Wash Me, Please
Filed under: News
Source: Car Care Council
It's definitely time for spring cleaning if someone writes "wash me" on your vehicle. Even if your car hasn't reached that point, a good cleaning of the inside and outside prevents the buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, reduces the potential for rust from road salt and helps ensure proper visibility needed for safe driving, according to the Car Care Council.
The first step is to remove the clutter from inside the car, including items that have accumulated in the trunk that can add extra weight and reduce gas mileage. Once this is done, thoroughly clean and vacuum the inside and wash the windows.
When washing the outside, make sure to include the tires and wheels and the underside and fenders to eliminate any road salt or grime. The council recommends cleaning the wheels and tires with a mitt and using a separate mitt to wash the body. This will avoid contaminating the vehicle's paint with debris from the wheels and tires.
The body of the vehicle should be washed using a product sold specifically for cars. Starting at the top, wash one section at a time, thoroughly rinsing away the soap as you go. Work your way down toward the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. Clean the fenders and bumpers last since they will have the most dirt and grime that can contaminate the wash mitt.
The car should get a final rinse by removing the spray nozzle from the hose and letting the water cascade down the surfaces of the vehicle. To avoid water spots, dry the vehicle with a chamois or other product made for drying.
The last step is to wax the car according to the manufacturer's instructions for application. Waxing should be done out of direct sunlight and every six months. It goes a long way toward protecting the vehicle's finish and makes subsequent washes easier.
If you identified any stone chips, rust or other problem spots while washing your vehicle, the council suggests having these taken care of immediately to prevent further damage.
"Keeping your vehicle clean not only protects your valuable investment, it also fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "It's a task that takes very little money or effort, but has huge returns."