The experts guide to washing your car

June 2015

Donít wash using dishwashing liquid
Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give is to never use dishwashing liquid or other detergents. These products are generally designed to strip grease and grime off surfaces like glass, plastic, ceramics, and even brick, so you can only imagine what they might do to your carís glossy shine.

Use quality products
Car care products may not be the cheapest, but they are specially formulated to clean your car efficiently and without damaging paintwork.

Always wash in the shade
Wash your car in the shade and make sure the body is cool to the touch before you start. Soapy water will dry too quickly on a hot car, and leave a residue, which could damage your paintwork. 

Spraying water onto hot brakes is also a bad idea as it causes the brake discs to warp and might result in unnecessary expenses down the line.

Use the correct cloths and sponges 
Use sponges and cloths which are soft, non-abrasive and, if possible, designed specifically for car care. This means a soft sponge or microfibre cloth Ė no brushes or anything with hard plastic components should go anywhere near the paintwork. 

It is also important that the cloths and sponges you use for the paintwork, wheels and underbody do not get mixed up. If youíve cleaned mud from inside the wheel arches, for example, make sure you either use a clean sponge or cloth for the body, or rinse abrasive sand particles from the original sponge or cloth. Similarly, donít use the same sponge or cloth on the wheels as you did on the paintwork Ė the grease and grime will spread. Cleaning the car from the roof down will allow you to wipe the dirtiest bits last.

Dry your car properly
It is important to dry your car with the correct cloths to reduce scratching. Use a clean microfibre cloth or towel designed for car care, or the tried-and-trusted chamois. Do not use household towels or dish cloths as these may scratch the paint. 

Dry the car in a logical fashion; start with the roof, then windows, and work your way down. Donít leave the car to dry itself, especially not in the sun: water spots will form and they can damage paintwork over time. 

Lastly, if you drop your drying cloth on the floor, make sure you give it a good shake before continuing, even the smallest grain of sand can damage your paintwork.

Polish often, but not too often
Polishing (or waxing) your car will restore its shine, but doing it too often is not a good idea. Polishing actually removes a microscopic layer of lacquer or paint that has been damaged by the sun and dirt, so the more you do it, the more paint or lacquer you remove. We recommend you polish your car three to four times per year.

Follow a few simple rules, use the right products, and take just that little bit of extra care and your carís showroom good looks will be with you for many years.

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