So for those of you who know me well, you probably know that I have two hobbies beyond what I do for my profession. I love to cook, and I love cars/fixing things. One of the first vehicles I ever drove was a 1978 Ford F350 custom. It only has 40,000 miles on it thanks to lots of driving around a campgrounds and lots of it not really working much the last 10 years. Shout out to Camp Laurelwood in Madison, for this photo:
In any case, I digress. I have owned a handful of cars in my life, but my current car is the first “new car” I’ve owned. New means a few things. It cost a bunch of money, and I cry every time I see a tiny scratch on it. After the winter has finished, I have had the urge to wash my car daily (sometimes more often), but the more I try to wash it, the more I see imperfections on the car. That brought me to research how a bad wash can really do a number on your cars paint, and that lowers the value of the vehicle, and can lead to the car rusting more easily. So what is the best thing you can do for your car? Let’s check out 8 tips:
- Avoid cheap car washes! Be smart about where you get your car washed. I won’t even step foot near a facility that doesn’t power wash your car before it even gets touched by a machine.
- Wash the car yourself. Imagine if you had to wash hundreds of cars every day? There is bound to be a time that you forget to clean off a dirty towel or accidentally get dirt on the car and scratch it. I’m not saying all car washes are bad, but accidents do happen and you’re less likely to have one if you take care of it yourself.
- Don’t touch! There is dirt all over your car even a few minutes after you wash it. If you’ve ever walked around your car on a bright day, you can probably see tons of scratches. How can you avoid this from happening? Get the dirt off before you even wash it! Easiest way to do that is with a power washer. Don’t get too close to the paint or you can spray it off, but blasting it will get 95% of the dirt (even small dust) off of the paint before you touch it. If you don’t have a power washer, just use a hose and spray it down as best as you can.
- Lather and more lather. Soap it up as much as you can, and make sure you use car was that doesn’t remove wax! I bought a foam sprayer for my garden hose that will spray soap on it. Let it soak in for 5 minutes when you do.
- Never wash with an old rag. Anything with cotton will scratch your paint. The best thing you can have is a microfiber cloth with bristles that look like shag carpet. This will take any leftover dirt and pull it away from the car, helping to prevent scratches.
- Use MANY buckets! Use one bucket filled with soapy water, and at least two to rinse your wash mitt out! This also helps keep it as clean as possible.
- Dry your car off. Water attracts dirt, bugs, zombies, etc. Use a finishing drying cloth that’s microfiber and super absorbent. DO NOT use a shammy cloth, if there is any dirt leftover, you’ll get a nice big scratch!
- Always dry in back and forth motions. If there is dirt still leftover, your scratch will be much easy to see with circular patterns in your paint.
By the way, we are expecting rain in the forecast for a few days. CLICK HERE to see the best and worst days to wash the car!