8 out of 10 British drivers are too lazy to wash their own cars, according to a survey, with 78% of respondents stating they opt to have their car washed by someone else because they do a better job.
Yet paying to have your car cleaned can be expensive and a waste of money, especially when the showroom sparkle can be achieved with relative ease at home, by cleaning it yourself.
Product Choice is Key:
When it comes to washing your car, the products you use will define the finished look, and whilst it may seem cost-effective in the short term never use household products to clean your car.
Instead, for the bodywork opt for either a wash and wax concentrate cleaner or a specialist car shampoo, both of which will make light work of removing dirt and grease from the exterior of your car.
To remove brake dust, oil and general dirt from your alloy wheels, switch from your car shampoo to a specialist alloy wheel cleaner. Such a product when sprayed directly onto the alloys will work hard to loosen any dirt, which can then be agitated with a brush before being rinsed off.
Bring a Shine to The Exterior:
Whether your car is a few months old or a vintage classic, cleaning it to achieve the showroom finish is done in the same way, as outlined in the advice below.
- Don’t clean your car in direct sunlight. This will result in streaks occurring on your car, leaving you with a dull gleam rather than the desired shine.
- Rinse your car first. Use a pressure washer to remove as much dirt as possible. Rinsing your car with a pressure washer will make it easier to wash and remove any remaining dirt by hand later on.
- When it comes to washing the car with a sponge, always start from the top and work your way down. Starting from the roof will prevent dirty water from running over areas that you’ve already taken time to clean. It’s also recommended to use two buckets – one which holds the cleaning solution and one which has just clean water in it. Each time you go to place your sponge into the cleaning solution, rinse it first in the clean water to remove any dirt or debris which may be caught within it.
- Cleaning your windows to achieve a streak-free finish may sound like hard work – but it can be easily achieved by switching your sponge and cleaning products for a Karcher window vac. This will also mean you’re not using an ammonia-based product that can remove tints from windows.
- Dry your car using chamois leather, rather than leaving it to dry naturally. Using the chamois to dry your car helps to remove the risk of streaks occurring.
Achieve a Clean Interior:
Equally as important as cleaning the exterior of your car, is tackling the interior. And to achieve a thorough clean of your car’s interior it’s recommended you…
- Vacuum your seats. From mud through to pet hair and food crumbs, you’ll be surprised how much dirt our car seats can harbour. To help them remain clean vacuum the seats every time you clean your car. Along with vacuuming your seats, don’t forget to give the mats, the interior of the boot and parcel shelf a once over with the vacuum too. If after running the vacuum throughout your car you notice your seats are still dirty, wash them using a specialist fabric shampoo.
- Wash / Polish the Dashboard. Your dashboard can harbour a lot of dirt, from everyday dust through to sticky fingerprints. But removing such blemishes is relatively easy. Firstly, use a microfiber cloth to remove the majority of dust, before switching to an interior cleaning product which will remove the remaining dirt.
- Don’t forget the windows. After taking the time to carefully clean the exterior of your car windows, don’t be let down by smears on the interior. Instead, turn to your window vac again to provide your car windows with a smear-free clean.
- Look Clean, Smell Fresh. After taking the time to clean your car, ensure it smells fresh too – by using a vented car air freshener. Such an air freshener will enable you to control the intensity of the fragrance, keeping your car smelling fresh for longer.
By taking the time to select the right car cleaning products and clean your car yourself, there’s no reason why you cannot achieve the showroom look for less than you’d pay for it to be cleaned by a professional.