Proper car washing techniques

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This weekend I learned something new, how to wash my vehicle correctly.
Certainly you must be thinking to yourself, “Seriously?”
Apparently I was misinformed as a teenager that dish soap is perfectly acceptable soap to use when washing a vehicle. But months ago a friend and I were discussing some oxidation I noticed on my hood. He asked what type of soap I was using, and after hearing my reply, he suggested I avoid dish soap at all costs.
After hearing his advice I decided to do a little research, discovering his tip is well known among car enthusiasts.
Each website I read warned that the use of dish soap has abrasives, so it will strip the wax off your vehicle. Not good news when you think about how long it takes to apply a good coat of wax. That means for years I’ve been washing my vehicle with the wrong soap, undoing all the hard work I put in every time I add a coat of wax, which to be honest is not often enough.
Now armed with new information, this weekend’s chore was to wash my mode of transportation in the proper manner.
Here are some tips I learned.
Use car soap when washing a vehicle. Instead of abrasives, car soap contains a special lubricant that helps keep dirt from sticking to the paint. Car soap also helps wax last longer.
Be sure to wash and rinse a vehicle in sections and dry it with a soft towel to avoid water spots.
If you have aluminum wheels, invest in some wheel cleaner, and read the directions. The type I purchased said to apply to cool and dry wheels, let it sit for a minute or two and then spray the wheel with water. When I followed the instructions, the product worked as intended, and made removing brake dust from the wheels much easier than using a rag by hand.

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