We tend to forget that our cars need to “shower” too. In the winter, salt and ice can damage your beloved vehicle’s paint job. In the spring, pollen and dirt can pile up on the car, giving it an aged look. To keep your cars clean, the only solution is to get your cleaning equipment out and give your cars a good scrub. However, some of you may have accidentally given your cars a scratch or two in the process. When it comes time to wash your car, you may think that a tough, hard scrub is in order, but being gentle to your car and using soft, high quality products is actually the best way to wash your car.
Let’s get started!
These are the materials needed for washing your car properly:
- Two buckets
- Washing material (best to use a natural sea sponge or a mitt made of sheepskin or microfiber cloth)
- Drying towels (preferably waffle weave)
- Car wash solution
- Wheel cleaner
- Wheel brushes
Before you wash your cars, make sure that you:
- Move your car to a shaded location. Washing your car in direct sunlight will leave unattractive spots from premature drying.
- Apply car wash solution to stains like bugs, bird droppings and tree sap. Let the liquid soak in a bit before you start washing your car.
Now let’s get down to cleaning the car, step by step.
- Initial rinse: Give the car an overall first rinse with the hose to get rid of as much debris as possible before washing the car. Pay attention to areas like the windshield wipers and tires, where there’s usually a lot of buildup.
- Clean: Fill one bucket with car wash soap and water and the other with clean water. While washing the car, dunk your wash mitt into the soapy-water bucket, clean a small section, and then rinse the mitt into the clear-water bucket to get rid of the dirt that the mitt has picked up.
Starting from the top and working your way down, scrub your car. However, don’t press too hard on the sponge because you could cause scratches.
After one section of the car is washed, rinse it with the hose before moving on to another section. This will prevent the soap from drying and staining the paint. Remember to keep the car wet, so that the water doesn’t dry and leave water spots.
- Final rinse: Do a gentle rinse of the car by taking off the spray nozzle from the hose and using a gentle water flow instead of a full-on blast. If the water pressure is too strong, it can cause damage to the car. Keep the hose close to the car and rinse from top to bottom.
- Spray the wheels with a hose. A soft wheel brush is the best tool for cleaning the wheels. If you’re going to use a mitt or sponge, make sure it’s not the same one you’ll be using on the rest of the car, as the wheels have the most grime and dirt, which can scratch the paint. You can use an old toothbrush to get into the smallest corners of the wheels.
- Rinse thoroughly with a stronger water pressure from a spray nozzle.
- Try to dry the car quickly to avoid water spots. A clean, waffle-weave towel is best to prevent scratches. The waffle weave lets the towel retain about seven times its own weight in water, so you don’t need that many. Spread the towel out flat on the car and drag it across the surface to pick up water drops. This way, you can avoid swirls on the paint job.
- Just like washing, dry the car from top to bottom and use separate towels for the body and wheels.
General Do’s and Don’ts
How about giving your car a good wash in this week? :)