Regular car washes are an essential part of your vehicle maintenance routine. While a freshly washed car looks amazing, the removal of dirt and debris also helps to preserve the paint finish and other components, such as the upholstery.
Yet you should be aware that using the wrong car-washing techniques does more harm than good. For example, scrubbing too hard with abrasives is a fast way to create those dreaded swirl marks on the paint. To keep your car in top condition, use these tips to avoid the most common auto detailing mistakes.
Never Wash in Direct Sunlight
People often prefer to wash their cars on bright, sunny days. While the sunlight does help you notice dirt easier, you must take care to avoid washing your car in an area that receives direct sun.
Direct sunlight can cause the soapy water to dry before you have a chance to rinse it off. If dried-up soapy spots sit too long, they can damage the paint or result in white spots that require you to start all over again. Try to find a place that is covered by shade so that you have time to fully wash and rinse your car before it has a chance to dry.
Avoid Using Harsh Soap
At first glance, dish soap might seem like an ideal alternative to car wash fluid because it's usually less expensive and is formulated to cut through grease. However, the same chemicals that strip away grease from your kitchen pans are too harsh for the paint on your car.
Dish detergent does not have the proper pH balance for use on car paint, and the film left behind by the soap can accelerate the oxidation process on the surface of your vehicle. Harsh detergents can also break down the protective barrier created by wax on your car and leave the paint vulnerable to further damage.
Be Wary of Waterless Solutions
Today, you will find many car wash solutions on the market that claim to be waterless. While these do remove dirt, they skip one of the most important parts of every car wash. Pre-rinsing your car with water before you soap it up helps to remove surface dirt that could scratch the paint as you sponge your car down.
Make sure that the car soap you choose is meant to be used with water and is designed for use on auto paint. Then begin your car wash by spraying the entire body down with plain water before you move on to the next step in the process.
Use Clean Towels to Dry
The towels you use to dry your vehicle are just as important as the materials that you use during the washing process. Dirty or rough towels can scratch the paint. Choose microfiber towels to dry your car, and use gentle, circular motions to remove the leftover water.
Choose Drive-Thru Options Carefully
Drive-thru car washes are tempting when you need your vehicle washed in a hurry. Unfortunately, drive-thru car washes that are poorly maintained may have exposed brushes and spinners that can damage external components on your car and leave scratches on your paint.
Remember to Detail the Interior
The time involved with washing the exterior of your car may cause you to skimp on the interior. However, the dashboard, upholstery, and inside of your doors are all hot spots for dirt and stains that detract from the comfort you enjoy.
Make sure to allot enough time to wipe down the interior surfaces of your car or have it professionally detailed. Often, the smallest areas, such as the cup holders, attract the most dirt, and keeping these spots clean makes your car feel brand-new.
A proper car wash takes time and requires strict attention to detail. Call X-Pert Tint and Auto Alarms to arrange for professional detailing services that help preserve your car's value.