Washing a car can be a huge source of enjoyment, relaxation, and pride, but the most common or traditional techniques we’ve learned over the years do nothing but spoil your car’s fine finish and paint job. Here are the top three mistakes you can avoid and their simple solutions.
This blog has been updated on May 16, 2021.
Stay away from sponges!
Try to think of your car’s paint job like your vehicle’s skin – it breathes like skin and needs to be taken care of like skin does. If you happen to have been washing your vehicle with regular sponges or washcloths, your paint is definitely going to get scratched (you have been warned!)
Typically, sponges that are used to bathe and clean yourself with are designed to scrub or rub away at dirt and dead skin. This process, however, can be devastating to your car’s paint job. This is because all the dirt, grime, and contaminants that are on the surface of your car simply get pushed along the surface during each wipe. You’ll start to notice visible scratches on your vehicle’s surface if you keep this up for long.
We highly recommend using specially designed car wash mitts. These are designed to pick up the dirt that’s accumulated on the surface of your car and carry the debris in the fibers until it’s released into a clean bucket of water. You’d ideally want to use a separate bucket with a grip guard to gently release the dirt from the wash mitt. This will ensure that reapplication of the mitt to the car’s surface does not cause any abrasions or scratches.
Dish soap is a no-no!
This one is a repeat offender and a commonly made mistake among many people. Although dish soap is used in certain aspects of the detailing process, they are in no way designed to maintain a car’s appearance over regular periods of time. Choose to go with a car soap instead – these are designed to remove dirt while maintaining extra lubrication – thus protecting your car’s surface and wax coat. Much like the differences between hand soap and hair shampoo, the inherent properties of dish soap and car soap or shampoo vary widely, so be sure to use car soap every time.
The more towels, the merrier!
Even the most experienced car owners have succumbed to this mistake – using the same towel for different sections of the car. Using the same towel to clean your wheel wells followed by the hood of your car has scratch-worthy catastrophe written all over it. Use the same towel over and over and prepare to bid farewell to that clear coat that your car came with! Once you’ve hit that stage, you’ll need to shell out extra dollars for a polish or compound-based treatment to restore that pristine shine you’re used to. We also recommend marking your buckets – one exclusively for tires and wheel wells, and another for the rest of the car.
That rounds up our top three commonly made mistakes while washing your car – follow these three simple rules and make sure your vehicle continues to gleam like it came right out of a car dealership. 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’s Carwash Voucher and Family Car Wash Pass that can be used on multiple (that’s right, multiple) vehicles!