5 easy tips for washing your car properly
Find out everything you need to know to wash your car, including the recommended frequency and best practices.
Whether you drive a vintage sports car, minivan, or imported sedan, you want your car to maintain a polished appearance. But are you inadvertently damaging it by washing it too often or using techniques that dull its shine?
You don't have to wash your car every day, as this increases your chances of damaging the finish or accidentally scratching the surface. However, by taking the time to do it right and following a few simple rules, you can learn all about the recommended washing frequency to maintain its shine.
Once a Week:
Washing your car by hand once a week is no problem. Even when left parked, your car is subject to grime, sun, bird droppings, pollution, and even cats sleeping on the hood. If you use your car often, it is further exposed to salt, sand, dust and rocks. To keep its shiny finish, it must therefore be washed regularly.
Take Your Time:
First of all, give yourself plenty of time to wash your car thoroughly. Many find that washing the car by hand is soothing and therapeutic, but more than half an hour should be set aside for this activity. Taking your time allows you to work slowly and get the job done well.
How to Do It:
Never wash your car if it is still hot or if it has been in the sun for a while. Let the car cool down: this prevents the soapy water from leaving residue on your car by drying too quickly.
- Use two buckets. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a cleaner designed for cars, not dish soap or other household cleaners. Fill the other bucket with clean lukewarm water for rinsing.
- Use a clean chamois or sponge and make long, gentle strokes across the surface of the car. Do not make circles, as this can leave marks on the finish of your car.
- Wash the sponge frequently and thoroughly and rinse it in your rinse bucket to prevent dirt from getting lodged in the sponge. Dirt can easily scratch your car and leave scratches on it, so make sure your sponge is clean.
- When rinsing the car, use a garden hose and start at the top of the car for extra shine.
- Let the car air dry. Avoid driving it until it is completely dry, as a still wet car attracts more dirt and debris.