Washing a car damages the paintwork unless the dirt and grit is removed beforehand.
“If you’re going to spend time doing something, you may as well spend that time doing it right”
While research has shown that 72% of people clean their cars often, the sad truth is that most of them damage to their cars paintwork during the process. This is usually caused by three common mistakes that can easily be avoided.
For those that follow the correct process the results include deeper gloss and higher clarity of colour, longer lasting freshness, and higher resale values due to the vehicles enhanced appearance.
The great news is these mistakes are easy to eradicate. So, what are the three mistakes?
Mistake 1: Using a sponge
The old, (and mistakenly) trusted sponge, has been a staple item for any car clean for decades. Unfortunately, it has for all this time been one of the greatest offenders when it comes to causing damage to the surface of a vehicle.
Whilst a sponge is excellent for absorbing water, it is dreadful at absorbing grit and dirt. What this means for your car is that the grit and dirt the sponge collects, remains on the exterior of the sponge, which is dragged across the cars delicate paintwork as part of the cleaning process.
This action causes significant micro-scratches and swirl marks, which dramatically alter the appearance of the car and colour of the paint.
Car cleaners should swap their sponge for a microfibre wash mitt. Options in this category include Noodle Wash Mitt, Microfibre Wash Mitt, or Sheep Skin Wash Mitt.
The microfibre wash mitts have been designed to pull grit and dirt away from their edges, up and into the fibres higher in the mitt, minimising the risk of dirt and grit contacting the surface of the car, after it has been removed.
Mistake 2: Only using a single bucket
A common oversight for car washers is the necessity of TWO wash buckets. A single bucket could lead to significant surface damage, no matter the type of wash mitt in use. The two-bucket method has been developed by industry professionals to help anyone cleaning their car to avoid causing damage to the surface. One bucket will contain shampoo, the other is purely for rinsing the wash mitt (the rinse bucket).
By cleaning a small part of the car with the shampoo covered wash mitt, and regularly returning to the rinse bucket to soak and rinse the wash mitt you will remove excess grit and debris. Reducing the risk of causing damage to the paint work.
It’s recommended that the water in both buckets is refreshed after cleaning a single car. Cross-contamination and potential damage can occur beyond this point.
Mistake 3: Not including a contactless wash phase
The most effective defence against causing damage to a vehicle during a wash, is the contactless wash phase.
The idea is to remove as much dirt and grime from the vehicle as possible, without having to make any physical contact. The removal is achieved with specialist products and pressured water.
A new generation of “contactless wash” products have experienced explosive growth due to their effectiveness. Product categories such as “Snow Foam”, “Pre-Cleaners”, and “Heavy Dirt Removers” have emerged to provide users with a range of options to suit the equipment they possess, and the severity of dirt and debris on the car. Each product delivers the same result of softening the debris on the car for maximum contactless removal.
Snow Foam products are high-foaming formula’s designed to be applied via a Foam Gun attached to a pressure washer.
Alternatively, a hand-pump can be used for dispersion, however this method is less likely to fully activate the foaming agents, and a user will see more pre-cleaning effectiveness from a designated “Pre-Cleaner” or “Heavy Dirt” Remover.
The applied Snow Foam is left to dwell for 10-minutes, softening any debris and grime on the surface. Once the dwell period is complete, users remove the Snow Foam with water from the Pressure Washer, starting at the highest point of the vehicle. This helps to ensure the as much dirt and grime as possible drain from the skirting of the car.
Snow Foam’s are praised for their effectiveness and aesthetic effect. The foam-covered car can be quite the spectacle.
Users should be prepared to use a Pre-cleaner and / or Heavy Dirt Remover after applying a Snow Foam to maximise the effectiveness of the contactless wash.
Heavy Dirt Removers
Heavy Dirt Removers are at the leading edge of the pre-clean category. Without the need for aggressive cleaning agents, these highly effective formula’s cut through any unwanted surface grime. This includes bird lime, bugs, and stubborn contamination.
Heavy Dirt Removers are applied from a spray bottle, making them easy to use whenever and wherever.
The application process means the product lends itself to addressing the more intricate areas of the car, e.g. engine bay, door shuts, hard plastics, and rubber surfaces.
They are often dilutable too, which means they provide extremely good value and are flexible to the current state of cleanliness of any car.
What makes Heavy Dirt even more impressive is that it is wax and sealant safe, meaning any existing surface protections on the vehicle will absolutely be maintained.
The Autobead Pre Wash Duo
Autobead Snow Foam and Heavy Dirt are expertly formulated products which break down dirt for easy rinse and removal without degrading any existing surface protection.
Heavy Dirt 1L: A citrus pre-wash designed to remove bugs, bird lime, and stubborn contamination from all exterior surfaces of the vehicle.
Snow Foam 1L: Safely remove traffic film, dirt, and other harmful deposits with this concentrated pre-wash.
If you are looking to Detail like a Pro, make sure you have these two products in your armoury.
As Britain’s seasonal weather has become more extreme, there has been a greater demand on car owners to clean and maintain their vehicle more often. Washing away summer and winter debris, pollen, and road salts, respectively.
If car owners can ensure that they, or the service provider, cleaning their car avoids these three CRITICAL errors, then they will maximise the chance that no damage is done to the exterior of their car.