Mistakes People Make When Washing their Car

Over the years, all around the world, people are making mistakes when it comes to washing and drying their car. Here are some of the mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

Using laundry liquid, or dish washing liquid to wash their car

Washing your car with laundry or dish washing detergent will strip off any of the protection you have over the paint on your car, so using a detergent on a regular basis will remove any protection from coats of wax or sealant you have on your car. It can also dry out your trim, which can lead to accelerated fading and/or cracking.

SOLUTION: Always buy and use a good quality car shampoo that has gentle cleaners that will maximise and not destroy the durability of your sealant or wax.

Using a normal bath or beach towel to dry your car

This is a major mistake! Most bath towels are made from terry cotton or cotton which can add *swirls* and other imperfections into your paint. It’s the washing and drying process that sees most imperfections and swirls show up. Using the wrong towels can take away from the finish of your paint, that can then take hours to fix.

SOLUTION: Buy some good quality drying towels that are made specifically for use on cars


Using a traditional sponge or kitchen sponge to wash the car

Traditional sponges only trap dirt and then push it around the surface of the car. This dirt and debris can create swirls and other imperfections on your paint.

SOLUTION: use a sheepskin wash mitt. These are a great alternative and the fibres work well at releasing dirt from the mitt rather than pushing it around on the surface of your car.


Washing in direct sunlight

This can cause *water spotting* on your paint which will take away from the finish of your car. When water evaporates it often leaves calcium and other minerals behind.

SOLUTION – wash your car in the shade, if the shade isn’t an option wash your car as the sun is rising or setting, alternatively work in small sections and wash soap from the car frequently.


Using a wiper blade – or similar – to dry your car

Nothing will add imperfections to the paint on your car faster than any unnecessary friction. While it might seem like you are saving time wiping the water off with a blade, you’ll pay for it eventually – in having to spend hours polishing away all the marks – the scratches and swirls created by using a *blade* every wash.

SOLUTION – use a good quality drying towel instead.


Washing your wheels/tires with the same mitt as your paint

Wheels and tyres are often the most contaminated part of your car, so to minimise adding imperfections to your paint, don’t use the same mitt on your wheels and tyres and then on your paint.

SOLUTION – use two good quality wash mitts when you wash your car.


Wearing Jewellery and clothing that can damage your paint

This is without a doubt one of the easiest and fastest ways to damage your paint, as you lean over your car your belt, rivets on jeans, necklaces, rings and even your watch can scratch and damage your paint.SOLUTION – is quite simple remove ALLjewelleryy before washing your car and wear long pants or shorts that have an elastic waistband.

SOLUTION – The solution is quite simple remove ALL jewelry before washing your car and wear long pants or shorts that have an elastic waistband.


Using only one washing bucket

By using just one washing bucket you are increasing the chances of adding imperfections, swirls and scratches to your paint. As you clean off one area you put your mitt into the suds to rinse off and get some more suds on your mitt. All you are doing is putting dirt and grime you just removed from the car into the water, when you put your mitt back onto the paint chances are it’s still contaminated.

SOLUTION –  use a two-bucket wash system, fill one bucket with clean water and use that as your rinse bucket, the second bucket fill with your car shampoo. After cleaning one section, before you put your mitts into the soapy water again, rinse it off in your rinse bucket to release the contamination and hopefully prevent it from being transferred back to the car. You can also add a grit guard bucket insert to the bottom of your rinse bucket this will help trap dirt and contamination on the bottom of your bucket.

About the Author: Martin French

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