It’s almost a cliche that Americans love their cars. This is not surprising, given the amount of time people spend in their cars, and their importance in daily life and culture. Even though in most parts of the country a car is essential for survival, it’s much more than a way of getting from point A to point B. It’s a way of life. Another car cliche is the suburban car owner, washing and polishing his or her car on weekends. While maintaining the exterior finish is important, the interior is important too. Air filters, sound deadeners and floor mats all play their part in ensuring the comfort and safety of driver and passengers.
A home on wheels
Even though most people don’t actually live in their cars, they do spend a lot of time in them and have found all kinds of ways to make themselves at home. As many as four out of 10 people are not ashamed to admit that they love their cars. They don’t just like them, but really love them.
And that’s a good thing, because Americans spend a lot of time in their cars: an average of 87 minutes a day. The median amount of time spent inside a car every day is 60 minutes.
The daily commute is only part of the time spent inside cars; average commutes are 26 minutes; and the median commute is 20 minutes. With bad traffic or road conditions, the worst commute can be 46 minutes on average, and a median of 30 minutes.
Car interiors tend to be neglected
Even though people love their cars and protect and clean the exteriors almost religiously, interiors tend to be neglected. With pollution on the highways, and spills and bacteria from various sources, car interiors are actually very much in need of cleaning. Auto carpets and floor mats specially take a beating, and need to be cleaned and replaced regularly.
Researchers have found that car interiors tend to harbor large concentrations of bacteria. The results of a study conducted at Queen Mary University in London showed that 700 different kinds of bacteria were found in car interiors, on average. By contrast, the average public toilet has 60 types of bacteria.
Food and drink spills take their toll
There are many different sources of the bacteria. They tend to be tracked in from the streets and other locations on shoes and end up on the car flooring. Spilled food and drinks are another major source. As many as 70% of drivers admit to eating and drinking in their cars. Food and drink spills provide food for bacteria to grow.
Cars that carry children show larger numbers of bacteria. People with kids also rarely find the time to clean the interiors of their cars. Confused.com reports that only 16% of parents managed to clean the interior of their cars each week. Among people without children, only 9% cleaned their car interiors weekly. Another trouble spot is the trunk, where people regularly carry groceries and food. Surprisingly, it has an even higher number of bacteria than the interior. Researchers at Aston University in Birmingham found about 850 bacteria in the car trunk.
Replacing floor mats and carpets can keep car interiors cleaner
If your car is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing the car carpets and floor mats. When buying replacement carpets and floor mats, it is very important to get the right kind for your vehicle, and to match the make, model and year. You can find carpeting and floor mats to match car models going back all the way to the mid-1940’s.
People love their cars and put a lot of effort and expense into keeping the exteriors clean. It’s equally important to clean the interiors, carpets, floor mats and all.