Clients always ask us what is the best way to keep their car looking just like it does when it leaves our body shop. The answer is the maintenance, in other words, the car wash.
Washing your car might seem an easy mundane task, like washing your hands. But just like washing your hands, there is a right way and wrong way to do things. The wrong way insures that you will be at the paint shop sooner than you think it can lead to scratching, streaking, and maybe even rust.. BUT, If you take care of the way you wash your car, you can keep it looking like new for a really long time. This in turn will save you time and money. And let’s be honest, driving a nice looking car is cool too!
KEEPING YOUR CAR LOOKING GOOD
First thing is first, before washing your car, start with the inside, vacuum and clean thoroughly inside and whenever possible use eco-friendly products.
After the inside is nice, clean, and smelling fresh, not like a ton of chemicals (*cough), it’s time for the outside.
Get Your Supplies Ready
- Water hose. If you are using a high-pressure hose, be sure to adjust it so it won’t damage the paint and protective coatings of your vehicle. Don’t forget to conserve water!
- Soap. Use eco-friendly soap but not a bucket!
- Washing Area. Whenever possible wash your car on top of a grassy area to minimize runoff. Under the shade, early morning or late afternoon is preferable.
CAR WASHING DIY
Don’t Scratch. Resist the temptation of scratching the bird-poop, tree sap or other nasty stuff off the top coat of your car. But remove immediately, if left to harden, they will be a pain in the neck to remove and can permanently damage your paint finish.
Easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Prewash (Debugging). First soak the area, leave a wet towel on top of the affected area for a couple of minutes to looses up the gunk.
- Wash. Washing one section at a time, use a premium soft cleaning towel/sponge, mild soap or cleaning solution* and water. Remove gently, don’t scrub hard or in circles, wipe gently following the contours of your car. *Test solution/soap on a door jamb before use.
- Wash Again. Cleaning solutions and mild/hard soaps should be removed completely and immediately afterward with a soft soap and water. Give your car a final rinse.
Towel dry your vehicle immediately, and your done.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO WASH YOUR CAR YOURSELF
MOBILE DETAIL. Hire a mobile detail, they can clean the inside and wax your car too.
CAR WASHES. If you have no choice, go to a car wash that use the curtain like strips that jiggle side to side. Car washes cause some degree of scratches and can chip paint. If your car is black, avoid car washes at all costs.
“Excellent paint job on my 11 year old BMW front bumper! They even buffed my headlights. Thanks for your thorough job.”
-Michael A., 2/17/2019
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If there is something you want me to write about let me know, I will do my best to write about it. If you ever need any auto body or paint work and you live in the Van Nuys or Los Angeles area call or text me 818.793.7728.
-Jaider, West Coast Body and Paint owner.