11 things to keep in mind while washing your car

Getting dirty is bad. Getting your car dirty is even worse. Yet, despite the fact that car wash and car maintenance are both critical to owning a car, many people overlook car wash cleaning. In fact, many car owners are so lazy that they let their cars get dirty enough that regular car wash becomes a necessity. However, not all car washes are created equal, and not all car washes are safe for your vehicle. There are places that employ people that actually care about cars and have the knowledge to properly clean them, and other businesses which use harsh chemicals and or pressure washes that can harm your car if used too much. 

So how do you know which place to trust? Well, that all depends on which type of car you have and how dirty your car really is. If you have a newer vehicle that gets normal wear and tear, then you probably just need a basic wash. If your car is really dirty, it might be best to take it to a commercial car wash that uses high pressured water. As for how dirty your car is, you can usually tell just by looking at it. If you can see dust on your car, then you probably need a more intense car wash. If you are unable to see the floor of your car, then you might need to take it to a professional car detailer. Regardless of what type of car wash you choose, make sure to follow these safety tips. 

  1. Avoid suds and waxes before a car wash. They can trap dirt and debris and cause your car to look dirty after the wash. 
  2. Always wash your car inside out. Use a sponge on the slick parts and a wash mitt on the dirtier parts. 
  3. Do not use any products that are not specifically made for a car wash. Some car washes will tell you to do this. Others might have specific instructions on the bottle or package. The best ones will tell you to simply stay away from anything that is not specifically made for a car wash. 
  4. Do not get your car wet! If you do, it will take longer to dry and you might not be able to drive until it is completely dry. This can result in a trip to the carwash and a wait time of an hour or more! This can be quite troublesome when you need to go somewhere important. 
  5. Never step out of your car when it is still wet outside. You might slip and fall and the water from the hose might hit your car and cause a bigger mess than before. 
  6. Make sure to use the right amount of pressure when you are spraying water on your car. Too much water and you will not get the dirt out and too little pressure means you might miss spots. 
  7. Do not get any water on the parts that are not meant to be wet. For example, most car headlights are made of a clear material and should not be wet. Otherwise they could crack or shatter when they dry. 
  8. Do not try to wash your car in rainwater. It might seem like a great idea, but it could result in you getting less than desirable results. If you end up getting some water on your car, it might not dry properly and you might end up with rust. 
  9. Unless otherwise stated, leave your car wash as it is. Many car washes will actually tell you to wait 24 hours before starting to drive your car. This is because some of the washes use harsh chemicals or fine detergents. 
  10. If you drive your car immediately after your wash, the washes might not be able to fully dry all of the water and that could result in accidents, especially if you get some water on the road or if it starts to rain. 
  11. Just because you are done with one car wash does not mean that you should start using another one. If you start using another one, it will take even longer for your vehicle to dry. 

Remember, these are just some of the basics that you should know about. If you ever get a chance, it would probably be best if you actually read the instructions on the car wash you choose to use. It might be a little overwhelming the first time you use a car wash, but you will eventually get the hang of it. You might find that one of these rules is not necessary. You might find that you prefer getting your car washed by a machine. Your choice is up to you.

Additional Reads

Troubleshooting a malfunctioning headlight

Car Maintenance Tips: 14 things to look out for!


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