Believe it or not, very few people know how to wash a car properly. Here are a tips to get you going down the right path.
1) Use a special automotive cleaner – This is one of the most common mistakes. Dish soap, laundry soap, and household cleaners are often too harsh to use on a car’s paint. They can strip off the protective wax coating. A dedicated car wash formula, on the other hand, is formulated with a milder soap that doesn’t affect the protective coating.
2) Wash your car when it’s cooler outside – Heat will cause the soap and water to dry quickly which will leave streaks on the paint. If the weather is going to be a scorcher, first thing in the morning is a good time to do it, or when the car is parked in the shade, the sheet metal will be much cooler.
Image credit: James Lee
3) Wash your car soon after stuff has be deposited on the paint – Do a full wash as soon as you see things like bird droppings, dead bugs, etc. Bird droppings, in particular, have a high acidity that if left on the paint for any length of time can eat into the clear coat.
4) Don’t use abrasive cloths or sponges when washing – Whether washing or drying, never use a rough cloth or other material with a surface that can leave scratches. A large soft sponge works well, or many professional detailers prefer to use a lamb’s-wool mitt.
5) East Hills Chevrolet of Roslyn recommends using a bug-and-tar remover when needed. Mild car wash formulas often aren’t strong enough to remove road tar, grease, or similar residues. For this, don’t just scrub harder, use a strong bug-and-tar remover is a good idea. It is specifically formulated to be kind to your paint finish.