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  • Briana Martinez

Most Common Mistakes You Make When Washing Your Vehicle

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Man washing his vehicle

You love your car, and you want it to look great for as long as possible. But washing your car right isn't always easy. Washing often can help protect the paintwork, but if you're not doing it right, you could end up with scratches and other abrasions. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make with their car cleaning habits.

Using the Wrong Chemical

Chemicals and cleaners are essential to keeping your car looking great. Having the right chemicals and products lets you not only clean, polish, and protect your car's exterior but also extend its life by preventing rust and deterioration. Cleaning with proper chemicals is important because if you are using the wrong chemicals can ruin your car's finish, dull its shine, and strip wax protection.

Knowing Your Vehicle’s Makeup

You probably know that it’s important to wash your car on a regular basis. However, few people realize that it’s also very important to know what materials make up their vehicle. The body parts of your vehicle can be made from different types of materials such as rubber, plastic, or glass. If you don't know how these items react to water and cleaning products it can be easy to damage them. Therefore, if you plan on washing your car yourself make sure you check out your owner’s manual for proper instructions on how to handle each specific part individually.

Washing at the Right Time of Day

Washing your car at the wrong time of day can cause water spots and other issues. To avoid drying out the cleaning product and to keep from overusing water, washing your vehicle in the morning or after the sun starts to set is ideal. If possible, wash it in your garage or another shaded area, and use a high-quality car wash without any added chemicals (like polymers) to help reduce water spots and create optimal shine.

Make Sure the Water and Tools Used to Clean Your Car are Clean

There is nothing more frustrating than spending time cleaning your car, then realizing that the soap or water you are using to clean it isn’t clean. Make sure your tools are clean as well by washing them with a brush or rag and soaps meant for automotive work in a bucket or sink. You don’t want to use the same bucket of dirty water that you used to wash your car with, so make sure to do this as soon as possible to avoid smudges and scratches.

Drying Your Car Correctly

While it's hard to avoid water spots on your car, you can minimize the damage they cause by using a minimal amount of physical force when drying the vehicle. By drying your car completely with microfiber towels, you reduce the number of swirls and scratches that will remain in your paint after your wash. However, if you're in a rush to get out of the car wash line and need to dry your car quickly in order to be on time for an appointment, consider speeding up the process by using a dryer or letting it air dry. Just be sure that no one is drying your car too roughly as this can cause further damage during this process.

Wax Your Car Regularly

It’s important to keep your car in top condition. The best way to do this is by waxing it regularly. Waxing is a process that not only makes your car look better but also protects it from UV rays. There are a few considerations to make when waxing your car. First and foremost, you need to have a fully cleaned car before you’re able to apply wax. On average, you should wax your car every three months (depends what kind of conditions your vehicle has been through), if you do it any more frequently or less then you can put your vehicle at risk for severe damage.

Washing your car correctly is important for a number of reasons: it preserves the life of your vehicle, protects it from rust and potential damage, and gives you a clean vehicle that looks good. Polish up your car washing habits, and see you’ll see better results in no time.

Schedule Your Next car Tune-Up with Seymour’s Garage

Schedule your next car appointment with us. At Seymour’s Garage, we take care of all maintenance issues, so you can focus on the more important things in life. Contact us today!

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