When you treat your car or truck as a method of getting from A to B, then you can stop reading this page at this time and continue with the rest of the site. This web site is devoted to the car owner who cares for their vehicle, who on occasion wants to wash it and make it look nice again. The type of person who might well consider dedicated vehicle storage to have their pride and joy out of the elements. This page came into being because frankly I got fed up with the amount of emails asking for it. So, i present my basic self-help guide to cleaning your vehicle and looking after it. Enjoy.
The lazy way out
If you wish the sort of decent job doing on your car that I get into on this page, but can’t be bothered to accomplish it yourself, there are numerous professional car cleaning centres or detailers that will perform the job for you, it’s worth explain right in the beginning that. Anticipate paying $150 or £100 upwards and to be without your vehicle for a couple of hours. If you’re what type who always just throws their car through a car wash, you can utilize an online carwash finder to determine which one is closest to you, alternatively. The whole reason for this article though is that you do it yourself…
Pre-school cleaning basics
Take off your bling
I know your Spice Girls anniversary ring is special, but remove it then you won’t accidentally scratch your paintwork to buggery.
Get a clay bar
You know how car detailers somehow manage to get your paintwork gleaming like new as soon as the best you can handle is some swirls and dried-on watermarks? It’s because they use clay bars. Get a decent quality one and use it a couple of times a year. How? See the section on cleaning it afterwards.
Use two buckets as an alternative to one
One for water that is clean, one for rinsing each of the crap out of your sponge or wash mitt. Simple. The brilliant ones amongst you will also have seen the distinct lack of the phrase power washer there. That’s because….
Kärcher be damned!
I know you don’t believe me, but pressure washers or lances really don’t get the car that clean. They shift the surface dirt but they will likely peel off stickers and make mincemeat out of damaged paint. Trust me. Or not – see yourself. Jetwash your car then have awhite and clean, lint-free cloth. Dampen it and wipe it across the door. Be horrified at the result and lets move on.
Don’t use household cleaners or dish soap on your paintwork
Fairy Liquid does a fantastic job of cleaning your dishes plus it smells lemony fresh too. It’ll also do wonders at stripping the wax and polish off your vehicle and then eating away on the clearcoat. Houshold cleaners can either be very acidic or very alkaline, and that’s A Bad Thing to your car’s paintwork. Get a proper PH-neutral car shampoo.
Clear away the big stuff using specialist products
If you’re seeking how to remove tree sap from a car, it doesn’t matter simply how much you wash, the hard things like road tar needs a specialist product, especially.
Bring microfibre cloths – lots of them
Simple enough really. They do the wash and job up well afterwards.
As an example, bring shop towels – lots of them as well
Get a big drum with a couple of hundred shop towels in it. They’re disposable, cheap and plentiful. They’re also typically made out of recycled material and are themselves biodegradable. Which is useful to know when fending off the tree-huggers.
Get rid of your chamois
Old school and they never really worked anyway, the chamois ought to be consigned to history. And don’t think about getting one of those ShamWow things – they’re a whole lot worse. Get a soft silicon water blade for swishing this type of water off your bodywork and you’ll never think back.
Don’t skimp on the wax or polish
Don’t insult it with the 3.99 manager special from the local parts store if you’re really going to invest a saturday afternoon in cleaning your car or truck.
Silicon cleaners are quite sticky
I know Back-To-Black looks like it does a good job on beyond your car, but try not to utilize it if you detail your engine. When it dries, it’s sticky and your engine will get dirty much quicker if all the shiny bits are covered in silicon cleaner residue.
Don’t clean your car or truck on a 40°C da if you are living in a hard water areay
Trust me – the soapy water will dry out and cover your vehicle in calcium streaks quicker than you’ll ever be able to rinse it well. Get a popup portable awning and do it from the shade if you must do it. You’ll at the very least have some chance. Frankly I’d wait for a cloudy but dry day myself.
Keeping up appearances
Once in a while the cleaning it section that follows assumes you really want a clean car. A suitably decent, showroom-fresh clean, although not a jetwash clean or perhaps a carwash clean. So if you want to do it, make sure you keep on the top of the situation. There’s no point in spending this sort of time doing your car if you’re going to allow it get all cacked up and not bother to at least hose it down every now and then. So without further ado, lock the wife inside with a good book, chain the dog and lets be able to it.
First, some ‘before’ pictures. This is my daily driver and what you see this is actually the end result of 4 months of winter driving without ever visiting a bucket or hose. OK it’s not too bad, mostly because most of the crud didn’t stick because I cleaned it properly in the autumn. And silver isn’t the easiest colour to photograph dirt on, but it’s a everything we have so lets just work with it.