Most of us probably don’t give a second thought to what or how we wash our cars – we just need to get the dirty and grime off right? But there are a lot of myths regarding the best way to wash and care for your car, and if you aren’t careful it can actually be harmful. So I’ve put together a list of a few do’s and don’ts of proper car care.
This post is sponsored by Don Vance Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram.
Don’t Use Dishwasher/or Laundry Detergent. In essence soap is soap, and most will get the dirt and grime off of your vehicle, you could be removing an important protective coating off the paint surface and dry out your paint on your car! Dish soap and laundry detergent are counterproductive – it speeds up the oxidation process and shortens the life of your car paint. Ouch!
Don’t Use Leather Products on Your Dashboard! Leather products are NOT designed to be used on synthetic materials. This type of product could cause your dashboard to dry out and age faster, causing cracking, and overall ugliness. Be sure to use interior conditioners that are designed specifically for synthetic materials.
Do Get an Automatic Wash/Undercarriage Cleaning at the “Do it Yourself” Car Wash. The modern automated car wash (you know when you drive through or get out and do it yourself type of car washes) are a pretty great option for washing your car, especially for those who may not have access to a hose and driveway. it’s gentler on a car’s finish than hand washing, and it uses just the right amount of soap, washing method, water pressure and timing. While you are there, get the undercarriage wash – especially after bad weather. For example in winter salt and brine can build up and can be destructive to your car if you don’t take care of it. It also helps eliminate corrosion and rust
Do a Safety Check While You’re at it. Since you are up close and personal with your car as you are getting it clean, do some safety spot checks. Use a quarter to check the tire tread wear. Check your tire pressure (you should have one on hand!) Check your oil and other fluids and even your headlights to make sure they aren’t foggy or yellow – or dimming.
Do Make Sure to Wax. Yes it’s time consuming -yes it’s kind of a pain. But waxing your car actually helps clean and protect the finish and acts like a barrier for everyday wear and tear. Waxing your car also makes it easier to wash because it prevents things from sticking to your paint!
Don’t Just Use Anything as a Cleaning Cloth. While cloths like t-shirts, paper towels or kitchen towels seem like they would be clean and absorb water, they actually can scratch the paint surface and damage your car. Invest in a premium terrycloth microfiber towel – it will help pick up leftover dirt and not scratch your car!