Who takes care of your car in the right way prolongs its life and increases its resale value. Without forgetting that traveling with a clean car is more enjoyable. Here are our tips on car washing in the car wash and in the wash box.
The car should be washed every 1 – 2 months, but what really matters is how dirty it is. Especially impurities caused by insects, bird droppings or tree sap have an aggressive effect on the paint if they are not removed for too long.
- In summer, the main negative agents for car paint are tree sap and ant honeydew. Check the bodywork periodically and always eliminate these harmful remains as soon as possible.
- In autumn the problem is the leaves drying on the paint and making the car ugly. To the extent possible, avoid parking your car under trees or wash it shortly after doing so.
- In winter it is above all the road salt that attacks the paint of the car. Fortunately, however, road salt is sprinkled on the roads not all the time, but only in the presence of ice or snow.
- At the latest in spring, all road salt deposited over the winter must be washed off. But even after this time it is necessary to periodically wash the car – for example, after parking it under a tree or because of pollen in the air.
- The rubber seals of windows and doors in particular suffer under the constant intense UV radiation of the sun or from freezing temperatures. If possible, park your car in the shade and especially in summer and winter take care of the rubber parts of the car.
The professional’s advice: even aftera beach holiday , where the air is humid and rich in salt and can sometimes contain even tiny grains of sand, the car must absolutely be washed. In fact, these particles can attack the bodywork and cause rust to form.
Washing the car in winter at what temperature?
New cars usually survive the winter without damage even without special treatment. First of all, because today every new car is equipped with better protection of the underbody, and also because a new and still intact paint layer still performs its protective function perfectly. Anyone who drives a car with an already older or damaged paint can wax it in the fall for extra protection. This supports the protective effect of the car paint optimally.
In winter, when temperatures are low, it is advisable to take a look at the thermometer before taking the car to the car wash. In fact, at temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius it is better to avoid washing it, because when it is so cold the paint and the rubber parts react more sensitively. In addition, the water in the car wash causes a sudden, too extreme temperature difference. It is best to wait until temperatures go back to at least freezing.
Pro tip: Just as it is best to avoid washing your car in too low external temperatures, it is also advisable to avoid doing it in the scorching sun. Cleaning agents do not wash well if the paint is too hot. In addition, the water evaporates more quickly, possibly leaving ugly streaks and stains.
Where can the car be washed?
Better to do this at the car wash or in the trusted washing box, because they have to meet stringent environmental requirements.
During car washing, oils, greases and substances that may be harmful to the environment, such as detergents and waxes, are dissolved. In many municipalities, wastewater from road drains is not directed to the wastewater treatment plant, but flows into streams and rivers.
Also, depending on the soil conditions of your car park, dirty water can leach out unhindered and, in the worst case, pollute the groundwater. Since the polluter pays principle applies to water pollution, you risk getting a hefty fine.
How to properly wash the car
Our tips on how to wash your car at the car wash or in the wash box show you what you should pay attention to anyway and why the pre-wash should be performed as accurately as possible in both cases.
Which is better: take the car to the car wash or wash it by hand?
For many car owners, this is one of the most important questions of principle. There are those who wash their car only and always by hand, because they are afraid of the scratches that the car wash brushes could possibly leave on the surfaces.
On the other hand, there are those who consider hand washing a waste of time and blindly trust modern car wash systems. In general, for car wash systems and modern cars the following applies: a well-maintained car wash system does not cause damage. On the one hand, the paint of modern cars is very resistant. On the other hand, polyethylene textile brushes are used in most modern car wash systems. With the right detergent and the right concentration, your car paint will survive washing without any problems.
The real danger in this case is that coarse dirt remains from the car that preceded you got caught in the brushes. They can cause fine round scratches. For this reason, whether you wash your car in the car wash or by hand, one thing is always important: do a thorough pre-wash. This way, coarser dirt is removed early – and scratches caused by dirt particles are avoided.
