Do You Know How to Wash Your Car?

03.29.16 - Washing Car

This may sound like a silly question, but washing your car by hand often leads to swirl marks and fine scratches on your clear coat that show up. Most of us aren’t bothered by this, but if you value your ride and want to keep the pain looking like new as long as possible you need to wash your car properly to avoid these marks. There are ways to do this in order to protect your paint and have the best look you can when you drive around in your new vehicle that will become your dependable ride for years to come.

The first thing you need to do is collect the items you need to properly clean your car. When you want to wash your paint the right way you need the right tools and for this task you need two five-gallon buckets, two grit guards, a wash mitt, a microfiber towel and paint soap. It’s important to set everything up before you perform the wash to ensure you are ready to do the task and to remove the dirt the right way and at the right times while washing your paint, you want to avoid soap or wet dirt drying on the car while you wash.

What you see many people do when they wash their paint is to rinse the car and then gather the items they need. This allows the standing water on the paint to dry and absorb the sun which can lead to water spots that damage the clear coat of your vehicle. Set up your buckets, each with a grit guard on the bottom of them. The grit guards are meant to allow the dirt and grime that comes with washing to stay on the bottom of the bucket and not return to the wash mitt while you use it.

With the paint soap you want to put three healthy squirts to the wash process. One should be in the wash water bucket, one on the inside of the wash mitt and the third on the outside of the wash mitt. Then fill the wash bucket three-quarters of the way full with water. Next fill your second bucket, now the rinse bucket, three-quarters of the way full with water as well. Once you have these two buckets ready to use, you can rinse the paint on the vehicle.

For rinsing your vehicle you can use a power washer, but if all you have access to is a standard hose this should work fine as well. Concentrate on the lower third of the vehicle with the water as this is where most of the dirt and grime collects during the driving of your car. Using an up and down motion for washing dunk the mitt in the wash water after a few swipes depending upon the amount of grime. Dunk the mitt in the rinse water every few times through and move your hands through the mitt while in the rinse water to remove any dirt and grime that has collected on the mitt before putting it back in the wash water. Often the bottom rocker panel can be the dirtiest which requires you to have a dedicated wash mitt for this area only while using the cleaner wash mitt for the rest of your vehicle.

Once you have finished washing your vehicle hose it down again from top to bottom to remove all the soap and dirt. If you are washing your vehicle in an area that is openly exposed to the sun or an extremely dry environment you need to ensure you wash a few panels at a time, followed by a rinse, but use a top to bottom approach regardless of how you perform the overall wash and rinse.

After you rinse the vehicle use a drying agent and your microfiber towel to remove any leftover dirt and the water that remains on the vehicle. Using the microfiber towel is the right way to dry the vehicle as a chamois, beach towel or squeegee will only cause this dirt to grind into the paint and cause the fine scratches we are trying to avoid during the wash and dry process.

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