5 Simple Car Washing Tips

5 Simple Car Washing Tips

1. Wash With the Right Suds

Even though hand dishwashing liquid is a great degreaser, it’s not the thing to use on your vehicle’s finish. Yes, it removes dirt, grease and old wax. But it also sucks important oils right out of the paint’s finish. Use it repeatedly and you shorten the life of your paint job. Instead of dish soap, use a cleaner formulated for vehicles (available at any auto parts store). We recommend Meguiars Deep Crystal Car Wash in stock now at Pete’s Paint. Once you’ve mixed the suds, go one step further—fill a second bucket for clean rinse water. Use it to rinse the wash mitt often. That will remove most of the road grit from the mitt to prevent micro scratches. An even better option is the Grit Guard. This plastic grid sits in the bottom of a 5-gallon wash bucket and stabilizes the water. Contamination and particles settle to the bottom of the bucket and the clean wash water remains at the top.

Car Wash Tip1

2. Buy the Right Equipment

A pressure washer might be a great option for cleaning off your house siding but for cars and trucks it might be a little over the top? Most car enthusiasts will agree that hand washing your car will prolong the paint’s finish and wash mitts, garden hose and mirco cloths are the way to go when it comes to car detailing. If you want to wax the car you can also get a high quality buffer and wax to add extra luster to the vehicle.

Car Wash Tip2

3. Give the Interior a Good Vacuuming

You’ll be surprised by what you find behind the seats. We found a lost cell phone, enough pens and pencils to equip a small office, and enough change for several vending machine lunches. Vacuum the seats, remove the mats and vacuum the carpet. Use a brush attachment for the dash and door panels. Don’t forget to clean out and vacuum those handy door pockets (another source of buried treasure).

Car Wash Tip 3

4. Going The Extra Mile

Use a carpet cleaning machine to get the deep dirt that settles into the fibers of the carpet. (Clean cloth seats this way as well.) It sprays the carpet with a solution of water and cleaner and then sucks the dirt and grime into a reservoir. A machine like this pays for itself after just a few uses. You can also rent one from a rental center or use a spray-on cleaner and a scrub brush instead.

Car Wash Tip 4

5. Drying Your Car

Never skip drying! Drying your vehicle after washing is necessary to prevent water spots. Water spots are caused by mineral deposits that etch the outline of a drop of water into your vehicle’s paint. All water has minerals, whether it’s from the hose or the sky. As the water evaporates, the minerals remain on the surface and they will eventually, invariably create water spots. You can dry your vehicle in a variety of ways, but you want to make sure you do it quickly. The fastest way to remove excess water is with a California Jelly Blade. This is a “paint-safe” squeegee that pull 80% of the water off the surface of your vehicle. They are made of soft, medical-grade silicone so they will not scratch your paint or glass. Use the blade on the windows first, since water spots are most noticeable there.

Car Wash Tips4