Considering that the car is usually the second biggest investment in a persons life, it’s in the best interests of the owner to keep it in as good condition as possible in order to protect their investment. Washing your car is the first step toward ensuring your investment stays in good shape and retains as much of it’s original value as possible. The most important part of the actual wash process itself is to remove dirt, road grime and other contaminants that if left sitting on the surface of the vehicle will begin to damage it.
Paintwork, glass and chrome will become oxidized, faded and rough to the touch. Plastics and rubbers will fade and begin to perish and wheels will become ingrained and pitted with baked-on brake dust and dirt and will begin to corrode. If your car has any stone chips, dings or scratches in the paintwork and dirt and contaminants are left sitting, it may work it’s way below the surface and begin to corrode the metal underneath leading to visible rust spots and/or a bubbling of the paintwork.
Washing your car helps you to get to know it and will ensure that if there are any weak or damaged areas on any of the surfaces you will be able to catch them in time before any potential problems arise. It also helps to maintain and even prolong the life of many different components. Washing your car can help keep you fit! It gets you outside in the fresh air and can be a good workout for all the family, exercising parts of the body that would not normally be used during day to day life.
A clean car attracts the right kind of attention whether it be from a prospective buyer, a fellow owner or just a passer by commenting on how nice your vehicle looks. Conversely a dirty car may suggest that you perhaps neglect it, take it for granted and may attract unwanted attention wether it be from prospective buyers, or even from thieves & vandals.
How often you wash your car will depend on a number of different factors like which part of the world you live in or how often you use your car for example. Generally, to keep your car contaminant free and in good condition a weekly wash should be sufficient for most vehicles.
When washing your car it’s important to ensure that the tools you use are friendly to your cars paintwork and other surfaces. Buckets with grit guards should be used to ensure that any small particles of dirt that are removed from your car and accumulate at the bottom of the bucket are not picked up by your washing implement and redeposited and drawn over the surface of the paintwork as this would result in fine scratches and swirl marks being inflicted.
A soft high quality wash mitt should be used to wash your car instead of a sponge, this ensures that any small particles of dirt are drawn into the fibres of the mitt and again avoid being drawn over the surface of the paintwork. You should use a good quality shampoo product to wash your car, ideally a mild ‘wax friendly’ product that will not degrade any protection that may have been applied to the vehicle.
A variety of soft and stiff bristled detailing brushes can prove to be very useful when washing your car. Soft brushes can be used to access areas such as grills, trim details and badges during washing, whilst stiffer brushes can be used to agitate and remove ingrained dirt from wheels for example.
A designated non acidic wheel cleaner should be used to lift dirt from wheels if they’re heavily soiled, alternatively a diluted all purpose cleaner can be used to clean your wheels if they’re only lightly soiled. Diluted all purpose cleaner can also be used during the wash process to clean other areas of your cars exterior including plastic trim, rubbers, convertible tops and tyre walls.
A pressure washer, or normal hosepipe with a suitable attachment fitted should be used for the rinsing and pre-rinsing stages of the wash process. A soft clean micro fibre drying towel is more effective at drying your car than a chamois leather and is a much safer option for the same reason that you should use a mitt instead of a sponge for washing.
A micro fibre drying towel can also be put in the washing machine after use, ensuring it’s kept as clean as possible for next time it’s used and prolonging its life at the same time. A detailing spay can also be used to aid the drying of your vehicle and to lubricate the surface, which again helps to minimise the potential any for damage to occur.