By: Lisa Harper
If your car is your prize possession then you need to know how to keep it in the best possible condition. At Stoneacre we believe there really is no better treatment for your vehicle than a proper DIY carwash. Cleaning your car yourself allows you to get up close to your vehicle offering a great opportunity for you to see for yourself any areas that are likely to be a problem in the future. In addition no one else will take care of your car quite like you would.
Essential Car Cleaning Equipment
Everything you need to ensure keeping your car clean is a doddle:
• Bucket of warm water with car shampoo
• Bucket with clean water
• Multiple car cleaning cloths (microfibre cloths are great)
• Chamois Leather
• Car Brush
• Car Buffer
• Car Polish
• Car Wax
• Dashboard/Trim cleaner/wipes
• Windscreen Cleaner
• Wheel Cleaner
How to Clean Your Car’s Exterior:
1. Rinse the car off with the hosepipe to remove any loose dirt or grit
2. Use soapy water and a sponge to clean the car working from top to bottom. Use the bucket of clean water to rinse out your cloth regularly throughout this process so you don’t spread built up dirt or debris as you are cleaning
3. Rinse away all the suds with the hosepipe
4. Clean the wheels with wheel cleaner using a brush to get rid of any built up dirt
5. Use a chamois leather to dry the car to prevent it drying with streaks
6. Apply polish and use a buffer to add shine, many will skip this step due to the elbow grease involved, however it is definitely worth the effort. If you don’t think your arms are up to the job you could invest in a car polisher tool
7. Finish off with a coating of wax to give added protection to your cars paintwork as well as extra sparkle
How to Clean Your Car’s Interior:
1. Remove any rubbish from your car
2. Remove and clean your car mats – shake off and vacuum any loose dirt or crumbs. Rubber mats can be hosed down while carpet mats can go straight into the washing machine
3. Give your car a thorough vacuum ensuring you get into all the cracks and crevices. Start at the top hoovering dash, console and door panels, then move onto seats and finally hoover the floor and underneath the seats
4. Give all the seats a clean; leather seats are best cleaned using leather cleaner that will also condition and protect the leather, while upholstery seats can be sponged down
5. Clean the inside of your windows with window cleaner
6. Use dashboard cleaner or wipes to wipe down the dash, steering wheel and any trims
Car Cleaning Don’ts:
- Never be tempted to use liquid detergents (washing up liquid) to wash your car, as they can strip the oils from your paintwork making it more vulnerable to damage and degradation. Stick with a quality car shampoo.
- Never use household glass cleaners on your windows as they often contain ammonia which can damage your cars window tint. Instead stick to an automotive glass cleaner.
- Use a cloth that you have dropped on the floor without thoroughly rinsing it first. You may pick up debris which may scratch your vehicle.
- Leave your car to air dry. Use a cloth to dry your car fully as air drying could leave streaks and watermarks visible on your vehicle.
- Clean your car on really hot days as you may find that the car dries too quickly causing watermarks to form. Extreme heat can also effect the way in which chemicals in car cleaning products can work. If you can’t choose a cooler day then consider cleaning your car early morning or late evening when it will be cooler.
Car Cleaning Do’s:
- Read the label of any product you are planning to use on your car and follow the instructions carefully to ensure that it gives you the best finish and doesn’t end up stripping back paintwork.
- Clean windscreen wipers down to prevent a smeared wind shield.
- Use a clay bar over all over the bodywork to pick up fine particles before applying wax.
- Use traffic film remover before hosing down your car as it will help to loosen dirt ensuring when you come to hosing more dirt will simply hose off.
- Use an up and down cleaning action rather than a circular action to prevent swirl marks appearing.
- Apply wax in thin layers
- Make sure you use the right type of wheel cleaner for your wheels to keep them in tip top condition.
Our Car Cleaning Top Tips:
- If you have dogs chances are your car will be covered in hairs. For hassle-free removal use a damp rubber glove to sweep up the hairs into a pile.
- Invest in multiple different coloured cloths that you can then assign to specific purpose like washing, drying, polishing etc.
- Always wash and dry all of your car cleaning cloths thoroughly after use, so that next time you come to use them they are ready.
-Clean your car working from top to bottom, this way dirt moves down the car rather than being spread all over your vehicle.
- Toothbrushes make a great tool for hard to reach crevices like down the seams of seat cushions.
- Paintbrushes or foam brushes are ideal for cleaning air vents and buttons. Use alongside a vacuum cleaner brushing dust and debris into the hoover as you go.
- Using car wax on alloy wheels can help to keep acidic brake dust at bay.
- Tyre spray will give your tyres a factory-fresh appearance and add the perfect finishing touch after all your hard work cleaning.
For more help with keeping your car in top form for longer, visit our service booking page.
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