We love our rides and, as such, want to make sure we ask all the right questions before washing them. Should we let them air dry after washing? Should we start cleaning from the top or the bottom? What kind of wiping motion should we use?
In an effort to keep you from doing trial and error or guessing the answers to these and other questions, because neither tends to turn out well, we’ve compiled a list of five mistakes to avoid when washing your car.
Common Car Washing Mistakes
Here are some of the typical mistakes car owners make when washing their vehicles:
1. Using a Regular Towel or Sponge
So, you’re probably asking yourself: sponges are great for the skin, so there’s no reason they should be bad for our rides, right? Well, human skin is obviously different from the material of the car surface, which doesn’t really take too well to regular sponges in the long run.
Steer clear of standard sponges when washing your car; instead, go for specialized sponges or microfiber mitts. Microfiber products are especially ideal for your rides because of their softer polymer fibers, which are also great for cleaning since they’re incredibly absorbent and can easily lock in those cleaning solutions. Plus, these sponges are super affordable, so buying a lot of them is not going to hurt you financially.
Using regular towels is just as bad. You’ll want to opt, instead, for a material called chamois, which comes in synthetic and leather, to dry your vehicle. These are great towels for absorbing moisture. Plus, they glide smoothly over your vehicle, providing a safer and more efficient drying process.
If you’re looking to use chamois for drying your car, then here are some particularly noteworthy things about the product to keep in mind:
- Synthetic chamois holds moisture better than leather
- Synthetic chamois is cheaper than leather chamois and lasts even longer than microfiber
- A leaf blower or vacuum is a great alternative if you shdon’t fancy using chamois for drying
2. Starting from the Bottom
The “gravity” of the situation dictates that it’s not ideal to start cleaning your ride from bottom to top. This could result in dirty water covering the already-washed parts of your vehicle as you move up.
Cleaning from top to bottom is the way to go. In this way, when gravity does pull the dirty water down, it will be covering parts that haven’t been cleaned yet. Plus, since you’ll be working your way down the vehicle, you won’t risk getting the clean parts at the top dirty again.
3. Air Drying
Air drying does seem like it can save us effort and time, right? After washing your ride, just let nature take its course, so you have more time to engage in other matters. The sad part about this is that it will make your car look dull afterward. There’ll be water spots all over its surface, and you just won’t be happy with the outcome.
When it comes to drying your vehicle, you’ll want to do it immediately after rinsing.
4. Washing When It’s Hot
What better time to wash our cars and cool ourselves off than when it’s hottest, right? Wrong. Washing your ride midday or early in the afternoon will dry everything off, including your cleaning solutions, before you even get the chance to do so.
Also, your car’s extremely dry surface, courtesy of the sun’s heat, will make it easier for water spots to appear. If you’re looking to wash your car, do it very early or very late in the day when the sun isn’t as intense.
5. Using a Single Bucket
Washing your car using a single bucket is definitely a bad idea. It’s like you’re basically placing back the dirt you’ve removed from your vehicle back onto your vehicle. Aside from being a less effective cleaning strategy, it also puts your car’s paint job at risk of scratching from the dirt sediments mixed in with the bucket’s contents.
Remember that after cleaning your tires, that bucket will be all dark and packed with sediments that are certainly going to do a number on your car’s paint. Don’t risk it. What you’ll want to do is get three buckets: one for the cleaning solution, one for rinsing the body of the vehicle, and another for the tires.
A lot of car owners tend to make these mistakes when washing their vehicles. If you’ve found that you’ve been committing these mistakes often, now’s the time to make the necessary changes. You should be able to see immediate improvements right after.
Another way to ramp up on the car cleaning is to use quality waxing products. Check out some of the Best Car Product Reviews that’ll help you decide on the ideal solution for giving your car a top-notch look.