The Five Worst Things You Can Do To Wash Your Car
It’s common sense. Take care of your car and it will last longer. When you wash your car on a sunny day and then dry it with a soft, old T-shirt, you may think you’re lovingly protecting its surface, but you could actually be harming it.
Mike Pennington, director of training for Meguiar’s, a leading surface care company based in Irvine, Calif., has created a list of important “don’ts” that could change the way you care for your vehicle.
The five worst things you can do to your car, why they are harmful and solutions for each one:
No. 1: Don’t wash your car in the sun.
Why is it harmful?
The heat from the sun bakes soap suds into your car’s surface during washing and leaves harmful swirl marks in the paint.
Solution: Always wash your car in the shade to avoid swirl marks.
No. 2: Don’t use dishwashing detergent to wash your car.
Why is it harmful?
Common detergents are formulated to strip everything off the surface, leaving it squeaky clean but with no protection.
Solution: For best results, use a pH-balanced car wash product with conditioners specifically formulated to enhance the appearance and protection of automotive paint finishes.
No. 3: Don’t only use one bucket.
Why is it harmful? If you only use one bucket, you transfer dirt back onto the car every time you dunk your towel or wash mitt into that dirty water.
Solution? By using two buckets–preferably with a grit guard in each to trap loose dirt particles in the bottom–you can rinse the towel in the “dirty” bucket first and then dip it in clean, soapy water to avoid this problem.
No. 4: Don’t use old T-shirts or diapers to dry your car.
Why is it harmful? When small particulates are trapped between a smooth cloth and the smoothness of the paint, they skid across the finish causing the very scratches that you are working so hard to avoid.
Solution? Always use 100 percent cotton terrycloth toweling or premium microfiber toweling to eliminate this problem and to reduce the time and effort required for wipe off.
No. 5: Don’t use one big layer of wax.
Why is it harmful? One big layer only wastes wax products and can often result in excess remains on the car’s surface which can ultimately be counter effective.
Solution? For peak protection, use two uniform layers of wax, one as a primer and one as a finish.