If you care about your car, you know to avoid those garage carwashes – you know, the ones with large brushes – they can do more harm than good. If you have the time and the resources, having a DIY carwash might be the one for you (and your car). If you don’t, fret not, we are always ready to detail and spruce up your vehicle here at Autology.
With our experience and professional knowledge, we would like to share with you some tips on how to wash and detail your car at home. Here are some top tips:
1. Evaluate the condition of your vehicle first.
Evaluating your vehicle’s condition will guide you on how it should be cleaned. If your car is new, or perhaps it still has a good coat of wax on it, a simple wash and wax would be good enough. However, if the car has a neglected exterior, polishing and cleaning are required.
2. Labels are important.
Remember this tip as this is a critical step in cleaning your car. Before using any chemical for cleaning your car, read the label as these products have different applications. A car soap or wax can differ in its properties and vary from brand to brand. For example, you can’t use a chrome wheel cleaner on an aluminium wheel because it is extremely acidic and will ruin the aluminium wheel.
3. Mind your textiles.
Invest in premium microfibre rags, clothes, towels and mitts. Keep separate piles for those that were used for wheels, paint, windows, etc. Don’t forget to wash your cloths and cleaning gloves after use.
4. Wash your car.
Washing your car with a pressure washer will remove loose contaminants (dirt, dust, and mud) from your car’s exterior. Rinsing is always the first step. It allows for large pieces of mud and dirt which can cause scratches. Always use a car washing soap – not a dish cleaner or even liquid detergent as they can damage your car’s paint and strip away its wax.
5. Prepare the surface.
Use your senses. If you can feel bumps when you run your hand over your washed car, then that means you have to go a step further. You will undoubtedly see scratches, oxidation, swirls in your paint after washing your car, too. If you feel “bonded” contaminants like oversprays, tree sap or other chemicals that washing just can’t remove, time to use the clay bar.
A clay bar is an engineered resin compound specially designed to remove contaminants from your vehicle’s pain, metal, glass, and fibreglass. It removes everything from the surface of your car and will restore smoothness to the paint.
To remove scratches and etching, you will need to use a compound paint cleaner. They can be applied by using a polisher, or applicator pads if you prefer to apply it by hand. It shocked be wiped away after applying. For a compound to work well, it should be worked into the car’s finish and may require a 2nd, 3rd or even a 4th application. Bear in mind that some scratches are deep and only paint correction will fix it.
6. Wax for protection.
As we mentioned in our previous blog, waxing is essential. It is like sunscreen for your car. It adds an extra layer of protection for the pain, and it also shields against UV rays. It prevents fading, and of course, other contaminants that may land on the paint. It also preserves gloss and is highly available in shops. It can come in two forms: carnauba or polymer. The choice between using carnauba wax or polymer is like choosing synthetic or regular engine oil. It’s the same, but also different. The polymer is a bit more expensive, but it is easier to apply, but will perform similarly to carnauba wax.
7. Maintain and protect the shine.
Now that you’ve done the hard work of washing, cleaning, and protecting your vehicle, now is the time to maintain and preserve its appearance. Get a one-step cleaner wax to polish and protect your car. It can be applied by hand or use a polisher to get things done – and achieve a high gloss and shine.
8. Don’t forget the windows and wheels.
Yes, do not use ordinary household products like Windex as they contain ammonia that can damage your car’s window tint. Use an appropriate product for best results. And for the wheels, use a product that is specially formulated for your type of wheel. Go for the least powerful chemical if you don’t know what kind of wheel you have. This is usually acid-free and pH-balanced that can be used for all types of wheels.
In summary, not everyone is able to devote hours to cleaning their vehicle or have access to the right products, tools and skill set. If you would like a free consultation, please use the contact form below to contact us or call on 640 741 781.