Don’t Use Dishwashing Liquid and More Car Wash Tips to Keep Your Car Exterior Clean

  • Old or new, cars still require a bit of attention.
  • Your car also requires you to use the right products to keep it looking good.
  • Washing your car twice a week helps keep it clean and looking like new.

Here’s why you shouldn’t skimp on washing and cleaning your vehicle every two weeks.

Return to basic

It may seem like a no-brainer that a good old-fashioned wash is the first step in caring for your car’s exterior. But, if this isn’t your cup of tea, outsource the task to a trusted car valet to do it for you. And if you’re on a tight budget, then a bucket, water, sponge, and car shampoo will suffice. Don’t use household detergents, such as dishwashing liquid, as this removes the car’s protective wax.

Think of washing as a relaxing exercise for the weekend. Do it in the morning or late afternoon or in a shady spot, as direct sunlight can affect the effectiveness of the products you use. And be sure to use non-abrasive sponges or cloths. Fill a bucket with water and use the recommended amount of cleaning solution. In preparation for washing, spray the car with water to remove excess debris. Lather the vehicle from the roof to the tires.

Wash and rinse the vehicle in small sections: from the roof, the hood, the rear, the right side and the left side, to prevent the soap from drying. Scrub the tires and rims last, as they are the dirtiest and require the most attention. To dry, use soft microfiber drying towels or chamois cloths that absorb water faster.

protect the surface

Once the car is dry, apply a protectant to the rubber, vinyl, and plastic parts that tend to discolor and crack from use. Apply with circular movements with a cloth and once dry remove with another cloth. The last step is hair removal. Waxing protects your car’s paint and finish by creating a barrier against UV rays, animal droppings and ocean salt. Apply the wax in sections, using circular motions. Let dry and remove in the same way. Apply a coat of rim polish to give it a shine and voila!

READ MORE | 6 entry-level cars to consider as a first-time buyer

at the car wash

There are plenty of options available, from waterless washes where you park your car at the mall to elaborate machines that seem to magically do the job. Be sure to ask the attendant what he plans to do with your car before you drop your baby, and check back to see if he did when you return. Here are some questions to ask:

What are the additional costs?

Does a full service car wash include tire cleaning, interior wax vacuuming and tire polishing? Some of these items may need to be paid for as extras. Know what you are getting for the price you are paying.

Is it a hand wash or a conveyor belt?

A mechanical conveyor belt system automatically washes your car, but it obviously can’t reach all the nooks and crannies that a person can. This alternative is great if you’re in a hurry and want to get in and out quickly. Hand washing is the best option if your car is really dirty and you need the extra effort to remove the accumulated sand.

Do you use chemical cleaners or are they ecological?

The products used in your car must be effective and safe for the environment. You don’t want the products that were used to end up contaminating a water source. Some car washes even sell eco-friendly car shampoos for use at home, so ask about their availability.

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