioner is not recirculating air, rather it should be bringing in outside air. 

Carry some extra disposable masks in case you or a passenger needs one. Also, a small bottle of sanitizing spray so when you're done riding in the car, you can spray it down as an extra precaution.

Some things not to do:

  • Don't use bleach or bleach products. It can discolor your interior.
  • Don't keep a big bottle of hand sanitizer in your car. When it heats up, it can expand and leak all over your car.

RELATED: To travel or not to travel: What is the risk?

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