There are many myths about the optimal methods for washing and caring for your car. While you may have the best intentions of cleaning your car, your car washing techniques may actually be counterproductive or even harmful to your car’s finish.
You might wonder how to separate the facts from fiction, so we have debunked the top five car washing myths for you:
- Myth #1: Diapers, t-shirts, kitchen towels, and paper towels make great cleaning cloths. Although these may absorb water well, they damage your car by scratching the paint surface. Invest in a premium terrycloth microfiber because it picks up leftover dirt without scratching your car’s surface.
- Myth #2: Dishwashing detergent is safe for washing your car. Dish soap may remove the dirt and grime from your vehicle, but it also strips necessary protective coatings and dries out your car’s paint. It also speeds up the oxidation process and shortens the life of your car’s paint.
- Myth #3: Wax protection can last one to five years. Car wax beading is a good indicator of when it’s time to re-wax your car. If the beads of water are smaller than a quarter after it rains or you wash your car, the wax is still protecting its surface. However, if water forms thin, long sheets or elongated beads, it is time to re-wax.
- Myth #4: Washing and cleaning your car is the same thing. Cleaning and washing your car are two completely different techniques. Paint cleaning removes bonded contamination and oxidation. Your car’s surface can appear shiny and still be extremely dirty. If it is rough and bumpy instead of smooth like satin, detailing clay is effective at removing exterior contamination without scratching the surface or thinning the clearcoat.
- Myth #5: Waxing your car will remove swirl marks. You can only remove swirl marks in your paint by getting below the surface. Car wax fills in minor surface scratches and minimizes light reflection to make them less visible. However, a few months later the wax wears off, and the swirls return. Polishing is the only real way to remove them.
Keeping your car looking new is a labor of love, including washing, waxing, polishing, and detailing it. There are many elements that combine to keep your car in top shape. Apart from ensuring that it has a showroom shine, keeping it washed and cleaned protects you on the road because the exterior lights won’t have a layer of dirt covering them.