If you’re serious about taking care of your car, you probably take pride in washing it very often. We hate to break it to you, but bad car washing habits could actually be doing your vehicle and your wallet more harm than good. If you can see your name written all over one of these bad habits, remember it’s never too late to change.
1. Not following directions
When is the last time you read the directions of a car detailing product? There is not a one size fits all approach to washing your car, especially when there are so many brands out there. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on each of the products you use
Some things are made to rinse off quickly. Other things need to sit on the car for a few minutes. Some products are safe for all surfaces, while others just do one job really well. Make sure you’re using products according to their intended purpose to get the best results. A few minutes of reading is well worth the risk of wasting hours of elbow grease.
2. Waxing in dirt
Pay special attention to the direction of your hand motions as you’re washing your car. Rubbing down your car in circular motions is perfect for wax, Produxa Premium, or ceramic coating. You want these things to spread across the surface of your paint, polish it up, or act as a sealant.
You should not be using circular hand motions when you’re rubbing soap onto your car. You need the soap to touch every surface of the paint, but you also need it to get rid of dirt and other debris that you’re trying to clean away. Instead of circular motions, move your hands in organized, sweeping vertical and horizontal lines. This will move dirt up and away from the surface of your paint rather than rubbing it in.
Pro tip: This is exactly why you should never use Waterless Wash on a car that has a lot of dirt or physical debris. Waterless wash needs to be wiped on with circular motions for its polishing properties to really work. If your car has a lot of dirt and other visible debris, those circular motions will do more harm than good. On the other hand, if your car just needs a little touch-up, Waterless Wash is a great way to save time and water without sacrificing the look of your vehicle.
3. Washing your car with harsh materials
The paint on your car has very different properties when compared with your skin or the kitchen floor. Don’t just use any old household cleaning brush, towel, or rag on your car. Some textiles are way too rough for the surface of your car. The wrong textile can grind dirt into your paint job rather than removing it, and some textiles, even if they feel soft, are abrasive.
Whether you prefer a towel, shammy, or brush, make sure to use a product that was specifically designed for washing cars. Microfiber towels are awesome!
4. Using products that don’t include UV protection
Dirt is unsightly and nearly impossible to ignore if you’re a real car enthusiast, but dirt is not the biggest threat to your car. The real problem is UV rays, something you cannot see. Over time, UV rays eat away at your clear coat and fade the top of your car, leaving you with a two-tone paint job you never asked for.
In addition to storing your car in a garage or under some sort of shelter, use products that protect your car from the sun. Our Tire Shine, Car Shampoo, Waterless Wash, Produxa Premium, and Ceramic Coating all include UV protection.
5. Washing your car in high temperatures and direct sunlight
If at all possible, it’s best to wash your car at a time of day when there is little sunlight and the temperature is cooler. Early mornings and late evenings are excellent.
Although midday is the time of day when most people have the time and energy to wash a car, it’s not the kindest time for your car or you. Closer to noon, temperatures are usually the highest they will be during the day, and both you and your car will be exposed to more direct sunlight than at other times.
It can be very easy to underestimate just how hot the surface of your car can get. Heat is an important catalyst in many chemical reactions, and car detailing products are made of chemicals. Some products have a warning printed on the bottle that they should not be used in direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures, both in the air and on the surface of the car, can change the properties of the products you’re using, making them less effective.
There’s a greater concern when it comes to washing your car on a hot day. Hotter temperatures make water and products dry faster. Just look around after any rainstorm, and you’ll see that water leaves unsightly marks all over your paint when it dries on your car. The spots are even worse if you have hard water, with unbalanced levels of minerals. Water and products dry much quicker in high temperatures and direct sunlight. This can leave spots all over your car, and that really defeats the purpose of washing it.
Pro Tip: To avoid water spots and product residue, make sure you physically dry your car with a towel, shammy, or some other car-safe textile. Don’t allow your car to air dry.
If you avoid these bad habits like the plague, your sure to be much more satisfied with your next DIY car wash.