Lifestyle Fashion
Car Wash: Spic and Span – Inside and Out

Car Wash: Spic and Span – Inside and Out

Regularly washing the exterior of your car will not only make it stand out as shiny and stylish, but will also help ensure its longevity. A clean car protects against dirt, salt, and other contaminants picked up from the road every day. Anyone who lives in an area with harsh winters can attest to what dirt can do to a car body! Washing your car several times a month, or even once a week, can keep your car’s body in tip-top shape. Here are some tips for washing your car inside and out.

While a hot sunny day can have your car screaming, “Wash me!” Contrary to popular belief, this really isn’t the best time to wash your car. Why not, you ask? If a car doesn’t stay cool while it’s foaming, the water can evaporate rather quickly, leaving soap stains behind. Therefore, the best thing to do is wash your car on a cloudy day, or at least in the shade on a sunny day.

Before you start washing your car, you’ll want to gather all the necessary supplies. You will need access to water, usually via a garden hose or pressure washer, bucket, soap, sponges or soft cloths, scrub brush, glass cleaner, paper towels (or newspaper), and any other cleaning supplies you want to use. For example, polish, headline and windshield bug cleaner, tire cleaner or degreaser, etc. Once you have everything together, fill the bucket with soapy water, until very foamy. Be sure to use a soap that is made for washing cars; shampoo and dish soap won’t really do the job.

Start with the wheels. It is important to have clean wheels because they are in constant contact with the road and can be prone to corrosion from brake dust. You drive on your own tires and your safety depends on them. Make sure they are clean! You’ll want to use plenty of soapy water and a scrub brush to clean them. You may also need to use a degreaser. You may need to use a good effort to go deep into the tread and remove all dirt and debris. Once clean, rinse them well. Then you can also use tire and wheel cover polish for a final touch.

Next, start in the car itself. Start by washing the car with a hose to wet the surface. Then start small sections at a time so you can pay close attention to detail. For example, you might want to start at the back left and clean that area from top to bottom. Then rinse and move to the center of your car, working all the way. For the body of the car, you will want to use something soft to protect the paint. This can be a variety of materials from large sponges, soft chenille pads, wash mitts, and even a sea sponge. During this process, you can alternate the soft sponge with a scrub brush on the grill area to remove any bugs. Once you’re done with all the sides, give the car a final rinse.

Next, while your windshield and windows will probably shine from a good wash, you may want to take another step to make them shine even more and use a glass polish to clean them. Paper towels work well, but for a more polished look, try ‘recycling’ your newspapers as a window cleaning rag. They work wonderfully and don’t leave behind lint like some paper towels!

You can then wax/polish your car. This will help protect your car from the elements like dirt, road salt, pollution, and other debris. In fact, you can wash your car with a pre-wax treatment to prepare for this step. Apply the wax to one section of the panel at a time with a dry cloth. After the wax dries, you can buff it with a towel. One coat is enough to make it shine, but heck, you can add another coat or two if you want it to really shine! Wax work can last about two months.

While the interior doesn’t really help maintain the car itself, it’s nice to have a clean car from the inside out. Once you’re done washing and waxing, start by vacuuming your floors, rugs, and seats. You may need to use the attachments so you can access all the nooks and crannies. (There are crumbs everywhere!) If you have rubber mats, you can wash them along with the exterior and let them dry. Replace them after cleaning the interior of the car. Then wipe down all interior surfaces with a damp cloth. Then, just like you did with the exterior windows, do the same with the interior. Some people like to use a polish to make the board shine. Just don’t polish the steering wheel! It will make it slippery.

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