If you want to keep your car in pristine condition, you must wash it regularly. Letting your ride become covered in dirt and grime will only harm it in the long run. And besides, what’s better than cruising down the street in a sparkling, freshly cleaned car? With over 80% of American driving their car multiple times a week, achieving that brand-new look is key. When it comes to washing it at home, however, sometimes you can do more harm than good. To circumvent any unsavory side effects, stay wary of these common mistakes made when washing your car.
Never use dish soap
Whatever you do, never use dish soap in place of car cleaner product. Even if you happen to run out of your cleaning products, your car can stand to wait. Dish soap is not meant for use on particular car materials and therefore could strip away waxes or finishes. Always play it safe and stick with products you know will get the job done.
Don’t wash your car in direct sunlight
While many people choose to scrub their car down on a sunny day, it’s actually a common mistake made when washing your car. It may seem like a great way to spend a nice day, but in actuality, it can make washing your car a headache. Due to the heat of the sun, your car will dry quicker, lessening the impact of the final rinse. This will cause quite a bit of spotting, which means you’ll simply have to wash it all over again. Avoid this outcome by washing it on an overcast day or in the shade.
Stay away from regular tools
Regular towels may work when it comes to drying your dishes or hair, but when it comes to polishing your car, stay far away from these items. Regular towels’ material can be inherently abrasive, leading to scratching. Opt for car polishing pads instead, as these are gentle yet still incredibly effective on your car. Since manufacturers formulated these pads for cars specifically, they’re the best option out there. When it comes to an at-home car wash, use products explicitly for cars to ensure there’s no accidental damage.
Remember to clean from top to bottom
Although it’s the oldest trick in the book, this is still one of the best pieces of advice out there. To get a pitch-perfect clean, you’ve got to wash your car from the very top to the very bottom. This isn’t just to ensure that you cover every inch—even though that’s important too. By cleaning from the top down, you’ll avoid any soapy residue running down on what you’ve already cleaned.
At the end of the day, what matters is that your car looks pristine once you’ve washed it. To ensure that you get a sparkling shine you can be proud of, it’s important to stick with products and techniques that you know work. As long as you use proper technique, you’ll be able to show off the best side of your car after every wash.