How to wash your car: Dos and Don'ts

By Anna Kantilaftas, 02 Nov 2016 Car Advice

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How to wash your car: Dos and Don'ts

Washing your car is an important way of protecting its shiny exterior. And yet sometimes, washing it can cause more damage than good.

Washing your car is like cleaning the bathroom. It has to be done but you put it off until it’s so far gone you decide to pay someone to do it for you.

Keeping your car clean is vital to protect its paint from swirls and scratches which could affect its resale value. But if you don’t wash  it properly, you could still be putting your car at risk.

But if you follow these simple steps, you’ll never have to worry again.

DOs

  • If you’re taking it to a car wash, take your own sponge, unless you know it’s a reliable business that won’t reuse the same cloths over and over again.

  • Pick the right time to clean your car. Early in the morning is best, or when the weather is slightly overcast. The harsh sun in Australia can do more harm than good.

  • Always keep a rag handy to clean off any bird poop as quickly as possible after it lands. The chemical make-up of bird poo can eat away at your paint, causing it to fade.
  • Make sure the sponge you use is free of dirt, grime and stones. Even fine dirt particles can scratch paint.

  • Read the labels on cleaning products and make sure you’re using the proper cleaning products for your car – any old household cleaning soap won’t do.

  • Clean your car with a proper, absorbent towel. Chamois are a decent, soft option.

DON'Ts

  • Wear clothing with zips or buttons, they can scratch your car if you lean against it. And don’t forget to take off your jewellery before washing. Aside from protecting your car, it’ll protect the jewels.

  • Avoid sidewalk car washes, especially if they’re run by kids – they care more about the pink or blue note you’re going to give them than the paint on your car. Unless you’re certain of what’s in their buckets and sponges, you could risk damaging your car.

  • Use any drive-through car wash that isn’t ‘laser’. Car washes that use brushes have a tendency to scratch paint, so it’s best to stick to automatic car washes that use water pressure to clean your car.

  • Wash your engine. If you are really worried about having a dirty engine, ask your mechanic or dealer to take care of it for you. Paying them is better than causing water damage to electrical components car which will cost you a lot more in the long run.