Car Care Tips: Car Washing Without Destroying Your Paint
Owning a car provides freedom and a sense of responsibility for many people. Like taking care of a pet or child, car owners understand the amount of time and energy it takes to fuel, maintain, and wash a vehicle to improve its condition. Still, basic maintenance is vital. But that doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen. You can easily scratch your vehicle if you’re not careful, even when you’re washing the car. Fortunately, this guide on car care tips and car washing without destroying your paint will show you the proper ways to clean your vehicle and protect its exterior.
What You Need
There are some crucial things you need before starting your car wash. First, you must have a hose or pressure washer. These will help speed up the process of washing the exterior and removing excess dirt and grime. Also, stock up on automotive soap or detergent. Never use dish detergent or non-automotive soap, as these can damage your paint. You’ll need buckets and sponges to hold everything. Throw in some microfiber cloths too. Microfiber cloths help clean away dirty or help dry your vehicle without scratching it. Consider doubling up on buckets, microfiber cloths, and sponges for washing, drying, waxing, and polishing. It’s better to have more of these lying around than using the same one for different purposes. Check to make sure all these products are safe for your vehicle since you want to protect the outside.
Where To Start
Washing a car isn’t a simple process. There are steps to take to wash the car efficiently without ruining its exterior paint. Location, time of day, and the steps in the washing process all matter. For instance, you don’t want to wash your vehicle directly in sunlight, as this might leave soap spots, which are tricky to remove. Park your automobile in a shaded area in the morning or late afternoon where the sun isn’t directly above you. Then, fill your buckets with the appropriate exterior detergent and use your microfiber cloths to get deep in there. As you begin to wash your car, you might wonder where you should start. There are parts of the car you must approach first. Begin with the wheels, move from the top of the vehicle downward, and finish with the windows.
You might wonder why you start with the wheels first, considering water and soap runoff will hit them later. There are a few reasons for this. For one, it helps prevent water spots on other parts of the car that would appear if you started elsewhere. Also, it ensures you don’t push dirt or grime to other sections of the vehicle. If you recently used your automobile, let it cool before washing it. Spraying cool water onto hot metal can create steam that can burn you. Spray the wheels, tires, and wheel wells. Then, use the auto detergent with a car sponge or microfiber cloth and wipe them down. Repeat these steps until the wheels, tires, and wheel wings look immaculate. Then, rinse them off with the hose or power washer. Let them dry as you clean the rest of the vehicle. Just make sure to use a clean microfiber cloth and soap bucket on the rest of your car. Do not reuse sponges, cloths, or soap water, as you can spread dirt, grime, and cleaner on your vehicle.
Top and Bottom
Once you finish with the wheels, start cleaning the top of the car. Hose down the roof, windows, hood, trunk, front bumper, doors, and back bumper. With a clean cloth and bucket of car detergent, wipe down these areas. Be gentle, as too much force can chip away the paint. Use wiping motions to cover more surface area. Go from right to left rather than front to back to avoid spreading dirt or grime. When you’ve finished the roof, hood, and trunk panels, move on to the side panels and front and rear bumpers. Rinse everything down with the hose. You may want to save the front windshield for last to avoid spreading bug matter or other debris around to the rest of the vehicle.
You don’t want to neglect your windows either. Clean windows not only make your car look better, but they also drastically improve your line of sight. Use a quality glass cleaner and an unsoiled microfiber cloth, and wipe down any smudges. Cleaning your windows is an easy job that doesn’t require much time or energy.
After you’ve rinsed and wiped every part of your vehicle’s exterior, the last car care tip for car washing without destroying your paint is to dry it. With a clean microfiber cloth, use back and forth strokes rather than circular strokes. This technique is ideal because it’s easier to remove straight scratches than circles if you scratch the paint in any way. Let your vehicle sit in an enclosed or shaded spot for a few hours before doing anything else. Unless you’re adding wax, polish, or touch up paint, your vehicle should be all set.
Wax and Polish
After a few hours of letting your vehicle dry, you can add wax and polish to your car if you feel inclined. This only takes a few more minutes out of your day to do and is relatively simple. All you need is car wax, car polish, and more cloths. Add a thin layer of car wax to add a protective coat to your exterior. Use circular motions when applying this to cover all areas. Then, use the same method for the car polish to give a clear, shiny finish. Each of these ensures your car looks good as new and adds some extra protection so that you’re not rushing back to clean it.
Another way to protect your vehicle is to add touch up paint. At TouchUp Direct, we have all the possible automotive touch up paints and applicators you need. Browse our online paint code database to find the best Toyota touch up paint for you. We carry products for Ford, Chevy, Honda, and many other brands. Whether you have a luxury car, pickup truck, motorcycle, SUV, or everyday sedan, we’ve got you covered.