Most people rely on their cars daily to get them to work, home, school, and other places but put little thought into the necessary care vehicles require. While you can take your vehicle through an automatic car wash, it may not be the best choice for your paint job. Hiring someone else to clean your car is a viable option for busy people, but it’s not always easy on your wallet. Doing it yourself is an excellent idea, but learning a few things to consider when cleaning your car is necessary for those without experience in detailing.
Not Washing Your Car When It’s Hot
Most people don’t think there’s a single right time to wash their cars, but there is a wrong time—when it’s hot. If you’ve just been driving or the vehicle is warm from direct sun exposure, park it in a shady spot and wait until it cools to wash it. Excess heat causes soap and water to dry quicker, which increases the chances of water spots and soap buildups. If you must wash it when it’s hot, you should wash, rinse, and dry small areas before moving to the next.
Choosing the Right Products
Picking the right products to clean your car is one of the most important factors, as using the wrong cleaners can cause tremendous damage to your ride. That said, using a designated car wash soap is the best possible choice. Products like hand soap, window cleaner, and dish soap can dull your paint job or damage the protective coating.
Automotive soap is much gentler, and it cleanses effectively without causing damage. Aside from the soap, the sponge or mitt you use to apply also has a large impact. It should be soft and clean to avoid making scratches on the paint.
Meeting Your Specific Car’s Needs
Vehicles require different levels of cleaning depending on age, what you use them for, and how often you drive them. For instance, a car with a rough surface may need a clay bar treatment to remove any deposits or grit. On the other hand, every car needs the occasional waxing to protect the exterior from the elements. Understanding the differences between waxing and polishing is a great step toward determining your car’s specific needs.
Working From Top to Bottom
The entire car needs cleaning, but there’s an ideal order to it. The wheels and tires are usually the dirtiest part of the exterior, and dirt will run down to the wheels as you clean the rest of the car. As a result, you should consider working from top to bottom to prevent the transfer of dirt and grime from the wheels to the paint. Additionally, you might have to clean your wheels twice if you decide to do them first. Clean your tires and wheels last to avoid extra work.
Because wheels and tires are the dirtiest parts of the exterior, consider using a different sponge or mitt to clean them.
After learning a few things to consider when cleaning your car, you’ll have the shiniest ride on the block. Even though vehicles always get dirty again, keeping them clean is an effective way to extend their life and quality.