Keeping your car clean is important in maintaining its condition and making it look good. Put together your own car cleaning kit using the items below and you are on your way to ensuring a consistently clean and healthy vehicle.
Even if your car seems clean, the paint will still have remnants of tar, brake material and substances such as tree sap stuck to it. By using a low to medium clay bar – especially if you have never used one before, as an aggressive bar may be a little too rough to start with – you can remove these extra contaminants and give your paint surface a gleaming finish. Try practising on a spare panel to begin with.
Wheel brushes and cleaner
Wheel brushes with hard/metal inserts or brush heads are likely to scratch your alloys. Make sure the brushes are softer and the correct size for your wheel, using a smaller brush for the detail of valves, rims, caps or nuts. Wheel cleaner should be of decent quality and used several times, as opposed to a strong cleaner that might do damage. Use a wheel-specific sealant once clean to protect the surface.
A pressure washer along with pre-wash foam and a foam lance will mean your car gets the best preparation. If a pressure washer is not an option, decent silicone hoses from manufacturers such as www.goodflexrubber.com/pages/silicone-hose-manufacture/ are great options, along with the pre-wash agent and foam lance (low pressure).
Two large buckets (five-gallon) are required for the perfect car wash – one to wash and one to rinse.
A microfibre hand mitt and some high-quality shampoo are also recommended.
The best drying material is a microfibre towel, which will soak up any excess water. Chamois leathers can be scratching. An air blower, similar to a hair dryer, will ensure the nooks and crannies remain dry.
Polish and wax
Your car polish must be of good quality and you should use two large microfibre towels: one for the polish application and one for removal. Your polish technique will improve with practice and patience.
Try to buy the best wax you can afford that is suitable for your particular paint. Each wax recommends a different application material, so read the instructions.