Car washing at a car wash in 6 steps
Before starting, a final observation: for very dirty cars it is better to wash by hand as car washes, due to the standard movement sequences of the brushes, are often not able to completely dissolve particularly stubborn and dry dirt such as brake dust that has accumulated over several years. Rather, they are suitable for surface cleaning from time to time.
In addition to the classic washing lines, there are also gantry car washes. Between these two systems there are usually no big differences in washing results, as they both work with the same chemical cleaners and brush materials suitable for the paint. The only difference is often in the price, because in the car wash the manual pre-wash is often done by an employee,
Here are our tips on car washing at the car wash and how to avoid unnecessary problems.
- Follow the instructions: most car wash systems work in the same way, but before letting the car in you must always read the instructions for using the system where you are.
- Pre- washing: it is always better to use a pressure washer to remove coarse dirt from the machine before the actual washing. Otherwise, these dirt particles just break off in the wash line and are repeatedly dragged by the brushes onto the surface of the car, which can cause scratches on the paint.
- Select the washing program: it is not always said that the most expensive program is also the best one. Often the most expensive programs make a difference only aesthetic, but not effective for the duration of the vehicle.
- Enter the washing system correctly: close all the windows and the roof well and make sure that the tank cap is firmly closed. Also close the side mirrors and disconnect the antenna. If it is not possible to detach the antenna, there is a danger that in the car wash – line or gantry – it will be pressed to the roof and this can cause ugly scratches. If your car’s antenna cannot be retracted or detached completely, secure it to the roof with adhesive tape. Drive to the marked point and disengage the gear – those with automatic transmission put the lever in ‘P’ or ‘N’. If you remain seated in the car, do not press the brake pedal. The car wash system will wash your vehicle fully automatically.
- After washing the car: leave the system only when the relevant signal is emitted. To avoid possible water stains, wipe a large microfiber cloth over areas of the car with residual water traces.
- And if something has happened: drying the machine by hand is also perfect for checking that there are no damages at the end of the wash. If something has happened, tell the plant personnel immediately and write it down.
After washing, screw the antenna back on, reopen the side mirrors and go home calmly with the car clean. Attention: it may happen that at the beginning the wet brakes do not brake as they should.
Tips for hand washing the car in the wash cubicle – step by step
Those who wash their car by hand have chosen the most accurate washing method. But even in this case it is better to make a couple of preparations and think about how to proceed. Otherwise even so there is a risk of damage and scratches.
- Preliminary treatment: bird and insect droppings are among the most harmful and stubborn types of dirt. Cover the remains of insects with wet newsprint and wait briefly for them to soften. Or get yourself a specific cleaner. You can also treat heavily soiled rims with appropriate substances.
- Here too, do a pre-wash: with the pressure washer you will immediately remove the coarsest dirt. Always keep it at least 30 cm away from all parts of the machine to avoid damaging them.
- Better with a foam sprayer: depending on what your wash box is made of, now skim the vehicle manually using the foam sprayer or the foam lance of the wash box. Foam is very important for washing, as dirt particles are absorbed and carried away. Then rinse with the pressure washer and the pre-wash is done.
- The actual manual washing: if you wash the machine by hand, take two buckets – one for the foam and one to rinse the microfiber cloth. Manually wash the whole machine little by little, always alternating between the foam bucket and the rinse bucket. Proceed from top to bottom. Don’t forget the trunk lid, the fuel cap, the doors and the hood and clean everything well there too. When you have washed the whole vehicle, rinse everywhere one last time with clean water.
- Dry thoroughly: let the car drain briefly. Remember to open doors and doors to allow the water to drain well. Then dry your vehicle carefully using a microfiber cloth. Even now, proceed from top to bottom.
The professional’s advice: the moment after washing the car it is excellent to treat the door seals and strips with a stick of tallow or petroleum jelly to keep them elastic.
In this article I have given you some tips for washing your car. The cleaning of the car can be professional or homemade. In both situations, maximum attention is required in the choice of products and tools.