In addition to their homes, one of the largest investments most people make is in the purchase of their automobiles. In order to keep your vehicle protected from the elements and looking its best, be sure that you know how to properly wash your car.

Following is a list that explains the proper steps to take when washing your vehicle.

Temperature of your vehicle

It’s important to avoid washing your car vehicle in the direct sunlight, when it’s hot outside, or after a long drive. Cold water can cause the rotors in your brakes to warp, and although rare, the cold water can actually crack your windshield in the hot sun too. Instead, wash your car in the early morning, or as the sun is setting low on the horizon; however, if you do wash your car in the afternoon, be sure that you do so under the protection of full shade.

The Use of Water

When you wash your vehicle, be sure to rinse it thoroughly with a hose before you start wiping it with a brush or sponge. If you take a sponge or brush to a dirty car before rinsing it off, the dirt particles and fine grit gets forced into the paint, creating annoying surface scratches. Always be sure that you loosen the dirt particles thoroughly with clean water prior to washing by hand. If the vehicle dries before you have the opportunity to clean with soap and water, be sure to wet it once again with the hose.

Using a Low Pressure Water Source

If you’re using a pressure washer to clean your car, be certain that it’s safe for use on automobiles first. Although pressure washers are effective in removing dirt and grime out of wheel wells, engines, and the undercarriage, they are not very good for the vehicle’s paint. A high-powered pressure washer can damage the paint on its own, as well as force fine particles and dirt into the paint, causing scratches.

Some pressure washers allow you to adjust the amount of water pressure coming out of the wand; if this is the case then set it to its lowest setting before using it on your car. To be on the safe side, it’s best if you simply use a garden hose.

Correct Soap

When washing your car, be sure to use the correct automobile soap. This type of soap can be purchased in the automotive section of large retailers as well as auto stores. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of paint that’s on your car, then you should purchase a brand that’s safe for all vehicles. Additionally, never use dishwashing soap to wash your vehicle, this soap will remove your paint’s protective sealant and wax, and it will leave a residue on the paint’s surface.

Mitts and Brushes

There are many different types of brushes and mitts available on the market; however, this is not an area that you want to pinch pennies because you get what you pay for. Instead, purchase a soft mitt or brush that holds lots of liquid and was intended for vehicles. Keep the mitt or brush clean by rinsing it often and be sure that it’s loaded with soapy water. This will prevent swirl marks from forming on your vehicles paint.

Work From the Top Down

Start washing your vehicle from the top down. This will avoid wasting water and prevent you from washing the same area twice. Wash your vehicle in sections as well, start at the roof, and then work your way down the windshield, hood, rear, sides, and finish with the wheels, so you don’t have to dry them twice.

Use a Wheel Brush

Always use a different mitt or brush on your wheels; you don’t want to transfer grime and dirt from your wheels to your car’s paint. You can use the same soap as you did on the body of your vehicle, but be sure that it’s safe for use on alloy or chrome wheels, as they react differently to soap and detergents.

Use a Water Blade to Dry

Water blades remove a large quantity of water from your car’s surface in one stroke, and they don’t scratch the paint either. Use a high quality terry cloth or micro fiber towel, as these are the most absorbent. Again, you want to start from the top and work your way down. Always wash your drying towels separately after every car wash, this ensures that they last a long time and won’t scratch your vehicle’s paint.

These tips will help keep your vehicle’s paint in excellent condition and keep it looking fresh and new.

Darren is a passionate blogger and works as a supplier of truck wheel wash systems.