5 Lazy Ways to Keep a Car Clean


Automologist LING likes to find ways to make her life easy...and that includes keeping her car clean.

My friend climbed into my car this morning and the first thing she said to me was: “When was the last time you washed your car?” In my defense, I parked my car under a tree yesterday and it had rained heavily, so on top of the layer of dirt, there was a scattering of gifts from nature – leaves, twigs and flowers. But admittedly, I procrastinate when it comes to washing my car. My friend’s question, which was more rhetorical than inquisitive, got me to thinking about how lazy people like me can keep their cars clean:

1) Off to a Clean Start

Even when buying a car, lazy people should consider the level of maintenance required for the paint of choice. Matt DeWolf, who is from the International Carwash Association in Americaland, told Consumer Reports that the best hues to camouflage dirt are silver and mid-tone pewter; the worst are black and high-contrast white, which only effectively highlight dirt and grime.

In recent years, hydrophobic coatings have emerged as another and, some say, better paint protection option. These ceramic/glass/nano coatings prevent water-spotting and repels contaminants, which means that the car is cleaner at all times, easier to wash and, some say, becomes newly washed after each rainfall (sure, boh?!). I’d love to try it but it’s pretty pricey, costing from a thousand to several thousand ringgit, depending on the number of protective layers you opt for. And, it also makes sense to get a brand new car coated, not 10-year-old jalopies like the one I drive.

Hydrophobic protective coating...that means it HATES water.

2) Know where there are Carwashes and Use Them! 

Although in our neck of the woods there are plenty of 10 ringgit carwashes around (washed by hand, no less), I’m so lazy that I can’t even bring myself to drive to the car wash and wait 30 minutes while SOMEONE ELSE washes my car.

Fortunately, there are many enterprising carwash owners who have set up shop at locations where I frequent, i.e. inside shopping malls, near eateries and even next to the workshop where I send my car for its regular servicing. When I hand my keys over to the mechanic, I’d ask him (very nicely) if he could send my car to the wash after he is done, and then I’d return an hour later (after squeezing in lunch and a bit of work) to collect my car, all fixed and looking fine.

3) Say NO to: 

  • Outdoor parking, if you can help it.
  • Kids in the car, unless they are yours, in which case you should give up on cleanliness altogether.
  • Eating in the car. 
too much chocolate

4) Say YES to: 

  • A deep tray rubber mat where all sandy/muddy shoes, wet umbrellas and anything that is at risk of spillage are confined to.
  • A plastic bag where all trash must go into.

5) If the Car won’t go to the Car Wash then the Car Wash must go to the Car

I’ve only just found out about this service and already I like it. 1L Car Wash is a social enterprise that offers car wash service wherever your car is parked. In some places in Malaysia, it’s common to see individuals going around on bicycles or pushing a cart loaded with a bucket, sponges and cloth, offering to clean your car for a nominal price. 1L Car Wash is very similar, except they use TWO buckets...and a grit guard when rinsing the cloth...and an online booking function:-


With its two-bucket system, 1L Car Wash promises cleaner cars using less water, while also providing job opportunities to underserved youths. Customers can choose from on-demand washes for 12 ringgit each time to weekly washes for 40 ringgit.

For now, though, the service is only available in certain locations in Cyberjaya and Putrajaya, but the plan is to grow to 100 locations by this year, and I’m looking forward to a few of those locations being the ones that I frequent. So, my fellow “lazies”, bookmark this site: http://1lcarwash.com/

images: henryhoover.uk.com, eBay, Piccadilly Pink,  

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