How to wash and dry a car properly
Are you washing your car properly or are you just damaging the paint? The fine spider web like scratches that you can see on the surface of the paint under direct sunlight or bright fluorescent light are there mostly due to poor wash technique. It’s easier to wash properly than it is to have the swirls machine polished out. Follow the process listed below and save yourself some money and hassle and don’t inflict the swirls on the paint in the first place.
Take the opportunity now to check your wash kit and replace whatever is looking worn. If you are still using a sponge and chamois please dump them and invest in a good microfiber mitt and drying towel. The reason you shouldn’t be using these items is that they both have what is known as a flat face. What we mean by this is that when they are pressed up against the paint any dirt and grit is trapped between the sponge or chamois and the surface of the paint, this is what causes the fine swirls you see. A good quality microfiber is covered in thousands of fibres that trap the grit deep in the pile keeping it away from the paint.
You may need to buy the odd thing here.
It’s important to wash your car weekly, some bio hasards such as bird droppings and insect deposits need to come off as soon as possible as they cause long term damage to the paint. Brake dust is also a big problem and needs to be cleaned off regularly, it contains iron filings and adhesives and if allowed to dwell will eat into the surface of your alloys and paint. Washing your car weekly will remove these before they have time to do any damage.
Do not wash your car in direct sunlight, do it in the shade. With your hose rinse the car down, if you are using a pressure washer don’t try to blast all the dirt of as this could harm the paint. Start by washing the wheels and the lower parts of the car as they tend to be the dirtiest, also you don’t want to be splashing your clean car with wheel cleaner and dirt from the wheels. Keep the wash mitt and brushes that you use for these areas separate as you don’t want to contaminate or scratch the rest of the paint with these items. Remember to clean the door shuts here as well.
How to prevent swirls? Use two buckets, one should contain fresh rinse water and the other soapy wash solution, your wash solution needs to be good quality and contain plenty of lubrication to safely remove the dirt and grit and not scratch the surface of the paint. Now start to wash the car from the top, dip your clean mitt into the soapy wash solution, wash a section then rinse it out in the rinse water and repeat. As you dunk your mitt into the buckets rub it over the grit guard, this will help to remove the dirt and keep any solids trapped at the bottom of the bucket safely away from the clean water and wash mitt.
Now rinse the car down and get all the soap off, I have found that if you remove the nozzle and let the water flow freely out it will sheet off and leave you less to dry up. It’s important to dry the car as any water droplets left behind can cause harm to the paint. Each droplet acts like a magnifying glass intensifying the sun’s rays. As the water evaporates any chemicals and minerals are more concentrated and this is how you and up with water spots.
You would be forgiven for thinking that proper wash technique was something really hard to master judging by the amount of poorly kept vehicles on the roads, or do their owners just treat them at the £5 car wash brigade? Keeping your car’s paint in good condition isn’t rocket science it just takes a bit of thought, you may also have to buy one or two items. Passion Detailing is a mobile detailing and valeting business based in Magherafelt, if you would like us to care for your vehicles please call or email, the details are at the top of the page, or complete the contact form and I will get back to you.