Common Car Cleaning Mistakes

Common Car Cleaning Mistakes

You’re not just the car owner and the car driver when you have car. You’re also responsible for cleaning the car as well. And that’s not always easy, especially if you’re a young car owner. It’s very easy to make mistakes, and such mistakes can have expensive consequences.

So, here’s a list of common mistakes to avoid, and it’s best that you don’t make them in the first place.

Don’t #1: Too Frequent Automatic Car Washes

It’s easy to make this mistake when you’re a newbie at car cleaning, especially if you live near a car wash that offers adequate car washes for a very low cost. An Express car wash at the nearby Clean Freak Car Wash might be a good idea, when you’re on your way to a hot date you want to impress. That won’t take long and it only costs $5, so you still have plenty of money for dinner.

But this is like eating at a fat-food restaurant, as opposed to a fine dining establishment. The rotating brushes have probably picked up plenty of impurities from previous cars, so they might scratch the car paint.

Don’t #2: Using Household Cleaners for Washing the Car

The problem with soap dish is that it has an overly strong pH balance. That’s not good news for the clear coat of your car. It’s also not good for the soft rubber seals, clear plastic headlight lenses, and the chrome coated surfaces. When routinely exposed to household cleaners, these parts might not as long as you might expect. 

So, stick with car maintenance shampoos that are specifically designed for cars!

Don’t #3: Scrubbing in Direct Sunlight

Sure, it may be too bothersome to move the car when it’s parked outdoors. And you may think the sunlight is great so you see what you’re doing and you can detect the grime more easily.

But water evaporates much more quickly in direct sunlight. That means you don’t have much time to wipe the water off, and instead you’re left with dirty marks.

The car shampoo will also evaporate more quickly, and when the shampoo hardens, it’s extremely annoying and troublesome to remove.

So, either wash the car in the shade or when the sun is low in the sky. If there’s no shade, use a pop-up tent or something similar. This is actually easier than dealing with the consequences of scrubbing in direct sunlight.

Don’t #4: Using Paper Towels

If you think that household cleaners are good enough for your car, then it’s not much of a stretch if you also think that paper towels will suffice. But paper towels are just among the worst options for wiping your car down.

Paper towels are more likely to scratch a clear coated surface, and what’s more, they’ll leave a lot of lint behind. The same goes for bathroom towels and dish sponges, as both options can lead to scratches.

Go with a microfiber towel, especially if you’re a newbie. They’re cheap and easy to use, compared to the old-fashioned chamois cloths.

Don’t #5: Using the Mr. Miyagi Method

The great Mr. Miyagi was teaching karate, not teaching the proper way to clean the car. That’s why you really should avoid the “wax on, wax off” swirling motions because you just end up with swirl marks.

Instead, start with the side-to-side motion, then follow that up by going up and down. This means the small scratches made during the side-to-side are erased by the up-down approach.

Avoid these mistakes, and you’re off to a better car cleaning time!

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