While washing your car is a relatively simple process, there are a number of things you must do or avoid doing to help maintain great body work with a new car finish. Cleaning with microfibre cloths limits the chance of you scratching the bodywork or accidentally degrading the finish as you work. Take your time when you wash your car and complete each step thoroughly before moving on to the next to ensure the best possible result.
Know When to Clean Your Car
Determining when to clean your car is an important factor in achieving the best finish and minimising the amount of work you have to do. Ideally, get into a regular cleaning routine, washing your car every week. If, in the meantime, you have a car splattered with bird droppings, dead bugs, or a lot of road chemical build-up, try to find time to clean it as soon as possible, as these particles quickly damage the finish. Make sure the car is cool before you clean it. If the bodywork is warm, either because it has been sitting in the sun or because you have taken it out for a ride, park it in a shady area and wait for it to cool, otherwise the water and detergent quickly dry on the body, making the cleaning process more difficult, even with microfibre cloths.
Prepare to Clean Your Car
Before taking detergent and microfibre cloths to your car, you need to prep it. Close all the doors and windows. Hose it down thoroughly, ideally with a reasonably powerful hose or one with an adaptor to give you a more powerful jet. This helps remove any debris and particles which can scratch the body work as you clean with the cloths.
Clean Your Car with Microfibre Cloths
Using microfibre cloths helps ensure you do not scratch your bodywork, as they are very soft and non-abrasive. Get yourself a bucket of warm water and car-specific soap, such as something from the Turtle Wax or AutoGlym range, like the AutoGlym Bodywork shampoo conditioner or the AutoGlym Perfect Bodywork Collection. Standard soaps are too strong for cars, whereas specialist car shampoos have milder, car paint-specific formulas. Take a clean microfibre cloth, such as the Hi-Tech Aqua-Dry microfibre cloth, and ensure it is free of any small debris particles. If you drop the cloth at any point, change it for a fresh one to avoid scratching the paint with any small dirt particles. Apply the car soap and water mixture liberally, working in straight motions. Circular motions damage the paint and leave behind telltale swirling scratches. Once complete, dry the car, working in the same linear motion, using a clean microfibre cloth or towel, such as the AutoGlym High-Tech microfibre drying towel. You can then apply a high-quality car wax, such as one from Turtle Wax or AutoGlym, using a microfibre cloth or pad.