Mistakes to avoid when cleaning your car

Is your car in need of some TLC? As much as you might not want to clean it, you can bet you feel one hundred times better for it once you have. The main thing is that you clean it without damaging your paintwork, so here’s what not to do when cleaning your car.

Mistake 1: Using dish soap

Cleaning your car is a job that so many of us can get wrong so easily. Washing your car with soap has to be one of the most common mistakes most of us make. Whatever you do, don’t think you can get away with using washing-up liquid to clean the interior or exterior of your car. It can damage the layer of waxes and finishes, which could mean you leave scratches or marks on your paintwork.

If you can, always opt for a car shampoo instead of grabbing the first dish soap that springs to mind. The best thing to do would be to get yourself a bucket, sponge, and some car shampoo and preferably a pressure washer or a hosepipe too.

Mistake 2: Washing your car in bright, direct sunlight

Washing your car on a hot summer’s day would seem like the perfect time to clean it, right? Turns out it’s not, because washing your car directly under the sun, means that the soapy water on your car will dry quickly and it will leave patchy stains. This is probably not the look you were going for, so why not clean it in a shady area instead?

It doesn’t need to be a glorious hot day for you to clean your car, you could always do it on a cloudy day instead. It’s not worth the ugly watermarks at the end of the day. If its particularly warm, the soap could dry out on your car before you’ve rinsed it off, making it so much harder to clean off for you, no thanks.

Mistake 3: Using a metal scourer or abrasive sponge

Your car’s paintwork is so delicate, so much so that if you use the wrong cleaning equipment, you’re probably going to cause some serious damage. If you use an abrasive sponge, you can bet you’ll be leaving your car with more scratches than you can count.

It’s not worth ruining your paintwork for. Instead, why not use a microfibre mitt or sponge? You don’t need to spend a fortune on investing in the right gear to clean your car, but having the right stuff to do it with, will make your life so much easier in the long run. You’ll be cleaning your car and protecting it from damage, win-win!

Mistake 4: Waiting to clean off the bird poo

As graphic as this might be, there is a high amount of pH in bird poo, which can stain and cause some damage to your vehicle’s paintwork. You probably wouldn’t think so, but it's true. It will leave permanent marks on your paint if you leave it too long.

To prevent it from setting like concrete, it’s best to remove any droppings as soon as you can. Tempting as it might be to scrape it off, this could scratch your paintwork. A bit of car shampoo and hot water, it can be easily wiped away in no time.

Mistake 5: Rushing your polishing and waxing

To top it off and give your car that finished look, it’s all about applying the polish and wax properly and doing a proper job. Rushing the job won’t leave it looking its best, so for best results, pop the applicator on and wipe it on your car’s exterior. It’s that circular motion you want to get going for this bit for waxing on and waxing off.

Before you wax, you might need a bit of polish on there, to help reduce any blemishes and fine scratches, because let’s face it, you're bound to have one somewhere. Then you can pop your wax on to add that protective layer to your paint and it will give it that nice shiny finish while you're there. They're both easy enough to apply, it's just whether you’ve got the patience for it. Polish, then wax and after adding the second layer, you’re done!

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