Sure, it’s easy to take your car through the car wash and call it a day. But there is so much that a 3-minute ride through the spinning brushes can’t do for your car. That’s why it’s important to have your car hand cleaned on a regular basis. You can either take your car to the local car wash to have it washed and buffed by hand, or you can spend a little quality time with your car and clean it yourself. Here are some car-cleaning tips to help your vehicle look brand new with a good at-home wash.
1. Choose the right tire cleaner.
Professionals often use acid cleaners, but if you’re cleaning your own car on the weekend, it’s best to use a non-acid product. Acid products can damage certain kinds of wheels, such as bar alloy wheels and wheels painted with certain coatings. The professionals know which cleaners to use for your kind of wheel. One of our customers’ top choices for non-acid, professional-grade tire cleaners is Real White Tire Cleaner.
If you’re cleaning your car from home, non-acid cleaners can do a great job of cleaning, minus the risk of doing damage to your wheels.
2. Microfiber cloth instead of a T-shirt.
When washing your car, you need to use a material that is absorbent and provides a buffer between the material and the surface of the car. A microfiber cloth is a good choice. If you choose a smooth material, such as an old T-shirt, you’ll risk rubbing dirt and other particles into the car finish. While it may not cause noticeable scratches, this action can cause micro scratches over time, dulling your car’s finish.
3. Use an after-wash water rinse cloth.
After you’re done cleaning with an absorbent, dense cloth, use Watersprite to get that perfectly clean car look. Watersprite gets rid of pesky spots, streaks, and dust that often lag behind after you’ve put in the hard work of washing your car. It even makes sure to remove any soap or cleaner residue that would otherwise show itself in your car’s reflection.
4. No dishwashing detergent.
It may seem that dish soap is a mild product that would never damage the finish of your car. But surprisingly, dish soap can actually do damage to your paint’s finish. It’s best instead to use a cleaner especially made for cars, such as Liquid Power Surge Car Wash or All Purpose Car Wash. These cleaners are specifically formulated to clean your car without issues.
5. Don’t wait until your car is dirty to get it cleaned.
“I need a car wash!”
This is what most people say when they start to notice dirt, water spots, and residue on their car. Regularly leaving dirt on your vehicle’s windows and finish can do permanent damage to your car over time. That’s why it’s important to have your car washed on a regular basis, whether it looks like it needs it or not. Chances are, your car doesn’t look it’s best if it hasn’t been washed in several weeks. But even if it looks ok, there is likely grime that needs to be removed.
6. It’s all in the details.
Do you ever wonder what the difference is between your car, freshly driven through the car wash, and your neighbor’s car, which sparkles in the sunlight and looks brand new? It’s in the details, and details can best be addressed by hand. Make sure that you are hand washing on a regular basis. Feel free to use the drive-through car wash between hand washes.
7. Wash early in the morning or late at night.
The best time to wash your car is when the body of the vehicle is not too hot. When the car body is hot, soap and water evaporate faster, making washing more difficult and potentially causing you to use too much product. Instead, wash your car when it has not been driven for awhile (or has had a chance to cool down after driving). If you live in a hot climate or it is a hot time of year, wash your car early in the morning or late at night.
8. Don’t forget the windshield wiper blades.
These little guys often get neglected, but they play a crucial role in keeping your windshield clean. Considering this is the area you need to see out of clearly to drive safely, I’d say that wiper blades are among one of the most important parts of your car to keep clean.
To do so, use some all purpose car wash and a rag (microfiber or other absorbent, non-smooth material) to first clean underneath the wiper blades to get rid of any accumulated dirt and grime. Then rinse your cloth and clean the blades themselves, pinching one end between your fingers and wiping from one end to the other. Repeat as necessary.
What are your favorite tips for cleaning your car?