How to Properly Wash Your Car

You’re ready to wash your car.  Just squirt some detergent in a bucket, fill it with warm water, and scrub away, right?  Well, not if you want to protect the paint on your car.  So, what is the best product to use as a car wash? Dish detergents (Ivory Liquid, Dawn, etc.) may be used, but realize that these products are designed to remove grease from your dishes. They will treat your wax job the same way.  If you want to have your wax last a lot longer, you should use a product that is specifically designed for automotive use.   Quality car washes/shampoos are usually pH controlled, contain gloss enhancers and some even have small amounts of wax for good measure.

Start with a clean large bucket, add a small amount of the car wash, and fill with cool water. Avoid hot water, as it will soften the wax on your car. The more car wash, the more wax you remove so use it sparingly. Try to avoid powder car washes as the undissolved granules can lodge under your sponge or wash mitt and scratch the paint surface.

Next, make sure that your car is in the shade and the paint surface is relatively cool. If you can comfortably hold your hand on the hood, you can wash and wax your car.

You may use a wash mitt or sponge to wash your car.  Spray the car with a gentle spray to thoroughly wet the surface. Don’t use a high pressure nozzle because it may grind the surface grime into the paint and cause scratches. Start at the top of the car and work down. Rewet the top; gently wash the top and then rinse. Move onto another section, such as the trunk or hood. Re-wet this area, wash and rinse. Continue on down the car, completing a section at a time. Rinse your mitt often to release the dirt so it doesn’t scratch the paint.

If your car is particularly dirty, you may want to give it a second washing with a new bucket of detergent.  Wash, rinse,repeat.

You should dry the car as soon as possible. Always try to use a 100% cotton towel.   Starting at the top, lay the towel on the top and then gently blot up the water from the surface. Change to a dry towel and blot any remaining water. Next, dry all of the windows to avoid streaks.  Again, do the initial drying with one towel, then use a drier towel to finish the job.  Move to the hood or trunk and repeat. Dry the sides last, as the water will usually take care of itself on these surfaces. Avoid driving the car to dry it because you will accumulate dirt on the wet surface and allow it to dry on the paint.

If all of this sounds like too much trouble, bring your car to the experts at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail in Woodstock, GA .

car wash

image from flickr 

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