Every year, we create New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. I know. It’s October and I’m already talking about New Year’s resolutions. I get it. Stay with me for a second, though. Typically speaking, these lists focus on self-improvement: getting in shape, reading more books, taking more time to meditate, taking a cooking class, etc. There are several reasons why these resolutions fail. What’s one of the main reasons: They’re not specific enough. When you talk about any kind of personal goal, it will serve you better to be as specific as possible. For example, if you want to lose weight, consider writing down a particular date on your calendar, so you have an opportunity to chart your progress. These kinds of personal goals are common among people. But, what about making changes to your daily life?

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, countless Americans all over the country may be living in fear of getting sick. It’s important to know that there is hope. We need hope. We need positivity. We need positive reinforcement in our lives. How can we ensure our own safety and the safety of those around us? One way we can protect ourselves is by keeping our cars clean and pristine.

Many cleaning solutions can be effective for killing germs. In fact, you may have a lot of these hanging around your house. According to the CDC, cleaning solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol are effective against coronavirus. Soap and water are safe to use for most auto interiors—especially fabric interiors.

Most leather interiors in cars contain urethane coatings for protection. Because of this, it is safe to use alcohol on these surfaces. However, using alcohol persistently may lead to damage and discoloration over time. It’s safer to use simple soap and water.

If you do have leather interior in your car, proper care is essential to prolong the integrity and life of your leather. You should use a good leather cleaner and a good leather conditioner after your cleaning.

For fabric interiors, it’s important to not use too much soap and water. Soap suds can be a problem. If you scrub too hard, you may create soap suds that can soak through the fabric, working its way to the cushion underneath. As a result, a musty smell and possible mold can build up over time. To prevent this from happening, use a little amount of water and laundry detergent.

Once you are finished cleaning your surfaces, it’s important to remember to wash your hands. If you have dirty hands and touch your car’s surfaces, that dirt and griminess will rub off and you’ll have to start from square one. It may be a common belief, but washing your hands consistently is still one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although coronaviruses can remain on surfaces, it is still believed among medical experts that the primary means of transmission is through respiratory transmission.

Whether you are at work or at home, maintaining a clean, clutter-free area has proven to improve mental health, relieve stress, and prevent us from becoming physically ill. Why not make this a permanent practice in our daily lives?