How do you keep your car looking as great as the day you first drove it home? Simple. Give it the proper care and attention it deserves right from the start. For best results, keep it clean at all times by giving it a “like new” wash on a regular basis. How exactly can you do this? Here are some car washing tips that can help you accomplish this goal.
Use a high quality car shampoo. While dishwashing liquid can effectively remove dirt, grease and old wax, using it repeatedly can take away the oils from your finish and ruin your paintwork. So, always use the right products when washing your car.
Rinse your mitts. Road grit usually gets trapped in your wash mitts so rinse them often in a bucket filled with clean water to prevent scratches. Frequent rinsing also reduces the appearance of ugly swirl marks.
Clay it. While normal washing can effectively remove surface dirt, it may not be enough to remove all the grit that has been embedded in your car’s finish. Instead, you may need to pluck them using a good quality clay bar kit. Rub a portion of the flattened clay over the paint using a back and forth motion. You can fold, flatten, and use the clay repeatedly until you have removed all the contaminants.
Smooth out your paint by polishing. Polishing helps remove all those small surface imperfections and scratches to help you achieve a glossy shine. For best results, apply a small amount of polish across a 2 x 2 feet area and use an oscillating polishing machine (running at low speed) to spread it over the entire area. Gradually increase the speed to achieve a glossy finish.
Protect it with wax. If you want to provide an added layer of protection to your car’s finish and prevent premature deterioration, don’t skip the wax. A thin layer of wax, paint protectant or paint sealant can effectively absorb stains and scratches, and prevent them from causing more damage to your car. Both paste and liquid wax work equally well so it all boils down to your personal preference. For best results, apply the wax using a swirling motion and wipe off the haze with a microfiber towel. Consider giving your car a fresh coat of wax every season, especially if it spends most of the time outdoors.
Work your way down. When cleaning the interior, don’t start by shampooing the carpet. Start at the top. Vacuum the headliner, dash, console and door panels, and use a detailing brush to sweep the dust out of the nooks, cracks and crevices. Vacuum the seats and handy door pockets to make sure you clean out all the junk.
Make the glass shine. Don’t use a glass cleaner that contains ammonia since it can damage your vinyl upholstery and instrument panel. Buff with a microfiber cloth to get rid of cleaner residue.
Follow these car washing tips and you can be sure that your car will keep its new car look for years to come. As an added layer of protection, consider using a high quality semi-custom car cover when not in use.