- Sponges are not recommended for washing cars because they can scratch the paintwork.
- Use a deep pile wash mitt instead of a sponge.
- Always use two buckets when washing your car – one for shampoo and one for rinsing.
- Don’t use cheap shampoos – they can damage the paintwork.
- Wash the wheels and tires as part of detailing the car.
- Don’t forget to clean hidden areas like doorjambs and wheel wells.
- The engine should be cleaned as part of detailing the car (but remember to disconnect the battery first).
If you’re someone who loves your car, you know how crucial it is to maintain it. It is not just a significant investment, but it is also your means of getting from one place to another. So, how do you make sure your car stays in top condition? One way is to detail it regularly. But before you start scrubbing and polishing, read this list of dos and don’ts from our professional auto detailers. By following their advice, you’ll keep your car looking great for years to come!
Don’t Use a Sponge:
Put down the sponge and walk away. Motoring aisles at supermarkets and high street motor providers are overflowing with car-washing supplies, including sponges. However, as any vehicle care expert will tell you, sponges are one of the worst things you can use to wash your car since the artificial, thick surface transfers dirt rather than lifting it and can produce swirl marks in the paintwork.
A deep pile wash mitt made of natural materials such as cotton, lambswool, or soft microfiber is far more effective on paintwork than a sponge since the long, soft fibers lift dirt away.
Do Use Two Buckets:
Washing your car with just one bucket of water is a surefire way to scratch the paintwork since grit and dirt from the bottom of the bucket will be transferred onto the mitt and then rubbed into the paint. Use two buckets instead – one for shampooing and one for washing.
The two-bucket method involves using two buckets, one with shampoo and one with plain water to rinse. Start the washing by soaking the wash mitt in the shampoo bucket. When you return for the next load, immerse the mitt in the rinse water to remove any dirt and debris. As an added precaution, grit guards placed low in the buckets will trap any grit and dirt at the bottom.
Don’t Use Cheap Shampoos:
Various vehicle shampoos on the market claim to be effective, but not all are. Some include detergents that can remove previously applied wax, with home washing-up liquid being the most severe offender. Leave it on the windowsill in the kitchen!
Use high-quality shampoo. The additional lubricants help pull pollutants away from the paint and into the mitt, ready to be washed away, giving it a smooth, soapy sensation.
Do Wash the Wheels:
When auto detailing, one of the most crucial yet sometimes disregarded parts is the wheels. They are constantly exposed to brake dust and other nasties and are also difficult to clean. Use a decent purpose-designed wheel cleaner and a brush to break down the built-up road filth and grit. Don’t forget about the tires; apply a tire treatment to restore the rubber’s luster. After all, auto detailing is all about the small details.
Don’t Wash Your Car in Direct Sunlight:
Almost all detailing products will function badly in direct sunlight or on a heated surface. Heat also speeds up the soap and water drying process, resulting in sticky and stubborn water marks and streaks. Always operate indoors or in the shade, and only when all exterior surfaces of the car are cool to the touch.
Do Remember the Hidden Areas:
While detailing the car, don’t forget the areas that are not easily visible. These areas are where dirt and grime love to hide, and if you’re not careful, they can cause long-term damage to your paintwork. Be sure to clean the wheel wells, doorjambs, and other hard-to-reach areas.
Don’t Forget to Detail the Engine:
The engine is a significant part of car detailing. Not only does this make your automobile look better, but it also helps to prevent corrosion and rust. Be sure to use a degreaser and a brush designed for cleaning engines. And always remember to disconnect the battery before you start.
Do Use a Clean, Dry Towel or Cloth for Drying:
If you leave your car for air drying, water stains and water marks can appear, damaging the car’s appearance, and making all your efforts in vain. Ideally, you would use forced air to remove as much water as possible, particularly around little locations such as grills and badges. However, you can also use the ‘Diamond Weave’ Microfiber with a highly absorbent microfiber inner layer. Remember that quality counts since harsh, cheap toweling may also affect swirl marks!
Don’t Wax the Exterior If There Are Scratches
Waxing over scratches will not make them disappear. In fact, it can make the problem worse by magnifying the appearance of the scratch. If there are any scratches on the exterior of your car, use a good quality polish to try and remove them before you wax.
Do Work Your Way Down:
The bottom parts of a car come into contact with road impurities, and you don’t want that filth to transfer to the vehicle’s considerably cleaner top parts. That said, it’s a good idea to start with your wheels and tires but not with a scrubbing session and soap. Use a reputable spray-on and rinse-off chemical that is permitted for the wheels you are rolling on since this will allow a concentrated blast to reach the filthiest section of the automobile. After that, wash the automobile from top to bottom, avoiding cross-contamination by using a separate scrubbing media on the wheels and tires.
So, those are some of the basic dos and don’ts of auto detailing. If you keep these in mind, there’s a high chance that your car will always look its best.
We realize how upsetting it might be to read these details. You may have begun to suspect that vehicle detailing is not your cup of tea. In this case, Inside Out Car Care serving Salisbury, MD, as well as Fruitland, is here to help!
Our experts can cater to all your vehicle appearance and cleaning needs.