Love, protect and maintain your pride and joy the right way
Cleaning a car seems simple enough, but having a few tricks up your sleeve can be the difference between having that clean freshly detailed look or a dull and flat car covered in watermarks.
Here’s a few tips to help you clean the exterior of your car the right way.
- Start from the top (after the wheels)
Brake dust, tar, mud, debris, road grime. Your wheels are filthy. Don’t risk splashing this mess onto your freshly clean paintwork by washing them last.
Attack the wheels first, using a high quality wheel cleaner that dissolves brake dust and wheel brush, NOT the same wash mit that you use for the rest of your car, for obvious reasons.
(see the link below for our pick of the wheel cleaner bunch)
Once the wheels are done, head to the roof and work your way down, washing one panel at a time. You would be amazed at how many people start at the bonnet and then leave roof till last, undoing all their hard work by rinsing the dirt back over your clean car.
- Don’t wash your car in direct sunlight.
The Australian sun is brutal, as we all know. Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight, hot panels and fast water evaporation can make things difficult when trying to achieve a nice finish. Wash your car in the cooler parts of the day or in the shade if possible.
- Avoid cheap sponges.
Please for the love of god, NO CHEAP SPONGES!
We could go on and on about how they rub the trapped dirt particles back over your car etc. and so on, but we won’t waste your time. Just avoid the sponges all together. They’re finished, done, finito.
Opt for alternatives like wash mits made from microfiber or Lamb’s wool. Yes they are more expensive, but if you love your car, it’s worth it.
- The two bucket method.
You see how much dirt settles at the bottom of your bucket? Well don’t spread it back onto your car by rinsing your wash mit in that same water. Using two buckets, one filled with fresh water to rinse and the other filled with your detergent, is an effective way to keep a clean wash mit and avoid scratching your paint. Don’t forget to use a grit guard and Dunk, Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
A snow lance in action using BlackHawks “Blizzard” detergent
- Using a good detergent.
The quality of detergent you use has a huge impact on the outcome of your wash and protecting your paint. Cheap and nasty car wash’s can sometimes be too harsh and the degreasing properties can even strip away your clear coat. Use a premium, PH neutral detergent that is designed for vehicles (Avoid dishwashing liquid, which is designed for dishes, not your cars paintwork) Using a pressure washer with a snow lance is a good way to go, blanketing your car in a foam that dissolves the contaminants on your paint, allowing for an easy rinse off.
- Dry your car correctly.
You can throw that crusty old chamois in the bin alongside your sponge. The days of dragging and wringing out the chamois are over.
Using a microfiber drying towel instead is a faster and easier method of drying. Plus it’s safer for your paint too. Letting your car “air dry” is a fast route to permanent water marks and ruined paintwork, so make sure you dry it thoroughly.
(Again, we have a link at the bottom to a premium drying towel that we use and highly recommend)
Love your car as much as us? Well look after it the right way!.
A few extra tips to help you protect, maintain and love your cars paintwork.
- Avoid commercial car washes if possible. Harsh detergents, dirty water and equipment are notorious paint wreckers. Save your cash and wash at home.
- Remove contaminants immediately. Bird droppings, spilt fuel, tree sap and dead bugs can quickly eat through your paint. Rinse off and wash ASAP, taking care not to scratch paint when removing.
- Once you have cleaned your car, protect it with a good quality sealant. Spray on ceramic sealers are a great DIY method of protection that stop contaminants etching into your paint. They even make the next wash even easier. A good investment if you love your car.
We recently upgraded our drying towels to the BlackHawk Deluxe Microfibre Towel and haven’t looked back.
Our preferred wheel cleaner happens to be another BlackHawk product, the Iron Arm Wheel Cleaner. It is incredibly effective at dissolving brake dust and grime, you can check that out on their website too.
These guys are doing big things in the DIY car care scene, pushing the boundaries with their innovative and all Australian products, making it easier for everyday car enthusiasts to detail their pride and joy like a professional. We always recommend and trust BlackHawk products to clean and protect our new cars.
Yes, bit of shameless plug for BlackHawk, but the guys deserve it!
So there you have it, keeping your car looking fresh and detailing the right way isn’t as hard as it seems. Using these products and methods can be a little daunting at first, but after a few goes you will be cleaning like a pro.
Remember, cleaning your car should be enjoyable and therapeutic, not a chore.
Love your car and it will love you back ✌️