GEM’s Top Ten Car Cleaning Tips
Summertime provides a perfect opportunity to make your car’s body gleam again. Following our top tips for car washing will help you to achieve the best results.
1. Avoid sunlight
It may seem counterproductive but never wash, polish, or wax a car in direct sunlight, or when the panels are hot.
2. Never dry wipe
Wiping dusty paintwork, even by hand, is likely to scratch the finish.
3. No hands: The Pre-wash
Use water, or even snow-foam, to release as much dirt as you can from the finish without having to touch the paint
4. Handle with lube
Use water and suds from your car shampoo to lubricate the finish, to avoid any dirt from causing scratches.
5. No pressure: ditch the sponge
Modern microfibre wash mitts have relegated sponges to history. Do not press down on the panel – use the weight of the mitt only. Work from side to side and not in a circular motion.
6. Two buckets and grit guards
Use the two bucket method, during hand washing. One contains shampoo, the other rinses abrasive dirt from your wash mitt. Fit grit guards to both buckets, to stop abrasive particles from being transferred back to your mitt and onto the paintwork again.
7. Difficult areas
Do not neglect hidden areas, such as under the door mirrors, inside the fuel filler housing the inside of the doors, door shuts and drain channels.
8. Drying damage
Drying the paint reduces watermarks. Buy a dedicated drying towel for car bodywork. Lay it on the panel and drag it across, using the weight of the towel only. The drying stage is one of the riskiest for causing scratches.
9. Great Glazing
Removing smears from glass is a tricky operation. Polish the glass using a side-to-side motion on the inside and up-and-down on the outside. This way, you can identify the side of the glass on which any smears remain.
10. Know your post-wash products
After washing, decide what extra products are needed. Decontaminating the paint may require a clay bar product. Polishes contain either abrasive particles, or ‘fillers’ that help to disguise defects. Waxes offer protective properties. Decide how far you wish to go after drying and follow all product instructions carefully.