While battling between rocks, mud, snow and salt; our car’s exterior takes a big hit while on the road.
But surprisingly, many of the paint’s scratches and impurities are caused from improper washing – whether it’s from using the wrong tools or going through soft cloth car washes.
Follow these five steps for a professional wash at home!
1. First and foremost, rinse your car in order to remove larger debris and dirt. While washing, park your car in a shaded area to prevent sun spots from forming before you get to the drying stage.
2. Washing mitt or brush – what works best?
It makes sense to choose a long brush with tough bristles to successfully remove dirt. However, this can actually cause more damage to the paint, “Sponges, towels and brushes push the dirt across the paint and leave scratches as a result” (Autoblog).
For this reason, a microfiber or lambswool wash mitt is your best friend for a scratch-free wash!
3. 1 bucket, 2 buckets, 3 buckets MORE!
Most people don’t think about using more than one bucket. But it is important that you don’t wash your car with dirty water throughout the process. Make sure to have one bucket for soap and water, and another for rinsing. You can even use a third bucket for washing your car tires, as they tend to be extra dirty.
4. Parking in the shade to avoid sun spots will make drying your car much easier. More importantly, using a chamois or microfiber cloth will provide an even better and more effective drying result.
Fun fact: Not all microfiber clothes are the same! Different areas of your car require specific types of microfiber clothes for an optimal clean,
“Microfiber towels come in various sizes, pile height, or density, referred to as GSM, or grams per square meter. Window towels are typically in the range of 200 to 250 GSM while paint and interior should not exceed 350 to 400 GSM. Every detailer should have at least three types of towels in various colors to designate specific usage. For example, red 350 GSM towels are only used for the paint, while green is only used for interior plastics, blue for the door jams, and so on” (Autoblog).
5. Now that you’ve professionally cleaned your car at home, adding a thin layer of paint protector will help extend the life of your paint from contaminants and UV rays.
A good time to apply would be before Winter to protect against the salt and in the Spring to fight against the mud, dirt and smaller debris.
Spot Cleaning Tips
1. You may think parking near a tree is great for shade and protection, but they can sometimes leave unwanted gifts on your car that will eat away and damage the paint. Luckily, there are specially designed cleaners out there to make removing sap spots easy.
2. Floor mats are designed to keep your car floor clean, but when the mats themselves get dirty, how do you get them looking like new? Aside from shaking them out to remove the larger debris, dirt and salt can easily stain the plastic that no amount of scrubbing and soap can clean out. What’s left to do? Using a Rim and Tire cleaner will make the stains disappear and bring back the ‘just installed’ look and feel of your floor mats.