Get 5% off in-app
400k+ download
Open app

Common Car Detailing Mistakes You Can Avoid

  • Car Wash
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

Spread the love

There’s no doubt that you can learn new things from the mistakes you commit. We’re sure you don’t want to practice this philosophy when it comes to your car, however! It’s no secret that regular car detailing can help you maintain your car’s exterior. However, many car owners commit rookie mistakes while detailing their car at home — this can spoil the vehicle’s look and ruin the driving experience.

This blog has been updated on June 15, 2021.


In this post, we’re taking a look at the common car detailing mistakes that you can easily avoid with a little know-how. Read on to know more.    

Washing under sunlight is a no-no


Car wash experts and auto detailing professionals that partner with Way.com recommend that car owners never wash their vehicles under direct sunlight. Washing your car under direct sunlight tends to cause swirl marks and water spots on your car. This can easily be avoided by detailing your car in the shade or on a cooler day.       

Stay away from sponges          

Never use a sponge to wash your car – sponges allow for dirt to get caught between it and the car’s paint, resulting in minute (but noticeable over time) scratches. Even clean sponges are abrasive and can cause scratches on your car’s paintwork. We’d highly recommend using a car-specific wash mitt or a microfiber towel while washing and detailing your car. Microfiber towels are made of delicate materials and will not cause damage to your car’s paint. 


Direct application of wax and polish   

Avoid pouring liquid wax and polish directly onto the surface of the car while detailing. Doing this can damage your car’s color and cause uneven dark streaks on the finish. Pour the wax or polish onto the applicator and then apply it to the car’s surface. A word of caution – never use an old rag or cloth to apply any product onto the surface of the car. The dirt stuck in the rag or cloth can cause scratches on the car’s paint. Always ensure that you use the applicator that comes with the product.       


Over waxing      

A fresh coat of wax gives your car a shine and protects your vehicle from oxidation. If you think extra waxing gives you added glow, then you’re sorely mistaken. You will need just two coats of wax – one for the foundation and another as a backup. Too many layers of car wax can make the paint appear cloudy! A general rule of thumb to follow during the wax application process is to only apply wax on clean surfaces.          

Leaving the wheels and tires for the end  

Most car owners start from the top and then move to the bottom while cleaning a car. However, auto detailing experts always begin their process with the wheels and then move up because wheels and tires are the dirtiest parts of a vehicle. If you are cleaning them at last, then the chances of splashing dirt and grime from the wheels onto the cleaned body are very high.      

Wiping spots that you missed with a dry towel     

After washing, if you notice a missed spot, don’t try to wipe it with a dry towel. By forcefully scrubbing the dirt with a dry towel, you can drag the dirt across the paint and cause scratches. Wash the missed spot again instead of using a dry towel.     

We hope you steer clear of these mistakes while detailing your car at home. If you find DIY car detailing time-consuming or too difficult, you can have your car professionally detailed. You can also read about top car wash mistakes you need to avoid here.   


Websites and apps like Way.com offer professional and top-rated car wash services at great prices. What’s more, the whole family can get in on the sudsy action thanks to Way.com’s Carwash Voucher and Family Car Wash Pass that can be used on multiple (that’s right, multiple) vehicles! 

Car Wash Banner

Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car. 

Related Posts


Press ESC to close