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Many of us fantasize about buying our dream car and how it will feel to drive our new four wheels around, but we forget to consider the upkeep involved. While you likely take your car to get serviced once a year and attend to repairs as needed, do you wash your vehicle as often as you should? And if you do, are you doing the job effectively?
Read on for some top dos and don’ts to follow when washing your car at home.
DO: Get Everything You Need in One Place Before You Begin
No matter what task we’re completing, it’s always wise to get everything we need for this project out and ready before we begin. That way, we don’t have to stop partway through to go source items, either from another part of our home or from the shops, etc. The same goes for when it’s car washing day.
You don’t want water (especially hard water from the tap) or suds to dry on the vehicle and damage the paint because you don’t have all the washing products, water, buckets, towels, etc., you need. It’s wise to put everything you use for washing your car in one place in your garage or garden shed so that you’re organized and don’t need to waste time getting everything together when you find time to clean your vehicle.
DO: Choose Quality Washing Products
One key factor to remember when washing your car at home is that you must use the right products. Use cheap products or goods not designed for washing cars, specifically, and you can actually cause problems with your vehicle. For example, there’s still a myth that you can use standard dishwashing detergent to clean your car, but this is terrible advice because these products contain strong chemicals that can strip off the wax from your car and dull its paint and trim finishes.
It’s imperative to use quality car care goods explicitly made for vehicles and not other items, even if products seem to be a bargain or other people have recommended them to you.
Some other key “dos” to note as you wash your car are to rinse it thoroughly and dry it properly before finishing the job.
DON’T: Reuse Items You Drop on the Ground
We can all be a bit clumsy at times and drop things as we work, but when you’re washing your car, this is something to be particularly mindful of. You might think that dropping a washing mitt, drying cloth, detailing rag, or the like on the ground for a split second is no problem, but think again.
If you use it again in the same wash session, you might damage your vehicle by bringing any little dirt and grime particles that clung to the item after being on the ground into contact with your car’s paint. These things can scratch and spiderweb the paint. Avoid this situation by having multiple towels, mitts, etc., on hand as a backup in case you drop anything. Then, machine-wash goods that land on the ground before using them to wash your car in the future.
DON’T: Wash Your Car in the Hot Sun
Another “don’t” for looking after your car is not to wash it in the hot sun. While you might be tempted to do this job on a bright, cloudless day because it’s nice being outside then, it’s better to pick another time. This is because you want to keep your car wet while you finish cleaning it, until it’s time for the drying stage. If it’s too hot out in the sun, the water and even the soap may dry too fast, before you get to the rinsing stage. You may end up with spots all over the paint and glass as a result.
Combat this by washing in the early morning or evening when the temperature isn’t soaring, or park your car under a carport or otherwise in the shade. Alternatively, keep spraying a drizzle of water over the vehicle if you need to wash it in the hot sun.
Two other “don’ts” to keep in mind when cleaning your vehicle are don’t forget to pay attention to the wheels, as well as the body of the machine, and don’t go too long between washes. If you consider all of these factors when it comes to keeping your car shiny and sparkling, you’ll keep it in much better condition and reduce costs for yourself long-term.