f you’ve ever waited in a long line at the car wash, paid ten dollars or more, and then notice all the dirt and grime still on your car when you get home you probably want to scream. So maybe this is the time to do it yourself! Or better yet, grab the nearest teenager and hand them a sponge. But before you do there are a few things to remember. And not just that teenagers need watching because they wander off.
Sallas Auto Repair doesn’t wash cars but we care about cars so we’ve compiled some tips for you to keep your car looking great.
There's a right way to wash your car!
First of all don’t grab the dish washing soap to wash your car! This is your baby so you want to use a product made especially for autos and dish washing soap will strip the wax from your car. Mix according to the directions for the best results, don’t just pour into the bucket and add water.
Heat causes soap to dry faster and can cause spots on your car. So an overcast day is best as is late in the day as the sun is lower in the sky and won’t shine directly on your car. Same goes for a car that’s still hot from being recently driven, let it cool first. Under a tree can be good unless it’s fall and you feel like picking leaves off your wet car. And then there are the birds that just love a clean car.
Remove bird droppings, tar, bugs or road chemicals as soon as you can as they can damage the paint on your car. Spray or apply automotive soap directly onto the stains to pre-treat before you wash.
While the pre-treating goes to work start on your wheels. There are many products dedicated just to wheels and the gunk they attract. A brush works well as does a mitt or towel but don’t use the same one when you wash the rest of the car.
Grab two buckets. Most people just use one bucket of soapy water but you’re just reapplying all the dirt you just rinsed off. Use one for the soap and one just for clean water. Wash in small sections, rinsing in the clean water before adding more soap.
Working from the top down start with a good water rinse to loosen dirt and grime. Then start with the soap. Concentrate on the pre-treated areas to get all that gunk off and in small sections scrub and rinse your mitt. Continue with the water rinse as you move around to keep a wet base for the soap. Don’t wash in circles as this can cause minor scratches and no one wants a car covered in circles.
Time to rinse: use a hose without a nozzle and let the water flow over the car from top to bottom. This creates a sheeting action that helps minimize pooling of water. Keep the hose close to the car and again it’s top to bottom.
To dry your car you should drive around the block very fast several times. Ok, not really. You can use old towels but today’s drying towels hold a ton of water and are made just for drying without scratching. You can finish with a micro-fiber towel for a smooth dry finish that can actually buff a bit.
So that’s how you keep the outside of your car spanking clean and looking great but how about the inside? Sallas Automotive Repair serves the Kansas City metro area with two locations, 14 service bays and 18 employees so we’re here when you need us to keep your car running at its best. Check back soon and we’ll go over how to wax your car to keep it looking shiny and new!