If you’re like most drivers, then you probably have a 3 step process for washing your car. You simply spray it with water, wipe it down with a soapy rag, and then rinse away all of the suds. If you want to go the extra mile, you may even decide to wax the car afterwards. While this routine may work during the winter months, if you’re using this approach during the summer months, you could be doing more harm than good.
You see, whenever you wash your car in direct sunlight, there’s always a chance that you could be ruining your paint job. Why is this? Well, when it’s hot, soap tends to dry very quickly and this often results in streaks and spots. The good news is that by knowing the proper techniques, you can ensure that your vehicle remains in the best shape for as long as possible.
Work in Shaded Areas
If you’re someone who enjoys spending time in the sun, then you’re probably excited about washing your car when it’s nice and sunny out. However, you should keep in mind that your paint does not respond well to being washed in such dry/hot conditions. So make sure that you avoid washing it in direct sunlight. Only work in shaded areas. Do your cleaning inside your garage or under a carport. You may even consider washing your car in the evening or while the sun is setting.
Cool It Down
While moving your car out of direct sunlight is a good idea, it’s not enough to prevent your car from becoming too dry. You should also work to lower the surface temperature of the car. How can you do this? It’s simple–spray a generous amount of cool water. This should be done before you add soap to the vehicle. By taking the time to spray your car down with cold water, the soap won’t dry as quickly and you will also ensure that all of the abrasives and dirt are removed.
Work in Small Sections
If you’re in a hurry, then it can be tempting to wash in large sections. However, if you would like to preserve your paint job, then you need to do your best to remove the dried soap as quickly as possible. And the best way to do this is to work in small sections.
First, make sure that you have all of your materials and equipment on-hand before starting. Your buckets should already contain shampoo and your pressure washer or hose should be connected and able to reach every section of the car. This preparation helps to reduce the chances of the soap drying too quickly.
Instead of wiping the entire car down with a soapy rag and rinsing it at the end, try doing the same thing but in smaller portions. For instance, wash your headlights and fender and then rinse them with clean water. Wash your door and then then rinse it with clean water. Wash the hood and grill and then rinse them with clean water. After you have finished washing and rinsing the car in sections, you can then rinse the entire vehicle to ensure that no suds is left behind.
Once you have thoroughly washed your car, it’s time to dry it. Why is the drying process so important? Well, this ensures that there are no water spots. You should always use a cloth that is soft, clean and completely free from any oil or debris. If you notice that water spots are already setting in, then you may need to spray certain areas again with water before drying them.
If you would like to ensure that your car has an added layer of protection, then it’s a good idea to wax your vehicle. This is another great way to prevent water spots. Just remember to do this out of direct sunlight as well.
If you are unable to avoid washing your car in direct sunlight, then make sure that you pay special attention to the products you’re using. There are certain cleaning products that have special instructions if you’re washing the vehicle in the sun.Try to search for products that are gentle and mild–specifically those that have a PH neutral friendly formula. The higher the quality of ingredients, the better the condition of your car’s wash.