Car Cleaning Tips

Spring is finally here, and that means you will want to get all that winter crud off your car. Here are a few tips to help you clean that car!

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Wash With the Right Suds

Even though hand dishwashing liquid is a great degreaser, it’s not the thing to use on your vehicle’s finish. Yes, it removes dirt, grease and old wax. But it also sucks important oils right out of the paint’s finish. Use it repeatedly and you shorten the life of your paint job. Instead of dish soap, use a cleaner formulated for vehicles

Pluck the Finish

A car hurtling down the road at 60 mph becomes a dartboard for any crud in the air. Your vehicle’s clear coat deflects some of it but can hold the sharper grit. Washing removes the surface dirt, but clay-barring is the only way to pluck out the embedded stuff.

Polish the Finish

Many car owners confuse polishing with waxing. But they’re separate steps. Polishing removes small surface imperfections and scratches and buffs the finish to a shine. Waxing adds more gloss and protects the finish from the elements.

Get a Mirror Finish With Synthetic Wax

Some people swear by carnauba wax. It produces a deep, warm shine. But we prefer the wet-gloss look of the newer synthetic polymer waxes (also known as paint sealant) such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax

Suck Up the Dust As You Go

Most DIYers start cleaning the interior by shampooing the carpet. That’s a mistake—you’ll just get it dirty again as you clean the upper surfaces. Instead, start at the top and work your way down.

Slide Seats Forward and Clean Out the Junk

You’ll be surprised by what you find behind the seats. We found a lost cell phone, enough pens and pencils to equip a small office, and enough change for several vending machine lunches.

Wash the Windows, Including the Top Edges

Ever notice that line of grime on the tops of windows when they’re partially rolled down? Most people overlook this detail when giving their vehicle a quick wash. A few minutes with Windex and a clean rag is all it takes.

Adapted from familyhandyman.com

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