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The Do’s and Don’ts of Car Washing

on 10/28/2013

There are 2 facts about car washing that most of us don’t know; frequent washing is the best way to maintain your vehicle’s finish and keep it looking show room new and improper washing can actually leave your paint in worse condition than when you started.


Here are some basic dos and don’ts when you wash your car next;


-Depending on where you live, some regions suffer from acid rain. If you live in one of these regions it is good practice to rinse your vehicle off after periods of rainy weather. The acid rain can leave marks on your paint even after the rain droplets have dried.


-If your vehicle has just been driven a long period of time or has been baking in the sun all day wait to wash your car until the sheet metal is cool. The hot sheet metal can cause the soapy water to dry faster making it more difficult to get your vehicle clean and possibly dull the finish.


-Rise off your vehicle before washing it. On one hand it will help cool down the sheet metal and on the other it rinses off any dirt, leaves, or debris that can get stuck under towels and sponges scratching your paint.


-One of the most common mistakes when washing a vehicle is using a household detergent. Household detergents are often too harsh to use on your vehicle’s paint. It can strip the protective wax and dull the car’s finish. Using a car washing soap is much better as they have been designed to be a milder detergent that won’t strip your car’s protective coating.


-Washing your vehicle in sections is the best approach to car washing. Wash and then rinse on section at a time. This will help prevent any soapy water drying on the paint and leaving water marks.


-Be sure the sponge you are using for washing is non-abrasive. You don’t want to leave hairline scratches in your paint. It is also important to note to rinse your sponge often and never use it right after dropping it on the ground. You may be scratching your paint that way.


-Using a bug and tar remover can help get that hard to get off grime from your vehicle. In some cases the car wash detergent isn’t enough to get at the hard to get off grime. Use a separate cloth or sponge from the sponge you wash your vehicle with.


-For cleaning your wheels and tires you can use a light detergent such as the one you used to wash your car. This will help get rid of brake dust and everyday grime that collects around your wheels and tires. If there is stubborn grime that does not want to come off, using a special wheel cleaner and brush can help.


-The final rinse. It is preferable to use a fine spray for the final rinse. Don’t allow the water droplets to dry on their own. Hard water has a high mineral content and can leave spots long after the water has dried. Using a dry, soft towel to dry the vehicle is best; chamois, terry towel, or synthetic chamois.