In order to achieve that showroom shine on your car’s exterior, it takes more than just a sponge and some water. You might consider going to a professional that offers cleaning services that come with a price and can last up to many hours but this can be done at home if you have the right cleaning kit and have a basic expertise in car care. Here are top car care and cleaning tips to help you learn the professional’s way of cleaning a car.
Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight
If your cleaning your car under extreme heat, you’ve got to do it quickly, especially the parts of the car that dries faster than normal. Keep in mind that excessive heat will alter the strength of the chemicals in the products you’re applying.
Get rid of grime before washing
This procedure is known as “pre-wash” in which you have to remove as much dirt on your car. The whole point in doing is that dirt and grime should be cleared first before applying car care products. Pressure washer and snow foam lance are the recommended tools for spraying your car. When using a pressure washer, don’t stand too close to your car as you may cause damage to its paint. If you use a snow foam, you must apply the coating evenly to the entire vehicle. If you don’t have these tools, you can use a regular cleaner. It’s best to get cleaners and foams that have citrus oils that can eliminate dirt and grime on the car’s exterior. After applying the foam and cleaner, rinse them away with water.
Use multiple buckets
It’s recommended to use two buckets; the first bucket should be for the washing solution while the other should be filled with water for rinsing. It’s also important to attach a grit guard in each bucket to filter the grime. Another essential car care tool is the wash mitt, which is designed to eliminate dirt on your car’s exterior without affecting its paint. When using the mitt, it should be moved in a straight motion and avoid swirling it around. This is to minimize dirt build-up and to prevent damaging the paintwork.
Avoid using silicone-based sprays inside the car
No doubt, silicone-based sprays in Malaysia are handy when used for dressing cables under the bonnet, however, you should not use them in the cabin. This is because they make essential components slippery such as pedals, although they are used by some roadside car washes to give a car’s exterior a shiny finish. Not to mention, they make the dash produce reflections that can be incredibly annoying while driving.
Use a blower
If you drive your car after cleaning to help it dry off, this can result in sticky brakes and accumulation of water in seals and gaps, leaving streaks on the car’s paintwork as it drains away. To prevent this, use a blower; if you don’t have one, then you can use a triple-layered microfibre cloth. Make sure to fold it into a square, like how it’s done by many motor trade professionals, to make it very effective.
Select the right cleaning products
Before using cleaning products, figure out first how often you use your car in a week. This will help you determine the type of product you should apply. When it comes to cleaning products, you can either get a short-term, very glossy finish or longer-term. Make sure you choose the right one since using a wrong product will be a waste of money and effort, spending long hours applying the product. If you are looking for an affordable yet effective car care product, check out 3M Malaysia's range of car cleaning products.
Take care of your engine
If you want to go an extra mile by cleaning your car’s interior, life its bonnet and work on the engine. According to some car care experts in Malaysia, a clean engine will encourage mechanics and dealerships to keep your car in mint condition when they’re carrying out servicing and repairs. When working on the engine, do not just blast water on it, as it can result in electrical system problems. Instead, keep it clean and dress the black hose cords with a silicon-based spray. After that, re-grease the moving components such as bearings.
Check the wheels and wheel arches
Of all car components, wheels and wheel arches get the most dirt and grime. For this reason, you have to start doing your jet wash on these parts. The materials you would need to clean these parts are a bucket of water with shampoo and sponge. In terms of loosening brake dust and grime on the wheels, use a tire cleaner from 3M Malaysia – spray it on the wheels and leave the solution for three minutes. Also, don’t forget to spray the tires with an all-purpose cleaner and wash them afterward.