Car Wash Tips & Tricks
For many of us, our cars are our first major investment. As with anything, proper care and cleaning will keep it looking new for much longer. However, cleaning it wrongly can do just as much harm as good. Here are easy tips and tricks for washing your car:-
1. Do it frequently
Don’t wait too long between washes. Chemicals bounding around in the air and bird poo are acidic, and can eat into paint, leaving blemishes on the car surface. If your car is often subjected to lashings of acid rain where you live, you should rinse your car after every rainfall.
2. Use your hands
Wash your car by hand or take it to a car wash service that does. If your nearest car wash is of the automated kind, check if it uses cloth brushes that would less likely leave scratches on the paint.
3. There’s a time and place
Avoid washing your car in hot weather or under direct sunlight. Liquids would dry quicker than you can finish washing, leaving spots and deposits on the car surface. This also means…
4. Not when it is too hot
Don’t wash your car immediately after driving, when the body is still hot.
5. Top to bottom, side-to-side
Start from the top and move downwards, washing and rinsing one section at a time. Side-to-side motions leave less noticeable marks than circular motions – unless swirly marks and scratches are your thing.
6. Use the right products
Despite a slew of “helpful tips” available on the Internet that suggest using dishwashing liquids or other household cleaners, the harsh chemicals in those products could cause damage to paint, rubber components, wax surface, or window tinting. Use car wash products instead, as they are specially formulated for automotive paint.
7. Keep your tools clean
Opps! Dropped your sponge? Make sure to rinse it to get rid of dirt particles that could scratch the paint. Because of that, you might also want to use a different sponge for the wheels, which picks up sand and gathers brake dust.
8. Wipe up after you’re done
After you are done with the washing, don’t get lazy now and leave the car to air dry. This would leave watermarks. Use a non-abrasive towel to dry your car; we like microfibre towels which picks up a lot of moisture with each swipe.
9. Use protection
Treat your car to a monthly wax, which encases the car in a protective shield.
Let’s not forget the interior…
10. Use some suction
Start with vacuuming. Just like the outside, work from the top down, and make use of the crevice tool to get into the tight spots and the floor brush for the carpet. You could use a foam or paint brush to get dust off the AC vents, and other knobs and buttons in the car.
11. Again, use the right products
There are a variety of cleaners in the stores that are specifically for carpet, upholstery and panels. A steam cleaner is best for cleaning the carpets and upholstery, but a spray-on cleaner is the second best option. For leather upholsteries or trims, use leather soap on damp cloth. For the windows, you can actually use household glass cleaners, but spray onto the cloth to apply it to the glass, to avoid getting it on the upholstery.
12. Bad smells are a turn-off
Finally, if cleaning your car has not gotten rid of all the bad smells in your car (in which case, what the hell have you been doing in your car?!), then put pieces of charcoal in pouches and place them around your car for a cheap and non-toxic odour-eliminating solution.