Our cars are subjected to a lot of harsh elements present around us. From the regular dust and pollutants in our air to the muck on the road to the lovely birds on the trees, it seems as if nobody wants our cars to be clean. Some of us take the pain to wash the vehicle on our own, some of us go to the trusted car wash shop and most of us rely on our beloved watchman. However, if not done in a proper manner, a wash could cause serious harm to your paint surface. Here are some tips to keep your car shining and dust free with minimal damage.
The water you use
It’s advisable to clean your car with soft water. While cleaning you may not notice the difference between hard and soft water but the difference is evident sometime later. If any water droplets are left out to dry on the paint surface the salts get deposited and leave nasty marks. Any detailer would definitely charge you a bomb to get those stains removed. If you do not have access to soft water, make sure that no droplets are left behind when you are done with the wash. Moreover, it is advisable to clean your car in the shade, away from direct sunlight to make sure the water does not dry up quickly.
The cleaning agent you use
Water alone doesn’t stand a chance against the dirt and grime our roads have to offer. All of us know that and consider using a foaming agent like dish wash soap, hair shampoo or even laundry detergent. No doubt these would make your car shine but also they would strip off all the protective wax on your clear coat. It’s always advisable to invest in a shampoo made specifically for car paint. Just make sure, in case you use hard water, the shampoo is compatible with it.
The cloth used to clean
Now that you have your water and shampoo ready, you want to pick up that rag you might have brought from a traffic signal right? Wrong. Okay, how about the nice sponge that you see the ladies use in the movies? No! It’s important to let only microfiber cloths or wash mitts to touch your paint. These materials are designed to trap dirt particles in their fibres and prevent them from scratching when you rub the car surface during the wash.
The technique used to clean
Now you want to start the actual cleaning. If you are using a pressure washer, set the pressure between 1200 to 1900 PSI and maintain a safe distance between the washer and the vehicle to rinse it first. Keep two buckets, one with soapy water, the dipping bucket and the other with plain water, the rinse bucket. Dip your microfiber in the dipping bucket and work in straight lines, starting from the top. Every now and then dip the microfiber in your rinse bucket to get rid of the dirt and grime followed by a dip in the dipping bucket and repeat till you cover the whole car. Make sure you have enough lubrication in the form of soap to prevent scratches. It’s also advisable to use a different cloth/mitt for your wheels.
Drying technique used
Now since everything is done, we go in for the last and most important step. There are various ways to get it done. However, the best way to do it is to use a large microfiber and pat dry every panel one by one. This method involves no rubbing of the paint surface which translates to a scratch free finish. It’s also recommended to use an air blower to remove water from hard to reach areas like monograms, grills, mirrors, etc. That said, if you are in a hurry, then make sure you always working straight lines to wipe dry your car, to minimise the chances of scratches.
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Although you follow all these steps, there are still chances of getting minor scratches over a period of time cause of some reason or the other. Hence it is also recommended having your car detailed every six to eight months which not only would get rid of these minor scratches but also add a layer of protection to your paint surface in the form of a wax or paint sealant. You not only would have the peace of mind of having a good looking car but it will also be helpful when one day you decide to sell your car off. Also, it’s always helpful to have a microfibre towel and some soapy water in the car for small emergencies like crow shit or bugs on your front bumper, etc. Now that you know how to keep your car shiny and clean, buckle your seatbelts and create some nice memories on the road.