How To Wash Your Car Like a Professional
We all enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a meticulously clean car. Often, we pay someone else to do it for us, but the price of having a squeaky clean vehicle doesn’t come cheap. Here’s how you can save money by cleaning your own car but with the same professional finish.
Choose Suitable Weather Conditions
Believe it or not, cleaning your car in the heat and sunshine isn’t the best idea; not only is it bad for you, but it can make cleaning your car a lot harder and it could leave it with streaks and dusty watermarks. The heat can dry out your car between washing and cleaning, it could also reduce the effectiveness of the products you’re using.
Deciding to clean your car in the rain isn’t a good idea either. Just as leaving your car to roast in the heat can cause watermarks, so can the rain. So although it may be tempting to give your car a convenient free rinse from mother nature, don’t risk it.
Ideally, park your car in the shade (if you have to wash it on a hot or sunny day) and choose either the early morning or early evening to get scrubbing.
Evaluate the Vehicle’s Condition
It’s important that you determine exactly how dirty your car is. Is it caked in mud or does it look as though it’s been sprinkled with fine dust? The dirtier the car, the bigger the job and the more you’ll have to prepare to give it the ultimate deep clean. It will also stop you from dragging cleaning products out from the back of the garage that you may not even need.
Something else to consider is the age of your car. Older cars would mightily benefit from waxes and polishes to protect paintwork, whereas newer cars will have a robust clear coating, so they may not need a complete wax and polish once the cleaning and washing has been done.
Always Read the Label & Follow Directions
Before applying any substance or solution to your car, always read the label. Not all cleaning products are multi-purpose and could damage the clear coat, wax or paintwork if they’re not designed for use on cars. Following the directions can save time and money, ensuring you’re using it correctly and in the right amounts.
The Three Bucket System
The goal of a deep clean is to remove all contaminants from the vehicle. You don’t want to be washing your car with dirty water, so the best way to avoid this is by using the three bucket system.
- Bucket 1 should contain soapy water (ensure the soap is designed for cars)
- Bucket 2 should contain clean water only
- Bucket 3 should remain designated for the wheels and tyres only
Keep the buckets separate so they can’t get contaminated by solutions in nearby buckets. Take special care to keep the third bucket away from the soapy water that you’ll use to wash the body of your car.
Wash the Car
Take a hose or low-pressure jet wash and spray the car with water first. This will help rid your vehicle of loose debris, dirt and dust before cleaning the body with soap. Once you’re satisfied that your car is now loose dirt free, take a sponge or mitt and start cleaning with soapy water.
Only use cleaning products that are suitable for use on cars; refrain from using washing up liquid as this could strip the clear coating, wax or polish from your vehicle, subsequently damaging the paintwork underneath.
Prepare the Surface
Use a clay bar to remove tough blemishes on the paintwork. Scratches will be harder to remove and may require a compound. It may take several applications before the scratch disappears, but deeper scratches may require a paint touch up.
Polish and Wax for Added Protection
Polishing will add extra gloss and shine to your car. Although polishing is optional, waxing your vehicle is recommended. Not only does it add shine, but protection too. Wax can help prevent the paintwork from fading, as well as protect the body from corrosive encounters (such as bird poo). Where Carnauba wax does a great job, a polymer wax is easier to apply.
Clean the Windows
It’s important here that you don’t just use a normal window cleaner. They contain ammonia which can damage tints on car windows. Ensure you use a cleaner which is designed specifically for use on car windows.
Wash the Wheels
It’s important you’re using soap which is specifically for car wheels. Ensure you don’t get any of the substance or soapy solution on your paintwork or tyres. If you do, your tyres could spray the product up the side of your vehicle when you next go for a drive and potentially damage the bodywork.
Here at Wyatt Auto Services, we offer the best car maintenance and repairs, tyre fitting and MOT testing in the Barnsley region. With a highly qualified team of expert mechanics, we will ensure your vehicle is roadworthy once again. If your car is still under warranty, don’t worry; our skilled mechanics will work tirelessly to maintain or repair it. We even provide free, no-obligation quotes for all repairs and maintenance. For more information, contact a member of our friendly team today – we’re more than happy to help.