Washing your car is a great way to maintain your car’s appearance and it’s what we car enthusiasts do most often. But did you know the majority of people don’t wash their pride and joy properly. While there is no one way to correctly wash a car, there are certainly a number of wrong ways!
When you wash your car you want to minimise scratching and abrasion that causes marks on the bodywork. Dark coloured cars require particular care when washing.
Consider how most people wash a car. Generally they get a bucket, add shampoo to some water, get a sponge and start washing away – repeatedly putting the sponge in the bucket, rinsing it out and going back to the car.
So what’s wrong with that? Well using a single bucket means you keep putting the sponge into dirty water and then using that dirty water to wash the car. Slowly but surely the grit and the dirt is rubbed into the bodywork causing scratches in the surface of the paint. Indeed this often gets compounded by throwing the dirty water left in the bucket over the car!! Don’t do it!!
So I’m giving you the number one tip to prevent causing damage to your car when you wash it.
There is a straightforward and effective solution to this problem – use two buckets. One bucket is for water only (this is the rinse bucket) and the other bucket is for the soap and water mixture (the wash bucket).
Now take your soft microfibre wash mitt and load it with shampoo solution from the wash bucket, squeeze it over the section of the car you are going to wash. Lightly wash over this section, applying no pressure to the surface – then put your mitt straight into the rinse bucket – this will rinse out any dirt collected from the car. Make sure it is clean before moving on.
Re-load your mitt with shampoo solution from the wash bucket and wet the next area of the car. Again lightly wash over this area with the mitt, then go straight back in to the rinse bucket to rinse it out.
Follow this 2-bucket method over every section of the car until it’s all done. You finish up with all the dirt in the rinse bucket while your wash bucket remains clean and grit free through to the end.
In order to reduce the impact of any dirt in the water 5-gallon buckets are recommended because two-gallon buckets are simply too small.
Finally I’m always being asked about using grit guards. The theory is that as the most damaging pieces of grit will sink to the bottom of the bucket so a grid in the bottom will reduce the likelihood of it being picked up into your wash mitt. Opinions are divided on how effective this is but as it’s better to be safe than sorry I always err towards using them.
Grit Guards are pieces of circular plastic that fit into the buckets to keep grit off your wash mitt. As I said grit falls to the bottom of the bucket and the Grit Guard should prevent it from swirling back up into the water. Also the guard sits off the bottom of the bucket and hence prevents your wash mitt reaching down to the very bottom where it will pick up dirt.
Whether you use a guard or not always use the two bucket method.
To see two buckets with grit guards in action plus many other car care hints and tips just go to our video library.