man washing car

Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes When Washing Your Car

Avoid these rookie mistakes when washing your car

Washing your car is an important part of vehicle maintenance that you can do without having expert level knowledge. However, there are common car washing mistakes that you should avoid so that you don’t cause damage to the exterior. Here are a few tips you can use to keep your car looking its best.

1) DON’T use household cleaning products. Reaching for the dish detergent or the glass cleaner you’ve already got in your cupboard is a big no-no when it’s time to clean your car. These chemicals may be gentle enough for the kitchen or the bathroom, but they are too harsh for automobiles. DO use a car washing soap. Remember to give your vehicle a good rinse with water before you apply any soap so that you are not rubbing in any bits of debris. Use enough soap to allow the cloth to move smoothly over the car.

2)DON’T wash the car when it is hot. The hotter your car is, the faster it will dry the soap into nasty little deposits that are difficult to rinse off. If the sun is hot enough, adding water to your car’s finish will boil it off. This type of damage is costly.DO wait until the car is cooler and wash it in a shady spot if possible.

3) DON’T use one bucket. Use at least two buckets, one for soapy water and one with clean water for rinsing. If you use just one bucket of water from start to finish, you are not getting your car clean. Not only are you leaving soap scum behind, but you may also be redepositing the grime you’ve just removed from your car which can lead to scratches. Ideally, you should use two additional buckets to clean the tires with their water. If you don’t have enough buckets, dump out the contents of the buckets when you transition from cleaning the body to cleaning the tires.

4) DON’T use circular motions. Using a circular motion is arguably the worst of the typical car washing mistakes you can make. Moving the soap around in circles can lead to light scratches on the paint called swirl marks. Do use light pressure as you move the cloth lengthwise across each section of the body.

5) DON’T let the car air dry. Neglecting to hand dry your car will lead to unsightly watermarks. Do use chamois, terry cloth, or a squeegee to remove the excess water gently. Count on using a couple of clothes for the job.

Washing your car each week can be fun, therapeutic, and a big money saver! You can maintain the beauty of your vehicle for years to come by taking care to clean it the right way, every time.

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