You’ve spent a lot of money on your car, you are proud of it and want to keep it looking nice, right? Despite your best intentions, you are likely damaging your car’s paint in your attempts to take care of it. You make a practice of regularly going to the drive-thru car wash. However, you don’t know what sand, oil, contaminants and assorted muck the other cars left behind that are being kicked up and pelted into your car’s finish. You trust that the operator is using appropriate car washing detergent in the right amount, but are they?
I once went through a “touchless” car wash only to have the attendant come out at the end of the wash and start scrubbing the front of my car with a push broom! I yelled at him to stop. He looked amazed and said that most people want that because it gets all of the dirt off. Arrrgh… a push broom on my paint! He might as well have pulled out his electric sander and sanded my car!
If you are really careful you may hand wash your car at home, taking great care not to damage your paint. You wash with a terry cloth or shop rag, dry with a “shammy” and wax it like your dad taught you, not realizing how rough these materials are on your paint.
Yet when you are giving it a good last wipe, you see fine swirl marks in your reflection. Are they getting worse? How did those get there in the first place? Well, I hate to tell you that if you are washing your car like most people do, you are the one putting that lovely swirl design in your “baby’s” finish. And those marks signify damage. Car paint has changed from when your dad purchased his first car. You have to treat it differently than what you may have thought, in order to protect the clear coat (the clear, protective layer applied on top of the paint at the factory). In years past, paint was laid on thicker than it is today. Now it is thinner, with a protective clear coat that is about as thick as a single sheet of paper. Once you scratch through it, your paint is exposed and vulnerable to the elements. Those swirl marks are scratches in your clear coat. How can you avoid damaging your paint in the first place? Can you repair damage you’ve already done? You can start by not making the five mistakes listed below and by following the guidelines that are provided. You will be amazed at how inexpensive and simple they are to follow and how great your car will look after you make a practice of doing them.
5 Car Washing Mistakes That Will Damage Your Car’s Paint
-DON’T use a sponge or brush to wash your car. The surface of the sponge and stiff bristles on the brush will scratch your car’s paint. They will also pick up micro-contaminants such as small grit and sand that will act as sandpaper as you move the sponge or brush over the surface of the car. Only use a brush on your wheels and tires.
-DON’T wash your car under the blazing sun. Although it feels nice to get a little sun as you wash your car, the sun dries the soap on your car and you get a dull, soapy residue as a result. Also the water will evaporate faster than you can wipe it off and you will get damaging water spots on your paint.
-DON’T wax your car. Wax only lasts about 30 days in warm weather and is especially vulnerable to melting at high temperatures. It also gets washed away during rainy days and when you wash your car. So your car’s paint surface is not as protected you think. Besides that, you’ve wasted a few hours for no real gain. Also think about this. Waxing involves fairly hard rubbing of our paint’s surface to both apply and remove the wax. If the surface of your car isn’t really clean and contaminant free, you could be grinding small grit into the surface.
-DON’T use dishwashing detergent. The chemicals in these detergents are very harsh on your paint and can damage it.
-DON’T Use a “shammy”, bath towel or shop rag to dry your car. Boy, this goes against what many people think, doesn’t it? They think a “shammy” is great for soaking up water, but again, like using sponges and brushes while washing, it can trap particles that can scratch your car’s paint as you rub it all over your car. So now you know what not to do, here is what you can do to avoid damage, better protect your car’s finish and have a fantastic sheen on your “baby”.
5 Easy, Inexpensive Techniques To Wash and Detail Your Car
-DO use a micro-fiber cloth or mitt when you wash your car. These products are particularly well suited for use on the surface of your paint without inflicting damage. They can be found at most auto part stores and even though they may cost a little more than what you may have been using, the investment is well worth it.
-DO wash your car in the shade. Find a shady spot. They keyhere is to avoid direct sun so that the soapy residue won’t have time to build up on yourcar’s paint. It also allows more time to thoroughly dry off your car before damagingwater spots form.
-DO use a synthetic paint sealant on your car. Not only does waxing not really provide the protection you think it does, it’s unnecessarily hard work! Synthetic sealants are much easier to apply and far easier and faster to wipe off. Plus they don’t melt or wash off and offer up to six months of protection. Again, they can be found in most auto part stores.
-DO use soaps formulated specifically for car paint. Like the special detergent recommended for your delicate clothes, automotive detergents are formulated specifically to clean your car’s finish. The nice part about them is that a little amount goes a long way, so you really will be saving money in the end by investing in a high quality auto detergent.
-DO use micro-fiber towels when drying your car. Like washing your car, using a micro-fiber towel is crucial to not rubbing left-over grit into your car’s paint. They are amazingly effective at removing water, too, much more so than a towel.
Have fun with washing the car the right way and visit my website HPMobileDetail.com/detailingguides to find out exactly how to properly Polish, Clay, Wax, Shampoo Carpets and more and be able to do it by yourself or even for someone else and make money.
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