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Tips for Washing Your Car

Urvashi Pokharna
You spent all your savings to buy your dream car and now you can't help but be obsessed with it. Its maintenance becomes your utmost priority. I share the emotion and that is why I am going to guide you to the best ways of cleaning your car and let its beauty stay eternal.
Everything in the environment can be your beautiful car's enemy, right from pollutants which contain nitric and sulfuric acid, bird and insect droppings to tree sap and all other environmental components that are acidic in nature. They can harm the paint as well as metal upon getting in contact with it.
Since metal is a good conductor of heat, it can further activate the acids and cause damage irrespective of being dry or wet. Salt from water and gases also causes chemical reaction on the surface. The longer these harmful contaminants stay in contact with the surface of your car, the more havoc they will create on its body.
This is a gradual process that takes years and is not very noticeable. However, by the time you pay attention on it, your car's surface will be robbed off its gloss. The damage caused over the years can only be corrected with re-painting or sanding, both of which have exorbitant costs attached!
When you start cleaning your car, remember the rule 'top to bottom'. Start cleaning your car from the top and gradually reach the bottom. In fact, the bottom rims of the car are dirtier than the top part due to their proximity to the ground.

Pointers for Washing your Car

➦ Always remember to clean you car regularly to maintain its finish.
➦ When you are rinsing your car before and after wash, use a trigger-type spray nozzle on your hose. It avoids messiness caused by excess water. Rinse your car well before you start applying any cleaners.
➦ Always clean your car gently with a soft and smooth sponge to avoid scratches. You can try the Natural Sea Sponge by Mother Nature.
➦ Sheepskin mitts are good scrubbers and do not push impurities into the metal.
➦ Always clean your cloths and sponges before and after cleaning your car. Also, replace them with new ones every month.
➦ Use a micro-fibre cloth or a chamois leather to wipe off water. They are soft, will keep the polish intact and have high absorbing qualities.
➦ After you have wiped off your car, polish it to prevent oxidation. Later, wax it to restore and maintain the car's shiny surface. Use it at least 4 times in a year. However, frequent use of wax can be erosive to the paint.
➦ Here is an easy tip to clean your car windows with a no-ammonia formula. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, scrub with a newspaper. It will bring back shine to the glass.
➦ Clean your car with a professional car-cleaning kit.
➦ Never park your car in sunny spots, especially after washing. The heat hardens the residue and makes it more difficult to clean it off the car's surface.
➦ Never use ordinary house-hold cleaning detergents to wash your car. They contain animal fat and are rough on mental.
➦ Never leave cleaning agents on the surface for a long time, crossing the advised duration. It will strip off the protective layer of the car wax.
➦ Wash and lather one part at a time.

Cleaning the Wheels

Since wheels are always in contact with the road, gravel, tar and sand, it is imperative that you keep a good care of your wheels.
To start, spray your wheels generously with water so the dirt loosens up and the accumulated mud will wash off. Never use rough materials to clean the wheels too and keep a separate sponge for them.
However, to clean aluminum wheels you require a stronger product. You may use a tar-removing product that is compatible with your wheels' finish. Wheels have a tendency to congregate grease and dirt quickly.
Special care and frequent cleaning is necessary to maintain the finish. Always finish off cleaning your wheels with a protect-ant like tire shine spray and wheel wax to protect against brake-dust and other grime particles from etching onto these beauties.
Never apply excess quantities of any product. The trim is also important to maintain as it is more prone to fading and deteriorating. Use a black trim preservative for this job.
I'd suggest that you always test your car-cleaning products on an inconspicuous patch on your car's body to check for harsh chemicals. Have you noticed how window cleaners clean the glass? They always scrub and wipe it length-wise as opposed to using circular motions. This is done to avoid swirls on the surface that are reflected in sunlight.
Use the same tactic to clean your car. Even when you are done giving your car the final wash, you need to be careful and make sure you wipe off the water from the surface and let it dry completely. Failure in doing so can lead to water settling in the pits of the metal and trapping pollutants in it. They can also give light-colored vehicles a cloudy finish.
Scratches are, especially, easily visible on dark-colored vehicles. When you wash the roof of your car, don't scrub too hard because that can also press dirt into the pits of the metal. To get rid of bird and insect droppings, keep a bottle of seltzer water handy in your car.
Shake thoroughly, remove the cap and using your thumb on top of the bottle's mouth, spray it on the area. Since it is carbonated water, it will clean the most stubborn droppings without harming your car's surface.
You should also take your car once in a while to the car wash station. The water pressure helps remove dirt impurities from those hard to reach spots. Get your car under-coated and rust-proofed too.
Many people neglect washing their car during rains on the pretext that it will keep getting soiled. But, what you should really know over here is that, leaving dirt and water drops settled on your car's surface will cause oxidation, rusting and scarring.
I'd rather learn to clean my car on my own routinely than pay around $1500 per professional servicing bi-weekly. Bonus, you can discover newer, better and cheaper ways to do the same job.