Beware of these car washing mistakes

04 Car Wash

Beware of these car washing mistakes

It’s a common occurrence that we are contacted to rectify paint problems after someone has damaged their duco during the process of washing their vehicle so beware of these car washing mistakes. I thought it might be a good idea to share a couple of things to be aware of when washing your prized possession. By no means is the list comprehensive, but it will provide a couple of things to hopefully help you avoid problems in vehicle washing.

The first one we often get is using a dish scouring pad to remove tar and other contaminants such as bird droppings from paint. It seems obvious, but whilst a dish scouring pad is great for removing food grime off plates and saucepans, it doesn’t do too well on painted surfaces. It will definitely remove the contaminant on the paint, but it will take the gloss with it resulting with a horrible flat patch. Whilst it may look beyond repair, most dish scouring pad damage can be rectified with a professional cut and polish.

We get a number of calls to fix water spots and streaks caused by washing the vehicle in direct sunlight or washing a vehicle that is hot. For best results when washing your car, ensure that the vehicle is in the shade and that the paint is cool. Also use lots of water to remove excess shampoo, and remove the shampoo quickly. Do not shampoo the whole car and then wash it off. Shampoo a panel at a time and wash it off. This should help you avoid spotting or streaking.

We also have to rectify scratches caused by people using a dry towel to remove spots they may have missed. A dry towel is usually course and can scratch the paint. Another problem can be that dust may have settled on the panel and when you wipe a panel, you could be wiping dust and contaminants that are invisible to the naked eye, across the painted surface. For the best results, use a damp microfiber cloth to remove any missed spots after washing.

We encourage people to use polishes and waxes to provide UV protection for their vehicle’s paint. We occasionally get calls to rectify problems caused by people applying polish and wax directly to the surface. By applying directly to the paint surface, you can sometimes cause streaks or blotting on the paint. The best way to avoid this happening is to apply the wax or polish to a cloth or application pad. This should ensure that you don’t get wax or polish blotching on your paint surface.

An issue we often get is fading paint. When we investigate it further, we often find that they use dishwashing liquid to clean their car. Like dish scouring pads, dishwashing liquid works wonders at removing grease and food grime from plate, pots and pans. As they are formulated to remove grease and fat off surfaces as a result of cooking, they are really efficient at stripping wax and sealing polish of vehicle paint. The result is that the paint’s UV protection is removed and it exposes the paint directly to the sun and weather that can fade the paint prematurely. For best results, use a recommended car shampoo that will remove dirt and particles, but won’t strip wax and sealing polish UV protection.

The last thing I would like to share is common sense, but unfortunately as the saying goes, common sense isn’t that common. If you ever drop a sponge or a microfiber wash cloth when cleaning, don’t shake or dust it off, replace it with a fresh one. Whilst it might look clean, it won’t be. It will likely contain particles that will scratch your paint. I had a friend that had her car washed by kids for a fund raising charity and the sponge was dropped, washed in the bucket and continued to be used. Unfortunately when the car was dried, all these scratches appeared on her brand new car. You could imagine she wasn’t feeling too charitable after she saw the scratches.

This can simply be avoided by replacing the dropped sponge or cloth. Best practice is to have a shampoo bucket and a spare bucket with clean water to rinse the sponge before it goes into the shampoo bucket. You then rinse the sponge after each application to remove any excess dust or particles, which ensures the shampoo bucket is clean.

Well I hope this will be helpful for you. If you do get scratches that need attending to, you can contact us on 1300 283 333. In the meantime, happy motoring.

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