Cleaning your car efficiently saves you time and effort and ensures that the vehicle’s body comes out looking great. If you clean haphazardly, the task takes much longer, and you run the risk of scratching the finish, streaking the surface, and leaving the body vulnerable to rust.
Most modern vehicles are painted in a two-step process that produces a clear-coat finish, which can far outlast the acrylic lacquer or enamel used on older vehicles. Although a clear-coat finish protects and enhances the paint, it’s sensitive to abrasion and chemicals. If it wears away, the paint beneath it will deteriorate rapidly.
To wash your car efficiently, follow these guidelines:
Tip #1 Use a Mild Commercial Car Wash Soap
Visit your new car dealer, an auto parts store or automotive department in a department store and you will find a variety of excellent car wash soaps. They cost only a few dollars and will deliver quality performance and peace of mind. Never use a kitchen or household liquid detergent to wash your car as these products can damage your car’s paint finish.
Tip #2 Before the Wash, Check for “Pre-wash” Areas
Look closely at the paint for signs of road tar (especially in the lower body panel areas). Also look for dried bugs (again, especially on the front section of the car: leading edge of hood, body areas around headlights and air dam (if so equipped). You can find special solvents made especially for removing road tar at the same place you purchase your car wash soap. Dried bugs can be easily removed with a mixture of baking soda and water (be sure the baking soda is completely dissolved to ensure that it will not be abrasive). Remember, it’s easiest to see and treat these “pre-wash” areas when the car is dry — and since of these cleaning techniques remove surface wax, don’t forget to re-wax the areas after the wash.
Tip #3 Wash Your Car in the Shade
WASH STEP ONE: START WITH A SURFACE SOAK
As a first step, spray the body surface with water to soak the film of dirt, dust and grime that has accumulated on the paint finish. By leaving the water to soak for a minute or two, much of the dirt will easily float off the car when you go to sponge it clean.
WASH STEP TWO: RINSE THE BOTTOM OF THE CAR
While the top of the car is soaking, get beneath the car and rinse off the dirt, mud and debris from all of the underbody areas: inside fenders, above and below the exhaust system hardware, off of the underpan area, etc. Don’t forget those potential dirt “hiding” spots behind bumpers, too.
WASH STEP THREE: BUBBLE BATH
Now with the car wash soap blended with cool water, use a large sponge or washing mitt to apply the mixture. Remember to rinse the sponge/mitt regularly to rid it of dirt the can accumulate and scratch the paint — and also rub the sponge gently as you work the suds over the body surface. Work from the roof and windows down, hood to trunk and upper-to-lower sides. It’s a good idea to give a quick scrub to the headlights and other light lenses while your on the front and back sections, too.
WASH STEP FIVE: RINSE AND DRY
It’s all downhill from here. Allowing the water to dry on the body paint surface will frequently leave a spotty film, as it’s difficult to completely eliminate soap with just the spray rinse. So, It’s best to use a large chamois to wipe down the entire paint surface — wringing the chamois as you go — so that no areas are left to “air dry.”
Article Source: Car Guy
Image Source: Armor All Mats