For any car enthusiast, there is no better way to spend a weekend than giving your car a good clean. But beyond making it look good, keeping your car clean can help retain its value.
Washing your car is incredibly important in preventing contaminants like dust, direct, pollen, tree sap, salt and air-borne pollutants from damaging your vehicle. In the long run, regular cleaning will keep your car in top condition by lowering maintenance and insurance costs and increasing the resale value.
In fact, most experts recommend washing your car once a week to prevent damage to your paint and finish. While it may seem simple enough, using the wrong technique can do more than harm than good.
So how can you wash your car like an expert? We have some car wash tips to give your vehicle the rockstar treatment.
Evaluate the state of your car before getting started. If you have a new vehicle, you may only need to give it a quick wash and wax. If it’s been a while, your car’s exterior may need a polish to bring it back to showroom condition.
Get the tools
If you’re going to wash your car by hand, it’s critically important to have the right products for each area of the vehicle. This includes rubber gloves, a rubber brush, vacuum cleaner, microfibre cloths and window cleaner. Using cleaning liquids and chemicals on the wrong surfaces may damage your car, costing you even more in the long run.
This goes for soap too. While you might be thinking dish soap or hand soap might be a quick fix, these tend to have the wrong pH balance which can damage your car’s paint. For the right result, use car washing liquid to clean the surface of your car – and nothing else.
Before you get started with the soap, it’s important to give your car a good rinse. This should dislodge any loose dirt that could scratch your car while you’re washing it.
It’s also important to wash your car in the shade where possible to avoid premature drying. Sunlight can create water spots that can stain your paintwork.
Now you’re ready to clean! Make sure all windows and doors are shut, and don’t squirt water under the hood.
We suggest you start with the wheels first – they’re generally the dirtiest part of your car and will require the most scrubbing. Soapy water will usually be enough to get them sparkling but, if they’re covered in brake dust or it’s been a little while between washes, wheel cleaner will be able to help.
Next, fill your bucket with your car cleaner and water, and start washing from the roof down. Clean and rinse each panel at a time, and don’t forget your door jambs and scuff plates. Rinse your cloth before going back for soap water, to make sure you’re not rubbing dirt back onto your car paint as you go. To avoid water spots, keep your car wet at all times.
Once it’s clean, be sure to dry your car using a squeegee to remove most of the water on the surface – skipping this step or letting it air dry can leave water spots. Then, use a microfibre towel over the entire vehicle in flat, straight lines, avoiding circular motions.
Polish and wax
When your car is washed and dried, it’s time to polish and wax. Polish is optional but it adds shine which can make your vehicle look newer.
Wax is important, as it adds a layer of protection from UV rays which can prevent fading and from anything else that may land on the paint. It also preserves the high-gloss finish on paint.
To keep your car clean between washes, there are a few easy things you can do. Try to avoid parking under trees or anywhere were birds generally land. Newly sealed or gravel roads can impact your tyres so it’s great to avoid these where possible.
If your car comes into contact with stains which as insects, bird poo or tree sap, give it a wipe with cleaner as soon as possible to avoid it damaging your paint.
That said, it’s impossible to prevent all scratches and paint imperfections on your car over time. Stone chips, scratches, scrapes, dents and scuffs can be easily fixed by Bumpertek, restoring your paintwork back to new.
Have a bumper or paint repair that you need fixed in Sydney or surrounds? Get in contact with Bumpertek for a cost-effective paint repair today.
And keep an eye on our blog for more car maintenance advice.