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Motoring Advice

Car Valeting Tips

Car Valet

Published 15 August 2017


How to clean your car and leave it shining like new

We all like our cars to look as good as possible at all times, and it can be disheartening to see dirt building up on the outside of the vehicle. With this being the case, it is good to give it a wash from time to time – but what is the best way to clean your car?


If you are swaying towards going to an automatic car wash because you can simply drive up, and drive through, you should consider the following:

  • Swirl marks left on darker coloured cars, these can be hard to get out
  • The brushes and clothes in an automatic car wash have collected particles from other cars, and could cause scratches on your paint work.
  • Rims and undercarriages may have problems if they are wide or a low profile, which could cause scratches
  • Are you just going for the kids?

You cannot beat a good old fashioned hand washed car. Here we will take you through each step that you need to take in order to get exactly the shine that you need.


Use a hose to rinse your car

If you try to sponge your car straight away, you might damage it by dragging bits of dirt across it – which can cause small scratches. Using a hose can get rid of anything like this, and will also remove the worst of the dirt, giving you a much easier job later.


Work from the top down

If you start from the bottom of your car, then the dirt will drip down from the top later, so it is important that you always start from the highest point and work downwards. You should just use water at first, and do one wash of your car like this.


Use a sponge or a mitt to lather up

Next, you need to add soap. If you can, buy specific car soap – other household cleaners may be too harsh. Make sure that you lather it up on your sponge or mitt first, as this will make it go on much better. You should do only a small area of your car each time, and rinse your sponge in between – or you run the risk of simply moving the dirt around rather than actually cleaning it. When you clean your wheels, you should use a separate cloth, as these can often be incredibly dirty.


Dry your car carefully

Most people just let their car dry in the fresh air when it has been cleaned, however this is never a good idea, as there is the chance that your car might be streaky. For this reason, you should dry it carefully, section by section, and make sure that you have taken care of every drop of water that is there. This means that you will get a more even finish, and by rubbing the car dry it can also serve to polish the surface, too, meaning that everything will shine.

Once you have finished the process, you can stand back and enjoy the way your car looks. It may take a little time and effort, but there is no doubt that it is absolutely worth it.


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