Have you been itching to get a new car this year? Most people say that a car is liability rather than an asset because it depreciates over time. So, why buy a new one when you can make your old car look spanking brand new! How? Read on below and we’ll show you how with these simple car cleaning tips and tricks!
Wash With the Right Suds
Ditch the dish washing liquid you’ve been using to wash your car. Yes, it removes dirt, grease and old wax. But it also takes out important oils from the paint’s finish. Use it repeatedly and you shorten the life of your paint job. Instead of dish soap, use a cleaner formulated for vehicles (available at any auto parts store). Once you’ve mixed the suds, go one step further—fill a second bucket with clean rinse water. You’ll need this to wash the cleaning towel. Soak it in and start scrubbing your car. That will remove most of the road grit. Only use a towel such as the super absorbent cleaning towel to prevent scratches on your car. Then, throw the towel in the washing machine to get it completely clean. You can also use it to buff away polish and wax residue.
Polish the Finish
Are you one of the many people who confuse polishing from waxing? FYI, they’re separate steps. Polishing removes small surface imperfections and scratches and buffs the finish to a shine. Waxing adds more gloss and protects the finish from the elements. Most car owners skip polishing because they don’t want to invest the money for a polisher or the elbow grease for a hand polish. But, polishing your vehicle’s finish is the best way to getting the shiniest gloss (pros would never skip it). Apply a dollop of polish to the pad and wipe the pad across a 2 x 2-ft. area. Run the polisher at a slow speed to spread the compound over the entire area. Then, speed up and let the polisher do the work for you.
Get a Mirror Finish With Synthetic Wax
Some people love using carnauba wax. It produces a deep, warm shine. But, we prefer the wet-gloss look of the newer synthetic polymer waxes (also known as paint sealant). It’s pricier than other synthetics, but it doesn’t leave a white film on plastic or trim—which is a real advantage. Plus, it’s really easy to apply. Apply the wax to the foam applicator and rub it into the finish in a circular motion. Then, wipe off the mist with the super absorbent cleaning towel. It’s better to get at least 3-4 of these towels for (wet) cleaning and (dry)buffing. Swap in a clean towel as soon as the first one loads up.
Pluck the Finish
A car that’s dashing down the road at 60 mph becomes a magnet for any grime in the air. Your vehicle’s clear coat deflects some of it but can hold the sharper grit. Washing removes the surface dirt, but clay-barring is the only way to pluck out the embedded stuff. Buy a clay bar kit, which includes a lubricating spray and several pieces of synthetic clay. Prepare the clay by tearing a piece into four sections. Flatten one section into a small pancake in the palm of your hand and rub it over the paint with a back-and-forth motion. Fold the clay against itself, knead it and re-flatten until the clay turns gray. Then, toss it and use a fresh piece until you remove the grimes and grits for a glass-like finish.