One thing all car owners of our crowded metropolis are painfully aware of is how fast our cars get dusty. Vehicles in Dhaka become dusty within three days of a wash and end up looking pretty much like an abandoned car after a week of use.
Naturally, car washing is something that has become a part of our daily lives, and while we know the basics of it, most of us do not know how to do it without doing a number on the paint. Here are five things to keep in mind the next time you are cleaning your car. While these would not transform your vehicle's look, they will preserve its beauty in the long run.
Do not wash the car under direct sunlight
Direct sunlight has an adverse effect on the cleaning process. Under direct heat, water and detergent have a habit of quickly drying out; meaning, by the time someone gets to rubbing the dirt off their car, they end up scratching the clear coat.
Moreover, the rapid drying of water droplets tends to leave little white marks on the car, doubly so due to the hard water in our pipes. So, try to clean your car under some shade.
Reject gamcha, embrace microfibre towel
Gamcha is quite good at drying human skin, but it is not a great material for cleaning cars. It lacks both the thickness and softness of a dedicated microfibre towel. When someone tries to rub the dirt off with a gamcha, they unintentionally press down the dirt against the clear coat and damages it.
On the other hand, a microfibre towel tends to capture the dirt particles and keeps them away from the paint, assuming the user is not rubbing it like sandpaper. In short, use a microfibre towel to clean the car, save the gamcha to dry yourself afterwards.
Use two buckets, if possible
Gamcha or towel, whatever you are using to clean your car, will need to be rinsed in water every once in a while to wash off all the built-up particles. If you use a single bucket, by the third or fourth rinse, the water in the bucket will get dirty and if you keep dipping the cleaning cloth in it, all the dirt will get back on your car's surface.
A quick fix to this problem is using two buckets, one filled with soap water and the other filled with clean water, preferably with a grit guard. Dip your fabric in the soap water before wiping the car, then clean off the now dirty fabric by immersing it in the clean water bucket. Repeat the process until the entire car is done. This way you will be able to safely wash off most of the dirt without the risk of scratching the paint.
A pressure washer is a good investment, so is a vacuum cleaner
Water hoses and bucket wash do a good job of getting the car wet, what they do not do is remove the loose dirt, soot and other sticky elements off the body. These elements are hard to wipe off the car and usually leave deep scratches on the clear coat. A sufficiently powerful pressure washer blasts off all the sticky stuff without denting the clear coat and it loosens up deeply embedded dust particles.And with the right adapter, a pressure washer can also cover your entire car with a thick soapy foam far better than a person could.
That being said, a pressure washer is only good for outside cleaning (unless you own a Jeep, in that case, blast away!). For cleaning the interior, a small vacuum cleaner that runs off the car's 12-volt charger will go a long way toward removing all the dust and grimes off the upholstery, especially if you use a coat bush to loosen up all the dirt first.
Dry the car after you are done washing it
Hard water is what causes those really hard to remove white stains on your bathroom tiles and glass. Vehicle paint is not as tough and trying to remove hard water stains from them without professional help will end up doing more harm than good.
Clean water also leaves stains and while they are not that visible, they are just as difficult to remove. Leaving a car to dry out on its own is the main cause of such stains, and it can also cause rust if the water droplets find their way to a bare metal part.
The simple workaround to this is to soak up all the water droplets using a dry towel, preferably after a quick windshield squeegee. Soaking out most of the big droplets is enough, but if you want to be thorough, you are more than welcome to do it.