Your family car may be dirtier than you think, according to a report from 19 Action News in Cleveland, Ohio.
"While there may be trash in the car, usually the things that cause disease like to be in the area where people have been," according to microbiologist Dr. Mark Wooten from the University of Toledo. "Where hands have been, where noses have been, that's really gonna be the areas you're most likely to find something."
After swabbing the interior of two family cars and putting the results under the microscope, Wooten found that steering wheels and child car seats were veritable cesspools of bacteria and germs. You're welcome to read all the gory details here, assuming you have a strong stomach.
If you do read all about skin infections, strep throat, pneumonia, blood borne infection, and meningitis, not to mention more common illnesses like colds and the flu, you'll probably want to scroll through our list of tips on keeping your car clean.
Choose the right carOf course, some cars are easier to keep clean than others. We've assembled a set of images featuring the Honda Odyssey minivan, which made headlines when it became the first such family car to offer an integrated vacuum cleaner built right into the rear cargo area.
Removing bad odorsIf your car has an odor issue, there are plenty of things you can do to bring back a little bit of freshness. Click here for a list of steps you can take to remove nasty smells from your car.
Choose kid-friendly productsIf you've got kids in your car, it might be a good idea to know what ingredients are in your car-wash products. Here's an article on how to choose the safest cleaning products for your car.
No need to spend a fortuneYes, you're going to need some decent products to keep your car clean, but there are also lots of simple things you can do that don't cost an arm and a leg. Click here to read some easy steps you can take to ensure your car stays as clean as it can in between washes.
Pay attention to what's coming out of your car, tooIf you're worried about keeping your car clean and safe inside, it's probably a good idea to think about what's happening just outside your car, too. For instance, if you keep your car idling for long periods of time, that means its exhaust is puffing out harmful toxins into the air.
Keep the exterior clean
It's not just the interior of your car that you need to keep clean.