Washing your car might seem like a mindless task, but professional detailers will tell you there is a proper way to do it. There is an art to getting your car as clean as possible without scratching or damaging its surface. How do you do this without emptying your pockets? Let me tell you! Gather up your supplies. You’ll need a water hose, soap that is safe for car paint, a microfiber towel, and a microfiber or lambswool washing mitt. Four items–that’s it! Avoid using dish soap because it can strip away wax. Additionally, regular towels and terry cloth can scratch away the paint’s clear top coat, so stick to microfiber. Rinse the car. Thoroughly rinse your vehicle before applying any soap. This is especially important during hotter months, as it helps cool down the paint and wash away debris. If bird droppings or bugs remain after the initial rinse, apply additional cleaner or rubbing alcohol to loosen it. Be careful not to scrub too hard, though! Start from the top. It’s crucial that you wash from the top down. This will minimize time, effort, and the amount of soap needed. The bottom of cars are the dirtiest, so it’s important to let the dirt from the top funnel down to the bottom. Make sure to wash in vertical or horizontal patterns, not circular motions. Use two buckets. Why would you want to mix dirty water with clean water? You’ll never get your car clean! Keep clean, soapy water in one bucket, and rinse out your washing mitt in the other. Rinse thoroughly. After you’re done cleaning the car, use the water hose to rinse away any remaining soap. Dry off the car. Never let soap dry on your car’s surface, as it can leave behind a sticky film. You should also try to dry your car in the shade; washing a car in the sunlight or on a hot day can leave behind spots that only a (costly) professional can remove. Don’t forget to use the microfiber cloth! Voilà! You now have the prettiest car on the block. So, as you can see, washing your car doesn’t have to be a chore. Just follow these six easy steps, and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Nothing’s worse than finding a chipped paint spot on a shiny new car (or even a well-worn car!) Sometimes freak things can happen to cause paint chipping, scratches or other damages to your car’s paint job, but most of the time these incidences can be avoided with a little TLC. Damage to your paint can quickly spiral into a rusting mess, so it’s important to stay on top of things and preserve the value and visual appeal of your car. I’ve list off several suggestions for how to prolong and maintain your auto paint. Read on and you’ll be a car maintenance pro in no time! 1. Wash your car regularly. This is the most basic tip, but keeping your car clean is the first step to proper car care. I recommend washing your car every two weeks to really keep your car in good shape. This will remove harmful chemicals like snow melt, acid rain or dirt that could eat away at your car’s paint. 2. Dry your car immediately after washing. This is a relatively easy step that SO many people skip out on. Letting your car air-dry after a car wash is no good. It softens the paint and allows rust and water spots to collect — just the thing you were trying to get rid of! So please, make sure you dry your car with towels after washing. 3. Keep your car in a garage or other covered area. I’ve written about the importance of covered parking before, and it really is vital to keeping your paint job in optimal shape. A covering will protect your car from the sun’s rays and from other extreme weather that could scratch paint. 4. Park in the shade. Obviously your car can’t be parked in a garage at all times, so when you’re out and about on a sunny day, try to park in the shade. Not only will it make your life more pleasant when you get back in the cooler car, but it really will keep your car looking shiny and vibrant for a longer period of time. 5. Wax your car monthly. Monthly waxing of your car exterior is really giving the car the TLC it needs to stay in good shape. Make sure you purchase wax meant for your car’s color and be sure to buy a quality buffing cloth. 6. Use touch-up paint to fix small scratches. Most auto body stores sell touch up paint that can match a wide variety of paint colors, so don’t hesitate to purchase some if you get minor scratches on your car due to situations you simply couldn’t avoid. This will prevent further chipping and make your car look as good as new! 7. Immediately consult a professional about large scratches or other damage to the paint. If you have a bigger scratch or damage on your hands, you’ll want to leave it to the professionals to fix. Talk to your local auto body mechanic about what happened and they will be able to tell you the best way to deal with the problem. 8. Protect your car with sealant. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can have your top coat sealed by a professional. This will give your car the ultimate protection from rust damage. The sealant usually has a five-year warranty. 9. Frequently wash the undercarriage of your car. Dirt, sticks and other materials can get caught in this area and then cause problems on the surface of your car. Hence, you’ll want to clean under the car every time you wash it, as to avoid spreading problems to the rest of the paint job.
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. There are flowers blooming, I have so much appreciation for the added daylight time and sunshine, and I also LOVE spring cleaning! Call me crazy, but spring cleaning is such a liberating and satisfying ritual for the new season. I do some spring cleaning by donating old clothes, cleaning out under the bed and in the storage closet, and of course, giving my car a good deep clean. I wrote about this topic last year, but who couldn’t use a little extra inspiration and motivation to get the job done?! Aside from the usual vacuuming and clearing out the junk, here are some new tips I’ve gathered for giving your car a complete spring cleaning: -Use a special car-window cleaner on your interior windows. Resist the urge to pull out the Windex and use window cleaner especially made for your car. It’ll keep the windows from fogging up as quickly and reduce grime! -Replace the cabin air filter. This might be one you always avoid when you get your oil changed, but the truth is that the air filter should be replaced on your car every 20,000-30,000 miles. For most drivers, that’s about once a year — so why not do it in the spring? A clean air filter will reduce odors and give for easy breathing while in the car. -Get new windshield wipers. Your windshield wipers take a beating in the winter time, so with spring showers come along, you’ll want a fresh pair to adequately wipe away rain. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year, so again, spring is a good time to get in the habit! -Add washer fluid. It’s easy to forget (over and over again!) about that washer fluid that needs replacing. But while you’re in the cleaning mode, it’s a good time to finally get the job done! Washer fluid will help keep your windows clean after every spring rain. -Clean your car wheels and tires. Even if you’re in the habit of washing your car every few weeks, you might be overlooking a very important element of the cleaning process. Take this chance to give your car tires a serious wipe-down, along with the undercarriage of the car. This will keep your car running smoothly and ensure that your paint job stays in prime condition. -Add a fuel-system cleaner to the gas tank. Gas tanks need some cleaning every once and awhile, too! A fuel-system cleaner will clear rust build-up out of your gas tank with minimal effort. Just pour and forget about it! -Flush the underbody of your car. This is something you can’t easily do at home, but can majorly help your car run smoothly and efficiently. Head to your local car wash to get a flush of the underbody, even if you do the rest of the job yourself. -Lube up the door hinges. Once you add some lube to your door hinges, you’ll be wondering why you don’t do it more often! Doors can get sticky due to build up in the hinges, but a little lube can quickly cure the problem. And there’s nothing like a nice, smoothly gliding door, so hop to it!
The sun is out … finally! Not only are the days brighter and warmer, but those spots on our cars are way more visible. It’s time for a good washing! In past blogs, I’ve shared the importance of routine maintenance on your vehicle – not only under the trunk, but the exterior as well. Keeping your car healthy and clean creates added value on your car (when looking to trade in) and extends the life of your vehicle (for those who hold onto things a little longer). Entering and departing the winter season is a good starting point for a bath. In order to keep a healthy paint job (looking shiny and new), you need to remove all dirt, salt and “winter charm” from our rides. And whether you spend $20 or $100 to do so is up to you – as long as the job gets done! If you’re the “hands on” type of guy or gal, check out the proper gear to a good wash. But if time is of the essence, then run on down to your nearest dealership or car wash to get the job done. I recommend going “all out” for a post-winter car wash! (just this once) And if you’re ever interested in getting your vehicle professionally detailed by one of my guys, come on in! (Car = $200 , Truck/SUV = $265)