Easy Solutions for a Dirty Car
Most of us use automatic car washes for convenience, but if their spinning brushes aren't properly maintained, they can scratch the paint. Manual cleaning of your car will give you better results and save you money.
Wash Without Scratching:
The time needed to wash a car: 10 minutes.
You will need car shampoo, hose, soft brush, microfiber cloths, two buckets and a chamois or waffle drying towel.
- Park your car in a shady spot - direct sunlight causes water to dry out in unsightly spots. Rub undiluted automotive shampoo on any stained areas, such as old bird droppings, to pre-treat stubborn stains.
- Wash the wheels before the car body. Make sure they are cool, then sprinkle them with water from a hose. Apply some car shampoo with a microfiber cloth and scrub with a soft brush. You can use a toothbrush to reach the small crevices. Rinse it off with water.
- Fully wet the car using the hose. Half fill a bucket with car shampoo, mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions, and another with water. Whip the shampoo into a soapy lather. Don't be tempted to use regular dish soap - you'll be more likely to get water spots when the car dries out.
- Dip a rag in the soapy water and scrub the car, starting at the roof and working your way down. Do not apply too much pressure to avoid scratching the car. Rinse the cloth in the bucket of clean water before reloading it with shampoo - this way you rinse all particles from the glove. Continue to wet the car with the hose - do not allow it to air dry.
- Once you have cleaned the entire surface of the car, rinse it well with the hose.
- Dry the car immediately with a clean towel or chamois. This will prevent water spots.
The Chrome Bumper has Lost its Shine:
Repolish it with steel wool. Check whether the surface to be cleaned is chrome steel or chrome plastic (a plastic substrate covered with a thin layer of chrome).
- Older cars may have chrome steel bumpers and exterior mirrors, while chrome plastic is often used for details on more modern cars.
- Apply a magnet to the bumper. If it sticks, the bumper is chrome steel, if not, it is probably plastic.
- Chrome steel may appear dull or have rust spots, but it can be restored by vigorously buffing it with 0000 steel wool.
Do not use steel wool on the chrome plastic, rub it with a 2: 1 mixture of white vinegar and water, or use a special chrome polishing compound.