Supermarkets are adding little car washes for shopping carts

Illustration for article titled Supermarkets are adding little car washes for shopping carts
Photo: Kilito Chan (Getty Images)

Whenever I go to the grocery stores these days, half the time there’s an employee wiping down the returned shopping carts, and the other times I just do it myself with the handy wipes they supply at the sliding door. I’m not going to make any assumptions. You can’t be too safe these days!


If you’re a Hy-Vee shopper, though, you’re already covered. Come mid-November, a new automated cart sanitation system will be in place—the first of its kind at a major grocery chain. WEEK, a local NBC news affiliate in Iowa, explains it this way: “The Sterile Cart system uses a low-pressure spray system and a dry-in-place disinfectant. It has a small footprint (6x4 feet) and can easily be installed where shopping carts are returned and staged for customer use.” This sounds kind of awesome, to be honest; it’s like a mini car wash for your grocery cart, one that sanitizes it from top to bottom, not just the handles. I mean...we’ve all had a dripping meat incident while we’re shopping. Wait, haven’t you?

I’m kind of a small person and can easily fit into the front of your typical grocery cart. Maybe I can save myself a shower by getting sprayed with sanitizer, while also being entertained by the spray machine at the same time. I’ll bring goggles in case there’s a risk of blinding; I’d like to continue making a living by staring at a monitor all day long.

At least this way shoppers will know for sure that their carts are sterile, and free of any pesky meat juice bugs. Hopefully other big chains will follow suit, because to be honest, we probably needed this anyway.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.



I’ve often been hard pressed to find a cart that doesn’t have someone else’s old cart wipes sitting in it unless there is a dedicated employee wiping them down. But I guess that’s better than the little sample cups that used to be there.

Why are people still that hooked on the clean surfaces thing? We know the air you breath is biggest risk factor, followed by sticking your dirty hands in your face holes.

Unless I’m wildly uninformed, the virus isn’t going to get in through the skin on your hands because you touched a grocery cart or a melon someone else was holding a few minutes ago. 

Just mask up, do your shopping, wash your hands and then pick your nose at home.