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Proper Car Washing

Posted by Derek Sirois on

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All of us have a different idea of what the best feeling in the world is. For some, it is putting on a brand new pair of socks or the guilty pleasure of sticking a Q-tip in your ear. For the crew at Polishing Systems, Inc., it’s taking a cruise around town in our freshly washed and waxed cars, trucks and bikes. If you’re reading this, then chances are that you know what it’s like to pull up to your favorite restaurant for dinner and drinks on date night in a shiny and fresh smelling car.

Aside from the pride of driving a clean well maintained car, washing will also help keep your vehicle’s finish in tip top shape. Doing so will ensure that you will maintain the integrity of the paint, wheel surface, as well as any plastic and rubber trim. Using automatic car washes or employing dish detergent may save you marginal time and money, but ultimately does nothing to enhance your car's appearance. In fact, it can cause fading in the plastic, drying of rubber components and micro-abrasions all over your vehicle’s surface. The latter is especially true for darker color vehicles. Researching, selecting, and using the right car washing products is paramount when detailing your vehicle. This is why you should protect your investment by using only the best car soaps, waxes, shampoos and equipment. You should be able to identify everything you need within this article, but if you find yourself at a loss with what you should be using, contact us here at Polishing Systems, Inc. with any questions or concerns. We have a wealth of knowledge and will be able to point you in the right direction.

What You’ll Need

Before we get started, let’s take a look at what you’re going to need to get the job done. By the way, you can find everything you’ll need on our website: www.polishingsystemsinc.com

  • Garden hose with spray nozzle or pressure washer
  • 2 medium sized buckets (one for the body, one for the wheels)
  • A quality vehicle soap like Polishing System’s Wash-N-Wax
  • Car wash sponge or wash mitt
  • Terry cloth, microfiber and chamois cloth
  • A concentrated glass cleaner such as Polishing System’s Clearly Pink Glass Cleaner
  • A premium tire dressing comparable to Polishing System’s Platinum Dressing

Step One

Preparing your Car Wash Soap Solution

Using one of your available buckets, mix the recommended amount of soap to water. Usually a 100:1 or 50:1 ratio is good. You can adjust this based on the severity of dirt and grime on your car. Be sure to prepare a separate bucket for your tires and wheels.

Step Two

Pre-Rinsing your Car and Wheels

Use your hose or pressure washer to completely soak your car and wheels to remove loose dirt and other substances that may be harmful to your car’s finish when scrubbing. Don’t forget to rinse under both the front and rear fenders as well as your wheel wells. These areas are hit with grime and road debris more than anywhere else on your car.

Step Three

Applying Car Wash Soap to Wheels and Tires

Washing your wheels first ensures that the harmful brake dust and other road grime aren't getting mixed in with your soap. This can result in you scratching your car's finish and causing unsightly marks.

Step Four

Applying Soap to the Body of your Car

You don’t want to use a regular towel or sponge to scrub your car. Be sure to use a high quality wash mitt or car wash sponge that will absorb the dirt and prevent those scratches and swirl marks we mentioned earlier.

Starting at the roof of your vehicle, apply soap and scrub in a circular motion making sure that you cover the entire surface area. Next, apply car wash soap and scrub the windows and work your way down towards the bottom. Using this technique will ensure that you don’t damage your vehicle’s finish or paint job.

Step Five

Completely Rinsing your Car

Using your hose or pressure washer, start from the roof of your vehicle and rinse from top to bottom. Be sure to get under both your front and back fenders as well as your wheels and wheel wells. You don’t want to leave any soap that may dry on your car. This is especially important if you plan on waxing or applying a clear coat after cleaning.

Step Six

Drying your Car

Grab your clean chamois or terry cloth and wipe the car dry from top to bottom using the same pattern you did when scrubbing. The lower parts of your car should be done last. Again, this is important as it will prevent any damage to your car's finish

Step Seven

Applying Glass Cleaner

Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle’s windows not only provides you with better visibility and promotes a safer driving experience, it will also dramatically enhance your car’s appearance with a super shiny and sparkly appearance. Spray glass cleaner directly on window and wipe using a circular motion with a heavy duty microfiber cloth.

Step Eight

Applying Tire Dressing

Using a small sponge, apply tire dressing on the sidewalls of your tires. This will make your tires look super clean and shiny as well as prevent blooming.