Guide To Car Care: Tips And Advice

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How To Clean Your Car

How To Clean Your Car

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Keeping your car clean can be tough. The dirt from the road gets into every nook and cranny, and most of us leave our cars exposed to the elements all day long. There's also lots of places in the vehicle's interior where dust can hide. But, cleaning your car should be part of the regular maintenance you perform on your car. Use the tips below to get your car sparkling clean.


Exterior

Cleaning the exterior of your car will help preserve the paint. Dirt and other contaminants, such as dead bugs and bird poo, can break down the paint on your vehicle. The longer this stuff stays on your car, the more damage it does, so it's important to clean your car frequently. Aim to clean your car fortnightly.

What you'll need:

  • Tire and wheel cleaner
  • Wheel brush
  • Sponge or wash mitt
  • Car wash soap or cleaning spray
  • Two buckets filled with water
  • Several microfibre cloths
  • Wax (optional)

The process:

  1. Firstly, find a shaded spot where you can wash your car. Sunlight can cause your soap and water to dry too quickly, which can leave streaks and damage your paint.
  2. Rinse off your vehicle using a hose. If you don't have one, simply throw some buckets of water over your car.
  3. Clean your tyres first. Spray tyre and wheel cleaner over the surface and scrub with a wheel brush. Be sure to rinse your brush after each wheel, so that you start the next tyre with a clean brush.
  4. Now it's time to wash the body of your car. Add your car wash soap to one of your buckets of water. Check the instructions to see how much you'll need to add. Most car wash soaps are very concentrated and only require a capful or two. You can also use a cleaner in a spray bottle for this step.
  5. Wet your sponge or wash mitt with soapy water. Start with the bonnet/hood of your car. Work your way around the car, scrubbing in circular motions using your sponge or mitt. For each section of your car, start at the top and work your way to the bottom. When your sponge or mitt gets dirty, use the bucket of water without soap to rinse it. Then lather it up with more soapy water and continue.
  6. When you've scrubbed the entire car, it's time to rinse off. Again, a hose works best. If you don't have a hose, get a new bucket of clean water and use this to rinse.
  7. Now that your car is washed and rinsed, you'll need to dry it. For this, we recommend microfibre cloths. Other types of cloth, like a regular dish towel, won't soak up the water and may leave streaks or scratches on your car. Begin drying at the front of the car and work your way from the top to the bottom on each section.
  8. At this point, your car is clean. To give it extra shine and help protect the paint, you may want to wax your vehicle. Using a spray bottle of wax, spritz one section at a time. Wipe the wax in a circular motion using a clean, dry microfibre cloth (think Karate Kid). You can also use a separate product to clean your windows and mirrors for a streak-free finish. When you're done, your car will look shiny and new.

If you want to go further than just a simple car wash, there's much more maintenance that can be done. Try restoring your headlights, repairing minor paint scratches and chips, and even restore rubber seals to keep your vehicle looking and feeling happy!

Interior

You may also want to give your interior a good, thorough clean. Whilst it's not as important as keeping the exterior dirt-free, a clean interior can make driving much more enjoyable.

What you'll need:

  • Vacuum with a hose extension
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Interior protectant

The process:

  1. Start by vacumming your interior. Take out the floor mats and shake them out. This will get rid of all the dirt you've brought in from your shoes.
  2. Use an upholstery cleaner to tackle any difficult stains. Read the instructions on the bottle to ensure you're using it properly. Most will require you to spray the foam, wait a minute or two, give it a good scrub, then blot with a clean, wet cloth.
  3. You can take car of your car's interior fabric, plastics and windows separately using different products. If you want to do this, it's best to work on one section at a time.
  4. To give your dashboard, steering wheel and other parts some extra protection and shine, you can use an interior protectant. Spray the protectant onto one section at a time and wipe in a circular motion using a microfibre cloth.
  5. Finish with a spritz of air freshener.

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