While people usually love their car’s body (exterior, by and large) looking all shiny, glossy and clean, sometimes they forget about taking care of yet another part of their car. Namely, that is the bottom side of it – the driving part of it, the wheels, rims, and tires… And while rims and wheel can use just a little bit of polishing to look great and clean again (usually, though), the tire must be gelled with a fair amount of shine to…
Washing and cleaning are the same.
Car washes are one of the greatest inventions for any car owner! How easy it is to pay $10 to have your car gleaming and sparking on a sunny day? However, it’s important to note the difference between washing and cleaning. Car washes sticks to servicing the exterior of the car and removing any dust and debris that has built-up. It’s a great way to maintain the wax and paint finishes on your car by removing anything that could damage it without being overly time consuming. On the other hand, car cleanings are more detailed, take more time to complete and are recommended to be done at least a few times a year. Whether you do it yourself or go to a car detailer, car cleanings primarily take care of the inside of your vehicle as well as any stubborn stains and blemishes that occasional car washes can’t clean on the exterior. You won’t get sparkling chrome rims from that touch-less car wash you frequent- you need to put in the elbow grease, my friend!
A shiny car is a clean car.
Although a car may look clean on the exterior, you should always put it to the touch test. Rub your hand over the surface of the car after washing it to feel for any leftover contaminants. If you did the job well, it should feel like touching glass. For stuck on dirt, use a clay bar in order to remove any leftover residue prior to applying polish or wax. Clay bars are easy to use and often are sold in a kit with easy to follow instructions. This is one job you DON’T need to leave to the professionals!
Getting rid of the swirl marks by waxing
Swirl marks, which are basically just scratches on the car’s paint surface, can only be removed by getting to the bottom of them. You can fix them depending on how deeply scratched it is. A micro-fine scratch can be fixed with a non-abrasive paint cleaner. If it’s a moderate scratch, it may require something a bit more serious. Deep swirl marks will likely require professional help. Note: We didn’t mention to use wax for it at all!
Polishing and waxing are the same thing
Unfortunately most of car owners don’t know the basic difference between polishing and waxing. Although both are meant to help keep the exterior of your car looking clean and new, they serve different purposes. Polishing helps create a brilliant high-gloss surface. If you’re looking for that ‘straight off the dealer’s lot kind of clean, you’ll definitely want to include a polish in your cleaning regiment. On the other hand, waxing works to protect the vehicle’s finish. It does so by coating the exterior of your car with wax polymers, resins and silicones and unlike a polish, it won’t make a dull surface shiny.
Flannel, diapers and t-shirts make good cleaning cloths
The last material you want when cleaning your car is a smooth surface. Without any means of absorbing fine particles, these types of fabrics will end up just swirling dirt around on your car, possibly causing new micro-scratches. To avoid making things worse, try using a microfiber towel since the deep surface creates a buffer zone that will pick up dirt and not grind it into the paint finish. The way we see it? Microfiber or bust!
Paste wax offers greater protection than liquid wax.
Years ago, carnauba wax was one of the hardest natural waxes available. However, compared to liquid waxes, it’s been found to gray the surface of a vehicle. It takes a lot of effort to apply and is not as durable as some of the liquid waxes. Paste waxes also tend to last up to 10 weeks. Some people still prefer paste waxes since it gives more of a classic finish. Nowadays we have synthetic waxes, polymers and resins that are more resilient and help enhance the shiny finishing for your car. Liquid waxes are easy to use, are durable and can last up to six months. It’s quick and hard wearing, making it easy for widespread use and leaves a glass-like finish.