Contrary to what many might think, car paint maintenance is an art in itself, which can have a direct impact on resale value. Keep your car clean and rust-free, from hood to trunk, and you can ask for a lot more when you decide to resell it.
To help you take care of your car and protect its value, here is a list of the dos and don’ts of cleaning your vehicle.
Do: shampoo it every two weeks
To keep the paint in its condition, wash it off every two weeks or so. This will prevent any abrasion and prevent the occurrence of rust. Some people think that washing the car so often removes the protective coating of the paint, but it doesn’t – unless you use the wrong product, but we’ll get to that in the next paragraph.
Do: invest in quality cleaning products
When you need to clean your car, forget about household cleaners and opt for specialized shampoos instead. We recommend the regular use of polishing agent and wax as they will protect the paint in the long run, while ensuring an even shine.
Do: rinse your sponge regularly while cleaning
To avoid the risk of traces as much as possible, remember to rinse your sponge (and your other cleaning accessories) regularly, preferably in different buckets. Dust particles on the sponge can easily damage the paint, so always try to keep your sponge or cloth as clean as possible before using it on the paint. The two-bucket method is particularly recommended for cleaning cars, one for clean water and one for dirty water.
Do: use a cloth or chamois to dry the paint
To dry your car effectively, use a microfiber cloth or chamois to remove any drops on the paint. By forming a big 8, start at the top of the car and go down on each panel to remove excess water and give the vehicle the best possible appearance.
Do: use the right cleaning tools
Rather than using the ones you have at home, we highly recommend investing in a cleaning tool set as they will help protect your paintwork from accidental damage and abrasion. Here is what we recommend for keeping your car clean:
- A quality sponge, chamois or microfiber cloth
- A rim brush
- A pressure washer if possible, or a hose
Don’ts: wait until the car is very dirty
Waiting until your car is very dirty before cleaning it can certainly block you time less often, but it will have a negative impact on your paintwork. Even the smallest layer of dirt and dust can cause premature wear and abrasion. And even if your car looks clean, there is still something you can do about its appearance.
Don’ts: use standard household cleaners
Dishwashing liquid is ideal for removing grease and dirt from your cutlery, but it has a much different impact on your paint, such as gently removing it. Household products are not designed for use on cars and are often strong enough to remove the protective wax coating. We repeat: don’t use household cleaners on your car!
Don’t: believe that the wax will remove the traces
Swirl marks are actually very fine scratches on the surface of the paint that are caused by poor cleaning methods, such as removing dust or using a dry cloth. Some people tend to think that using wax will remove the streaks, but this is far from the case. The only effective way is to use a quality polishing agent.
Don’ts: let the car dry
After rinsing your car with a pressure washer, you might think your task is done – but no, you still have to dry it.