Now that summer is in full force, you can’t hide your vehicle behind inches of snow and ice. It’s time to accept the fact that your car is going to be on full display for other drivers to see.
With the warmer weather, you’re also likely to have more passengers in your vehicle. Road trips, beach and nature preserve excursions, and everyday errands means you need to keep your car looking its best. Protect your investment with some of our top tips, including how to clean your car like a pro.
Regularly wash your car
It’s important to keep your car clean. Commercial car washes and DIY services are great in a pinch, but they use brushes that scratch the car’s surface. Plus, you don’t necessarily know if these facilities are using delicate detergents or clean water. We urge you to skip them entirely. To save yourself money, and to actively make sure your car is clean and blemish-free, wash at home. Find a shaded area to perform your work, gather your supplies, and you’re ready to go. Use a lambswool mitt or soft sponge and a mild detergent to thoroughly, and gently, wash your car. Make sure to clean underneath to prevent corrosion and rust.
Don’t let your car air dry! We suggest using a drying chamois, which quickly and easily absorbs liquids. Chamois cloths are also machine washable, so you use them hundreds of times over. Don’t have a chamois? Terrycloth or flannel will do the trick. We recommend avoiding paper or synthetic towels, as they will likely leave behind scratches.
We recommend washing your daily driver either every week or every two weeks; this is going to depend on how often you’re driving as well as the time of year. However, if you don’t drive that often, you can probably get away with washing just once per month.
If there’s dirt or debris on your car, don’t depend on the rain. Grime can cause some serious damage, so don’t let it sit for too long!
Taking care of scrapes right when they happen ensures you maintain the “new car” look for longer. If you wish to eventually sell your car, this also provides better resale value.
The next time your car needs some quick repairs, skip the shop. ScratchWizard is the best way to repair minor chips, scuffs, and scratches. We provide easy-to-use kits that contain everything you need to treat unattractive scrapes in the comfort of your driveway or garage.
Do you want that high-gloss, showroom-like shine without visible paint chips? Wax your vehicle. You should only apply wax twice per year: once before winter and once before summer. Wax protects your car’s paint, but it also ensures your car is easier to wash later. It’s a two-in-one reward!
Wax is essentially sunscreen for your car—it provides a thin shield against the sun’s rays and rain. When you regularly wax your vehicle, you prevent fading, oxidation, and discoloration. Plus, any water on the exterior surface will form into “beads” and roll off. By using wax, you won’t risk leaving dirt or contamination on your car since you can easily wipe it away.
Be strategic when you park
If you’re out and about, find a spot where your vehicle isn’t exposed (or is less exposed) to potential damage. Typically, you’ll want to do your best to avoid parking near freeways and industrial areas. But also try to stay away from dense trees; while the shade will help protect your car from the sun, tree sap and bugs can wreak havoc on your car’s paint.
It’s easy to keep your car clean at home—simply park in a garage as often as you can. If you don’t have access to a garage, use a car cover.
Be cognizant of other vehicles
Unfortunately, while you can wash and wax your car as much as you’d like, it isn’t going to be invincible. Keeping your car clean while on the road isn’t always easy; however, there are some things you can do that will help. For example, don’t drive too close to other vehicles, specifically larger trucks, as doing so puts your car at risk. Not only is debris dangerous in general, it can seriously damage your cars paint.
When you park, watch your car doors. Be cautious when opening them, because accidentally flinging them into the car next to you will result in unsightly marks.
Think about the details—inside and out
We encourage you to work from the inside out and recommend cleaning the interior of your car at least once a month. Remove trash and unnecessary items. Wipe down all surfaces to eliminate dust. Clean out the cup holders. Organize your glove compartment and, if you have one, your center console. Take out your floor mats, shake them out, and vacuum them down. Treat leather seats and surfaces every season (or every three months) with a cleaner that’s specifically formulated for leather. Wash the outside and inside of your car’s windows. There are a lot of areas that need to be tackled, but it’s ultimately worth it in the end.
Detail the exterior of your car twice a year. A thorough detailing includes polishing, sealing, and claying. A clay bar quickly strips surface contaminants from the paint, so we highly recommend incorporating one into your car cleaning habits.
Finally, don’t neglect your tires or headlights! Use a tire foam or rubber protector to give your tires some shine. As for the headlights, you may need to use a lens restorer to bring them out of a yellow state.
From touch-up paint to detailing accessories, our wide inventory has everything you need to keep your car clean. Make sure you’re prepared to hit the road—shop now.
Need more information? Our staff of experts can answer any questions or concerns you have about keeping your car clean in the summer. You love your car, and with some regular TLC, you’re certain to love it even more.