- Automatic car cleaning
- Manual car cleaning: for a better-looking car body
- Mistakes to avoid
Cleaning your car makes it more beautiful (for the pleasure of your eyes or those of your future buyer) and helps preserve it. Moreover, this operation is an opportunity to detect some small mechanical maintenance operations to be done.
Automatic car cleaning: quick and easy
Exterior cleaning can be done by a professional or by yourself.
Cleaning a vehicle requires product, space and a minimum of time.
The automatic car wash centers offer you a car wash for a few euros and a minimum of effort.
All you have to do is:
- Place your car on the rails of the machine;
- close it (don’t forget the windows and the roof);
- lower the antenna and put on the mirrors;
- choose your program and press the start button.
Several programs are often offered. The choice will depend on the condition of your vehicle, the weather, your budget and the time you have available. The cheapest ones may not dry your car, for instance.
The limits of automatic cleaning
Automatic cleaning is sometimes so fast that it becomes elementary and not very effective.
It can scratch the car if it is too dirty: indeed, the big rollers are not as soft as a non-abrasive sponge, a chamois or even a Kärcher jet can be.
The drying process, sometimes insufficient, can lead to whitish streaks.
Finally, it may not be adapted to the size of your car.
High-pressure washing: an alternative to rollers
High-pressure water jetting allows you to wash and rinse your vehicle but is more physically demanding.
It can go everywhere, such as on the underbody, rims and wheel tunnels, and it gets around, so you must handle it with care. The engine must be preserved, especially its electrical circuit. The same goes for areas of the body that start to bubble; otherwise, you will remove some parts of the paint altogether!
Manual car cleaning: for a better-looking body
Do you have time and space and want to take care of your car while saving money? Manual car cleaning may be the solution for you!
It consists in using basic utensils such as a sponge and chamois (or a microfiber cloth) and then a suitable product and water jet, but also in having a little time before you, space and the right gestures.
After gathering sponges, brushes, and cloths to dry your bodywork, you can look for a detergent or a special car shampoo and a container.
You can find other products in stores that are “adapted” to each part of your car, but this will increase your budget.
Don’t forget that there are now products designed for waterless car cleaning that are much more economical. It’s up to you to compare!
Tips for cleaning your car like a pro
Now that you have everything you need, it is necessary to avoid a few minor mistakes that would compromise the expected result:
The first rule is to stay out of the sun, as water has a magnifying effect and can damage your paint. It can also fix abrasive particles and attack your paint.
You need to keep your rags, sponges and brushes clean; otherwise, they could scratch your bodywork.
It’s best to start with the dirtiest parts of the vehicle, but especially the top of the car and work your way down.
- Start by wetting the vehicle with warm water, then use detergent to loosen the grease and remove the first layer of dirt.
- After scrubbing well with regularly rinsed sponges, you can rinse thoroughly to remove any traces of product or foam.
- Drying is done either with a chamois or a microfiber cloth.
- Don’t forget your windows!
You can finish with polishing, buffing, and waxing to make your car shine.