Washing your car by hand is a great way to keep your car clean while still saving money. Do you know the best way to do it? Here are some popular beliefs about home car care… and why they are wrong!
- You don’t need special cleaner designed for washing cars. Many will tell you that you can use dish soap or laundry detergent to clean your car for a fraction of the cost of car wash. Of course, you could do that, but it’s not the best thing for your vehicle. Cleaners designed for dishes and clothing will remove the protective coating from the paint and dry it out. Your paint isn’t just there to make the car look nice; it’s there to protect it.
- You can use the same interior protectant for your leather seats and your dashboard. Again, you could, but you shouldn’t. Leather seats are made of, well, leather. Your dashboard is made of a synthetic material so it needs a different formula to protect it from drying out and looking aged before its time.
- You don’t need to wax your car. An equally common misconception is that you don’t need to wax it often. However, waxing your car is necessary and protects your paint which, as noted above, protects your car. There’s no strict rule on how often you should apply wax to your car. However, you can look at your car when it’s wet for an indication. If the water is smaller than a quarter as it beads up, then you’re still good. But if it forms long thin sheets or elongated beads, it’s time for another coat.
- Any old cloth will do to clean your car. You may think it doesn’t matter what you use to clean your vehicle, but items like old rags or tee shirts, kitchen towels or paper towels can scratch the paint surface. You should avoid using these. Instead, opt for a terrycloth microfiber designed for washing your car.
You should wash the exterior of your car at least weekly to remove dirt and debris, as well bugs and bird droppings. Proper washing techniques can go a long way toward keeping your car looking great and your paint in good shape.
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