Tips for a Squeaky Clean Car
Summer is in full swing, the weather is warm and sunny and the days are still long. The summer time brings long road trips and outdoor activities to enjoy the weather like trips to the beach and camping. However, these fun summer activities can leave your car coated with mud, pinesap or other substances that can be detrimental to the finish. While it is easy to take the car down to the local drive through car wash for a quick and easy clean, washing it yourself ensures a thorough and detail oriented clean. If washing your own car has seemed too overwhelming, these simple step-by-step tips will make it easy to get your car squeaky clean.
- Pick a good location
The first step of car washing is finding the perfect place to wash. Washing your car in shade is best because if the car is too hot the water will dry quickly and leave spots on the surface.
- Mix soap and water
Be sure to use a cleaning solution designed for cars because it will be gentle on the paint while still removing grime. (TIP: Avoid regular use of dishwashing detergent because it accelerates the process of oxidation and strips polymers from the surface.) Fill a bucket with water and mix soap in per the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The Sterilite 20 Quart Wheeled Bucket has graduated volume marks inside allowing you to quickly identify how much water there is making it easy to add the correct amount of cleaning solution. In addition, the wheels on the bucket allow you to easily move the bucket around the car as you wash different areas. This bucket also features ridges in bottom so the abrasive sediment settles away from sponge so it does not scratch the car.
Before washing, rinse to remove any loose particles that could scratch the car if they are rubbed against it with the sponge or mitt. Use a garden hose with an adjustable sprayer attachment so that you can control the water flow.
Work from the top to the bottom of the car, starting with the roof. Be sure to use a sponge or microfiber mitt designed for car washing; these will be gentle and pull dirt away from the vehicle to prevent scratches. Wash with a circular overlapping motion, rinse the sponge or mitt periodically to keep it filled with fresh soap and remove dirt. After the roof, move on to lower areas like the hood and trunk, and then down to the sides. Rinse the car with the hose after you finish each section to prevent soap from drying on the car.
After washing the car, carefully dry it with a chamois, soft terry cloth or microfiber towel. (TIP: Do not leave it to air dry, this will result in watermarks and a streaky finish). It is important that your drying cloths stay clean and free of dirt. If dirt is stuck to the cloth, it can scratch the surface of the car as you are drying. Sterilite's Large Clip Box is the perfect size for storing small towels and the tight-clasping latches keep the lid securely attached to keep dust and dirt out.
Once the car is completely dry you can wax it, however this is only necessary every few months. Waxing will make the finish shiny and protect the paint against wear keeping your car looking newer longer. Begin by applying the wax to a foam wax applicator and rubbing an extremely thin coat on the surface of the car, using the same circular motions as washing. Then buff the wax off with a microfiber towel, rotate the towel frequently to reveal a clean section and ensure the wax is removed completely. Spray waxes are also available, allowing you to simply spray the wax onto the car and wipe it away. However, the protection provided by spray waxes is not as long lasting.
- Put away supplies
When it is time to put all of you supplies back in the garage or shed, the Sterilite File Crate is a great choice. The holes in the crate allow the water to drip through so your items dry out and the water does not pool in the bottom of the container.
The Sterilite 20 Quart Wheeled Bucket makes it easy to move around the car.
Store your towels in Sterilite's Large Clip Box to keep dust and dirt out.
The Sterilite File Crate is perfect for storing supplies in between washes.