7 Common Mistakes People Do While Washing Their Car

Published On By Priyajeet Surana at CarBay

We all love our cars and take all the possible efforts to take care of them. We ensure that we don’t drive them rough, get them for regular checkups (service) and keep the dirt off them to maintain their glow and shine. But most of us unknowingly commit certain mistakes which don’t do any good to our cars. Like washing a car sounds to be as simple as a walk in the park and one could easily think what can possibly go wrong while washing a car.

Here is a list of 7 common mistakes that people tend to do while scraping the dirt off their cars.

1. Cleaning the car in direct sunlight

Car wash in sun

This is a very commonly practiced method of washing a car. We always prefer to perform the car wash when the sun is shining bright and the heat is beating. But, we should never wash a car in direct sunlight because  it gets your car way hotter then you wish to and thus making the water evaporate quickly off the surface which leaves those ugly water droplet marks on your car. The chemicals (wax, automotive soap etc.) are also not meant to be used on hot surfaces and often carry instructions to park the car in shade while using these chemicals.

So, wait for the sun to settle down a bit. The perfect time is when the Sun is just about to set. It's cooler and the sunshine is subtle, providing the perfect brightness. Due to the cooler temperature, the water won’t evaporate and will keep the car nice and wet for a perfect wash.

2. Not using a lubricant to wash

Car Lube

Another common mistake that people commit is not using a proper lubricant for washing their cars. Not using a lubricant leaves the car a little dry and prone to scratches while wiping the car with a cloth. Water alone cannot act as a proper lubricant.

So, it is highly recommended to use a lubricant like a liquid car wax spray while washing your car so that the wash is smooth and you don’t scratch your car in a quest to clean it.

Quick Tip : All of us have faced the bird poop situation in our life. Never try to clean a bird poop (of course we are talking about the dry one) with a dry towel or cloth, not even water. Always use a lubricant spray or liquid on it and then clean it off with a towel to avoid scratches. And, never leave that dirty poop on the car for too long as it contains acids which harm the paint and will leave a dirty mark.

3. Using just any cloth to clean

microfiber cloth to clean a car

Never use a paper towel, your old T-Shirt, bathing towel or a sponge to clean your car. The only thing that should touch your car paint is a nice and soft microfiber towel or a cloth material with similar softness.

4. Washing the car in any direction

car wash top

Most of us don’t follow any rule while washing and keep on washing in any way and direction. We start with the front, walk sideways, move to the other side, wipe the roof etc. We just start cleaning wherever our hand reaches. But, we should always start from the top and then clean the bottom.

The bottom of the car is the part which comes in contact with most of the dirt, debris, mud, grease and all sort of dirt that is present on the roads which will rarely make to the top of the car. To prevent all these particles get on our cleaning towel and scratching the whole car, we should start with the top of the car and clean the bottom at last.

5. Using a single bucket to wash

2 buckets for car wash

Now this one is the simplest of the mistakes which almost everybody does. One should never wash a car with just one bucket and should always have 2 separate buckets. 1 of the buckets should have the clean soapy water for the wash and the other one will be a rinse bucket containing only water. Dunk the dirty towel in the rinse bucket and clean it so that the dirt gets settled down at the bottom of the bucket and the clean soapy water will not get contaminated.

6. Applying car wax on the steering wheel, gear stick and gas pedals for a shine

Car Wax on steering wheel

Most of the people follow this as a routine of cleaning the car from inside and apply a leather cleaner or vinyl in order to shine the steering, gas pedals and gear stick. We want a real nice grip on all these parts and applying the greasy substance will make them slippery. We can easily loose a grip while driving which can lead to a mishap on the road. There are many tricks to maintain the shine of your car but please avoid applying car wax on these parts.

7. Using kitchen soap, degreaser or shampoo to wash

Car washing soap

We think that anything which can provide a nice soapy and foamy mixture can be used to wash our car. It’s absolutely wrong and we should never use a kitchen soap, degreaser or shampoo to wash as these products are bad for the car paint and the wax coating. The inconsistent Ph value of these products is also adverse for the car paint. Always use an automotive soap to avoid any damage to the car paint and surface. Although there are certain household items as well that can be used for washing and cleaning a car.

There may be many more informative car washing tips which can be really useful for all of us. Do share them in the comments section below and stay tuned to this section for many such useful and interesting articles.


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