Now that Spring has most definitely sprung, for many of us it’s a time to wash and clean away the winter grime and dirt. This Winter, with its snow and ice, was particularly hard on our cars as the cold and road salt takes its toll. Now warmer, drier weather has arrived, the time is right to give your pride and joy some care and attention.
There’s a lot to be said for washing your car yourself as it can give you the opportunity to take a close look at the condition your vehicle is in. The professionals from car care experts, Reep Southern at Dunsfold, share their tips for giving your car a deeper clean than an automatic car wash ever could.
– Take your time
This is important. You don’t want to cause any unintentional damage because you’re rushing to finish.
– Don’t wash your car on a very hot day
Whilst it might be tempting to take the opportunity to contribute to your tan, intense temperatures can affect the products that you are using. Also, hot weather causes water to evaporate more quickly which can leave you with grimy residue on the paintwork.
– Pre-clean your car
Following an all over cold pressure wash, spray a universal cleaner all over. Then working from the bottom up, so as not to dilute the solution, rinse the car thoroughly with the pressure washer to remove as much dirt, mud, and grime as possible. Don’t stand too close to the car, if using a jet washer, as you don’t want to cause any damage to the vehicle.
– Use 2 buckets
Your Dad might have embraced the single bucket and sponge approach but it’s far better to use two. One filled with just water for rinsing and the other with washing solution. And make sure both buckets have a grit guard to catch any bits of debris that might damage the paintwork.
– Pick the right tools for the job
Always use a car washing shampoo; washing up liquid is great for plates but will strip away the wax from your car and could damage the paint. Wash mitts are better than sponges, having been designed to remove the most dirt possible as well as being better for your car’s paintwork. When it comes to drying use either a blower or triple layered microfibre cloths to get a streak-free finish.
– Use a clay bar for some extra TLC
Although your car might look smooth there is a likelihood that the bodywork has some lumps and bumps from grime that has bonded to the paintwork. Add some shampoo to a clay bar which will act as a lubricant and then run the bar across the bodywork. This will remove any stubborn dirt and imperfections.
– Wash the windows inside and out
Use two microfibre cloths, one for cleaning and the other for polishing. Avoid household window sprays, because they contain ammonia instead, opt for either good old water or a specialist car glass cleaner. Remember to wind the windows down so as not to miss cleaning the top part.
– Look after the wheels and the wheel arches
This area can see a big build-up of mud, grime and harmful road salt following cold, icy weather. After power washing, use shampoo with sponges and brushes to ensure no grime remains. Do choose your products carefully though, making sure they are specially formulated for your type of wheel. If you’re not sure what to use, go for an acid-free PH neutral aluminium wheel cleaner.
So there you go. A few tips that will take your car washing skills up a level. Hope this helps!