Having your car washed and waxed at regular intervals saves you from having to spend money on extensive detailing at a later time. But let’s be honest, no one wants to wash their car weekly. Black cars and red cars specifically should be waxed often because over time they can easily oxidize and take on dull grey and pink colors respectively.
Usually at that point polishing won’t bring the color back and it’s time to spend thousands of dollars on a new car or a new paint job. But thankfully that dilemma can be avoided by taking your car into your local professionals once in a while for a wash, wax, interior detail, or whatever your needs may be.
Keeping Contaminants Off the Paint
Regular washing and waxing, even just a spray detailer, can help to keep bug stains, bird dropping etching, and watermarks to a minimum. You want to keep the car clean so it does not have the clear coat stained or etched. Extensive damage to the clear coat can result in the vehicle needing a professional detail to try and fix the issues.
Always remember, frequent maintenance means less maintenance in the long run. And keeping the vehicle covered with spray wax, paint sealant, or ceramic coating can make maintenance even easier.
Use the right materials
In order to not cause micro-scratches, or swirl marks as they are more commonly called, you will want to use the right tools and materials for your vehicle.
When washing your vehicle use the two bucket method for washing, and always start at the top and work your way down. This helps to minimize dirt collecting on your wash mitt and causing damage.
Some of the best wash mitts or towels are those made from microfiber. The surface of the microfiber towel should help it lift dirt away from the surface. Otherwise, the dirt is just swirled around on the vehicle’s surface and will probably scratch it while doing so.
*Pro-Tip: You can use an eclectic blower to get water off the vehicle and hard to reach nooks and crannies.
If you plan on using a water-less wash to clean your vehicle. Make sure that you are using it properly. It is meant for when the car is slightly dirty, not filthy. It is also not meant to completely replace water washes. It is meant as a in-between water washes to help keep the vehicle clean.
When using a water-less wash you will want to spray a panel, wipe with a folded towel, turn the towel over, wipe the panel clean again, and then finally turn the towel to an unused side and repeat the process for each of the remaining panels. Ensuring that you are not wiping a dirty microfiber towel on your vehicle.
Know What to Avoid
Sure everyone likes the convenience that gas station or “touch-less” car washes have to offer. But what you don’t consider is that those brushes and towels used to dry the vehicle are not clean and filled with dirt and other debris.
What those big brushes do is cause swirl marks all over the surface of your vehicle. Even cause serious scratches to your vehicles paint. Even “touch-less” car washes use towels at the end to dry off the vehicle. There is no guarantee that those towels are clean, haven’t been used before, or haven’t been dropped on the ground.
Washing the vehicle by hand, either doing it yourself or having a competent mobile detailer, is the best way to clean your vehicle.
You should also avoid putting a pressure washer nozzle too close to the surface of your car. The pressure can cause damage to the clear coat and paint if the nozzle gets too close. If you have paint protection film on your vehicle you will also want to keep the nozzle at least three feet back as to not cause damage to the film.
Think About Where You Park
Think about where you park your car, at night and during the day. It’s easy at night; park it in your garage, that’s what it’s there for. Or under a covered parking space if possible. Don’t leave it in the street where it can come under attack from above from possums and other critters that come out to play at night. Not to mention other drivers and pedestrians.
Avoid parking under trees or minimize the time your car will be there. Not only are birds a concern, but pollen and sap are also concerns for your vehicle’s paint. Pollen can stain light colored cars, like white vehicles, and that can be difficult to remove.
If you are worried about the heat during the summer, ceramic window tint can offer heat reduction for the interior of the vehicle so that you can avoid parking under trees.
Interior Vehicle Maintenance
UV rays over time cause damage to the interior of vehicles. From fading to cracking, and just general wear and tear, over time interiors deteriorate. You will want to ensure that you take the time to condition your leather seats. Experts recommend doing it every three months, but doing it at least once a year is better than nothing.
Keeping interior surfaces clean is also important. It is something as simple as keeping a spray or cleaning clothes in your vehicle. A leather cleaner spray will help to remove dirt and also offer a simple way to condition the leather. A microfiber cloth or cleaning wipes, can be used to remove dirt or dust from interior surfaces. Do not use just a dry cloth, as that can cause scratches to the surfaces.