Now that summer is coming, it is a good season for Car wash. But don’t settle for just hosing off your car in the driveway. To help you car really shine this year, we offer some professional tips for DIY enthusiasts.
1. Start with Compressed Air and Stiff Scrub Brushes on Your Floor Mats
The first step is to fire up the air compressor and blow dirt from the nooks and crannies of your car’s floor onto the middle of the floor mats, where you can easily vacuum it up. Stiff brushes also loosen dirt from the carpets and upholstery. If you’ve got leather seats, use a conditioner with aloe.
2. Duct Clean to Keep that New-Car Smell
Compressed air from a small, portable compressor is an easy way to blow dust and dirt out of heating and air-conditioning ductwork. The trick is to aim the high-pressure air at the walls of the ducts behind the vent grilles, where dust and dirt stick and cause musty smells. If your car has a cabin air filter you can change it, or remove it and blow the dust and dirt out.
3. Use Non-Acid-Based Tire Cleaners
Pros use specially mixed acid solutions to clean dirty tires and to strip residue from new tires, as well as to get stubborn brake dust off wheels. But Hagaman says that weekend DIYers should use a nonacid product. Acid-based cleaners can cause bare alloy wheels to oxidize and pit, and they can damage wheels painted with color or clear coatings. Use a degreaser on wheels, but avoid detergents because they can damage paint if splashed. Again, our pro says, remember to go in the correct order: Car wheels and tires should be cleaned before you clean and protect your car’s paint.
4. The Best Carwash is a Hand Wash
We recommend hand washing. Don’t be like the 60% of the population that uses dishwashing detergent when washing the car. It gets the car clean, but strips any protective wax coatings, exposing the vehicle to possible nicks, scratches, and stains. A carwash solution will preserve your car’s finish. When water evaporates, it leaves minerals and dirt on the surface of your car. So when you’re done with the wash, dry the surface with a rubber-blade squeegee.
5. Clean Paint is Bright and Shiny
Often it takes more than just a wash to get your paint clean. Bird droppings and man-made pollutants settle on the paint and, after a while, can saturate through wax and clear coatings into the color coat underneath. With your car still out of the sun, run your dry hand across the surface of the paint. If it feels rough, it needs to be cleaned.
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