Be sure you set aside one day of each month to wash your car. One day each month should be sufficient to keeping the exterior of your vehicle clean and healthy. If you live or drive through areas where your car is exposed to tar, bugs, bird droppings, etc., then you may need to wash more frequently. Leaving any of these contaminants on your vehicle can destroy the exterior of the vehicle.
AVOID THE PAVEMENT
Avoid washing your vehicle on the pavement, since doing so can cause the run off to enter storm drains and cause contamination. Wash your car in the yard where the soil will act as natural filtration for the water runoff.
USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
Be sure you always use the correct products for washing your car. While hand soap, dish detergent, and glass cleaners are usually easily at your disposal; they are not good for your paint. They will destroy oils in your paint and, over time, ruin your paint job.
LET YOUR CAR COOL DOWN
Avoid washing your car after driving it, or after it has been sitting in the heat/sunlight. Washing your car while it is excessively hot will cause soap and water to dry too quickly. This makes washing your car more difficult and more likely to develop water spots or leave residual buildup behind.
WASH YOUR TIRES FIRST
When you start to wash your car, always clean your tires first. This way if you accidentally get any tire cleaning products on your vehicle’s paint, you can easily wash it off as you start cleaning your car.
ALWAYS USE 2 BUCKETS
Have two buckets ready: one with soapy water, and one with clean water. Every time you finish washing one section, rinse the sponge in the clean water bucket before putting it back into the bucket with soap. This will help you avoid contaminating your car with the dirt and debris that you just washed off.
AVOID CIRCULAR MOTIONS
It seems that most people’s natural instinct when washing their vehicle is to move the sponge in a circular motion, but you should actually move it side to side. Washing in a circular motion will leave behind scratches, known as swirl marks, which are light, but very noticeable.
RINSE BEFORE YOU WASH
Make sure you rinse your vehicle completely and thoroughly before you begin to wash it. Rinsing your vehicle first will remove any dirt or debris that could cause you to scratch your paint while washing it.
WASH IN SECTIONS
While washing your car, be sure to wash and rinse each section individually. If you just lather up and wash the whole car in one swoop, then you risk the soap drying before you are done with the entire vehicle. This will leave behind residue, since it wasn’t rinsed off soon enough. Therefore, it’s best to wash and then rinse one section at a time.
DON’T AIR OR DRIVE DRY
When it comes to drying your vehicle, avoid air drying or driving around to dry it. Doing either will leave water marks, and driving to dry can actually pick up dirt or debris that will stick to your wet vehicle, making your entire car washing pointless. Just use a soft terry towel to dry your car off for a sparkling shine.
If you would rather replace your old car with a shiny new one, consider donating your used vehicle to 1-800-Charity Cars. You can help change the life of a family in need by providing them with the gift of reliable transportation. Just visit our donation site at www.800charitycars.org or call 1-800-242-7489.