Better Than a Car Wash
Nov 13, 2006, 00:58
How much do you spend at the car wash each year? Here in the Northeast where road salt eats car finishes for breakfast, it's not unusual to spend $50 or more a month protecting your car from damage. Why throw money down the drain at the local car wash when you can do it yourself at home – and get the satisfaction of a job well done.
The Right Tools make all the difference. A pressure washer is one of those pieces of equipment that will pay for itself in just a few months. Not only can you use it to power your car clean, you'll find that it does a great job of cleaning your siding, brightening wood decks and just about any other power cleaning job there is.
Here's how to clean and polish your car better than a car wash, using a pressure washer and some specialty car care polish products.
• Start by rinsing your car thoroughly using a fine water spray. The first rinse will wash away dust and dirt that’s on the surface of the car.
• Get up under the undercarriage by using an angled extension wand. Road salt is a killer on the undercarriage and wheel wells.
• Use the right detergent - (Pressure Washer Vehicle and Boat Wash) one that has been approved for use in your pressure washer. Dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent isn't made for your car. The harsh solvents will ruin the finish – and won’t even get at most of the road dirt.
• Apply the detergent starting from the bottom, using smooth strokes. Now go get yourself a cold drink while you give the washing solution time to work. Ten minutes or so is just right.
• Use a rotating brush instead of rags or sponges. Less elbow grease needed – and even better, less chance of damage to your car. The soft bristles of the brush are made not to scratch your finish.
• Rinse using high pressure. Here's where technique pays off. Remember that water at high pressure CAN damage your car, and be sure to stand a few feet away and angle the spray to glance over the surface rather than pounding into it.
• Carefully dry your car, using soft, absorbent terry cloth. You can buy car wash cloths from a store that sells auto detailing supplies or car cleaning supplies. Chamois or terry is the best, say most experts. There's no lint and no chance of scratching the car’s finish instead of cleaning it.
• About every six months, protect that new car shine with a new coat of wax. A coat of good quality car wax will help protect the car’s finish from dirt and road grime. In between waxing, you can renew that just-waxed shine with a car care polish product that treats your car’s surface with a repellant coat of silicone (Quick Shine Car Polish)
• Don't forget the interior. Vacuum the carpets, and clean dash and upholstery with a product meant to freshen and remove stains from vinyl and leather (Vinyl and Leather Cleaner and Polish/Protectant)
Having the right car cleaning supplies and tools can save you money in the long run – and ensure that your car looks great for years.