Consumer Reports: How to Protect Yourself When Pumping Gas

YONKERS, NY — Your best protection overall is to wash your hands properly on a regular basis and to refrain from touching your face with unwashed hands. But there are a few things you can do that will help you stay safe when you have to pump gas. Consumer Reports' auto experts suggest several ways to approach this task:

• Consider carrying some disposable nitrile or latex gloves in your car to use when gripping the pump handle. Short of that, you can try to use paper towels that are sometimes available at the pump or have some with you to cover your hands when you grip the handle.

• Do the same to isolate yourself from the keypad when entering payment information.

• Invert the gloves and throw them away, and also any paper towels you might have used. Use hand sanitizer to make sure your hands are clean after you’re done and before you get back into your car.

• Cleaning your hands after you’re done seems like the quickest, easiest precaution. But some drivers might want to have disinfectant wipes handy for wiping down the gas pump handle and the payment keypad before pumping.

“This process ensures that I’m not inadvertently transferring the virus from a high-touch surface like a gas pump to my vehicle’s door handle, and from there into the interior,” says Gabriel Shenhar, associate director of CR’s auto-test program.

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