The Doctors: How To Clean a DVD & Avoid Rental Car Germs


The Doctors: DVD & Rental Car Germs

The Doctors went searching for germs in unexpected places, and you know they found them in droves. They covered every surface, from rental DVDs to rental cars.

The Drs TV: DVD Rental Germs

Dr Jim Sears said that about 50 million Americans rent DVDs each month, and at least half of renters watch movies while eating. He took to the streets to talk with people about their movie watching and eating habits. One woman was shocked to learn that she was putting herself at risk for a staph infection and other health complications.


He told someone else that 40% of rented DVDs carry Basilis, a bacteria that causes food poisoning. One woman said she might start handling DVDs with gloves.

The Doctors: DVD Germ Risks

How To Clean A DVD: The Doctors

The Doctors explained how to clean a DVD and ways to avoid rental car germs.

Back in the studio, Dr Sears said that he has previously licked DVDs to clean them, which horrified the audience and his fellow doctors. At least he admitted it. The Doctors sent some rental DVDs to a lab for testing, where they found staph and Basilis on many of the discs.


Dr Lisa Masterson admitted that she munches on popcorn while watching movies, so she was interested to learn this advice as well. Dr Sears reported that DVD-by-mail services do wipe down returned discs, but rental kiosks are more likely to have dirty DVDs.

The Drs: How To Avoid DVD Germs

Dr Travis Stork said DVDs won’t make you sick. But he makes a habit of washing his hands immediately after putting the disc in the DVD player. Dr Andrew Ordon suggested just watching movies on cable to avoid the germy discs altogether.

How To Clean A DVD: Water-Vinegar Spray Recipe

Dr Jim Sears revealed some easy ways to clean up your dirty DVDs. You can use alcohol wipes, which dry out and kill bacteria. Or you can try mixing water and vinegar in a spray bottle for a quick, easy disinfectant spray.

The Doctors: Rental Car Germs

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, America’s 2 million rental cars are teeming with more germs than the average public restroom. A survey of Los Angeles rental cars revealed some sickening results. They even swabbed a taxi for comparison.

Dr Travis revealed the results, including the bacteria Pseudomonas, which “can cause bloodstream infections. It can cause skin infections,” he said. It’s hard to say how exactly it ended up in a rental car. Basilis and staph also turned up in swab results.

The Drs: Rental Car Cleaning

Shawn, a former rental car manager, was in the show’s audience to share some of the shocking stuff that turned up in returned cars: “A used condom in the backseat of a rental car, insulin needles in the glove compartment, booger smears on the dash and seats.”

He explained that the general cleaning process involves a quick vacuum job, window cleaning, and a spritz of air freshener. That’s because they are trying to turn cars around so quickly.

Dr Ordon said he thinks you can tell when a car has been more thoroughly cleaned than usual.

The Doctors: How To Avoid Rental Car Germs

Here’s the list of “hot spots” Dr Travis mentioned, where germs are most likely to turn up in your rental car.

  • Steering Wheel
  • Control Knobs
  • Door Handles
  • Gear Shift

Once again, Dr Travis suggested using alcohol swabs to disinfect the rental car to avoid germs. He said that car rental is probably comparable to airplane travel germ exposure.

Shawn suggested asking for a newer car or low mileage vehicle with less wear and tear. Dr Lisa was concerned about weighing down her purse with alcohol wipes for every surface.


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