It’s unfortunate, but we do know that death caused by a car accident happens day after day. Yet, have you ever paused to consider what happens to the vehicle postmortem? Or how to disinfect a car if it has been the scene of a biohazardous accident?
If any family members remain, and the car is still drivable, they may want to take ownership of the vehicle and use it in their daily activities.
However, if the death of the driver involved any sort of trauma to the human body, there’s a chance bloodborne pathogens were released, and a rigorous and thorough cleaning is now required.
After a death, learning how to disinfect a car takes on new proportions. It’s not enough to spray standard car disinfectant and wipe down the surfaces.
For a relatively small space, cars come with so many nooks, crannies, and layers that the entire vehicle needs to be examined.
Vehicle remediation demands an in-depth cleaning that will not only remove visible biohazards, but also contain lingering pathogens and recurring odors.
Together, let’s take a look at the three important stages that will take a vehicle from a contaminated state back to its former glory.
1. Place on Your PPE
Before you consider how to clean blood out of a car, it’s important to equip yourself with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This will provide protection against any biohazardous substances.
PPE at a crime scene includes the following:
- Respirator masks
- Facial protection
- Coveralls or jumpsuits
- Shoe covers
Along with this personal gear, other supplies will be needed. Biohazard disposal containers are necessary in order to remain in compliance with many local, state, and federal laws.
Plastic sheeting large enough to cover any surface area will be required, as well as a portable fluorescent testing unit to ensure every last surface has sufficiently passed the test.
2. Contain the Contaminants
Consider the intricacy of a vehicle. Each seat has various nooks and crannies. The doors have panels whereby fluids can leak through. Buttons are required for windows and air control.
Reaching under the seat for a fallen bobby pin alone can prove challenging. Most cars have carpeting, some that can be removed and some that is affixed.
So, it’s not enough to take a contaminated vehicle to an auto body shop for a high-cost detailing. The reason for this is because bloodborne pathogens are invisible to the naked eye.
As such, it’s not enough to just wipe a surface, but prevent further contamination beyond the surface. Unfortunately, sometimes this requires the cutting away of porous items that are heavily impacted.
In the end, reupholster may be needed in certain areas where a thorough cleaning and stain-removal would not suffice.
You’ll notice professionals using biohazard bags when the cleaning of blood and other bodily contaminants is involved. These are for personal items that cannot be recovered and, often, these items can’t be earmarked by the untrained eye.
Once everything unsalvageable has been removed, it’s time for the serious labor. This is where stain removal takes place and odors are permanently washed away.
3. Disinfect the Dangers
After the proper PPE has been placed on and the obvious hazards have been removed, it’s time to disinfect. Strong cleaning agents are required at this point because no simple chemical will do. Commercial-grade cleaning solutions can destroy any remaining viruses and diseases.
At this stage, it’s important to remove every visible trace of blood and other biological materials. This will reduce the risks that lie in the affected area. To no surprise, this is the most dangerous part of the process.
A good team will use EPA-rated disinfectants that can not only clean and disinfect, but also deodorize. You cannot learn how to clean a car without conquering every pungent odor.
All stains will be removed and the commercial-grade solutions will stop the spread of infection from any exposed blood, urine, fecal matter, or other bodily fluids.
Finally, a good remediation team will conduct testing to make sure no organic matter is lingering on or below the surface. It’s important for those involved to feel assured that what remains does not carry the risk of disease or infection.
A remediation team will also dispose of and transport all biohazards in compliance with state and federal laws. At this stage, it’s also wise to check with your insurance company to see if they will help with the costs of such an in-depth cleaning.
No Small Task
Again, after the death of a body in a vehicle, a mere wipe down of surfaces will not suffice. Rather, a complete removal, cleaning, and disinfection of bodily fluids and other harmful pathogens are required to prevent an outbreak of disease.
Bloodborne pathogens carry a high risk of contamination. Exposure at any point can be both hazardous and harmful.
That is why certified, licensed professionals exist. They carry with them not only the proper equipment, but also the proper training to remove blood, bodily fluids, and other pathogens.
How to Disinfect a Car
And there you have it. Knowing how to disinfect a car will protect everyone who comes into contact with the vehicle.
Pretty much as soon as decomposition has begun, it’s wise to clear the area and call in a team of professionals who can safely clean every surface area that was affected.
Here at Spaulding Decon, we’re here to safely restore your vehicle in the aftermath of an accident and death.
We are your trauma, biohazard, and crime scene cleanup services. We have locations all across the country and are standing by with affordable services and a 24/7 quick response.
Allow us to be your go-to not only for your vehicle, but for all your cleaning needs.