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Damage Free Car Cleaning Tips

Car Cleaning Tips

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Your car is not only one of your biggest investments, but also your pride and joy. Caring for your vehicle doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. With a bit of extra time and the right equipment, you can keep your car spotless without risking damage to the inside or outside by following our car cleaning tips.

Love Is In The Air (And Splattered Across Your Paintwork)

May and November are Lovebug season in Florida. Even a short drive can decorate your car with the bodies of dead lovebugs. Keep in mind that the longer a lovebug stays on your paint, the more its juices will dissolve the protective layer over your paint. If your car is left in the sun, the heat ‘cooks’ the bug splat onto the paint and makes it harder to remove.

  • For fresh splats use water and a microfiber cloth. Wet the area, lay the microfiber cloth over the mess. Press down firmly, without any rubbing. The microfibers will pick up bits of the bug without scratching your paint. Continue wetting and pressing until clean.

  • If the bug has been sitting for a while, first spray it with a hose or power washer to remove excess dirt. You’ll need bug removing soap and water. Use a bug sponge to soak the stain, then rub in straight lines (not circular) with the least amount of pressure possible. Keep going until it’s clean.

  • For bugs on your windshield use a glass razor tool.

Tar – The Other Tricky Stain

Tar is notoriously hard to get rid of. Don’t resort to harsh all-purpose cleaners. They may be strong enough to remove the tar, but they will damage your paintwork in the process. There are many tar removal products for you to choose from.

Pro Tips For Safe Cleaning

Cleaning your vehicle requires more than drive through carwash – different areas and materials require specific cleaning attention and products. Here are some practical cleaning tips​​​​​​ to help keep your pride and joy as fresh as the day you bought it:

Paintwork

  • Paint must be cool to the touch. Work out of direct sunlight and don’t allow products to dry on the paint. Start from the top and work your way down.

  • Don’t use an all-purpose cleaner. It will get rid of the dirt, but it will also destroy the protective coat on your cars paint. Choose a foaming paint cleanser the will lift the dirt for you to wipe away.

  • Use the three bucket system. One bucket with water, foaming paint cleanser and a wash mitt. This is for the body of your car. Have a second bucket with clean water for rinsing. Your third bucket is for the tires. It will have wheel soap, a wash mitt, a wheel wooly and a lug nut brush.

  • Each bucket needs two or three grit guards at the bottom to trap dirt and prevent you wiping it back onto your car and risking scratches.

Chrome Wheels

Our wheels pick up tons of dirt as they are closest to the road surface. The grip that enables good road holding also tosses up a lot of loose dirt that settles in all the hard to reach places.

  • Wheels must be cool to the touch before you start washing.

  • Start by rinsing loose dirt off the wheel and the wheel wells using a pressure hose.

  • Working on one wheel at a time, spray the surface of the mag wheel with wheel cleaner and allow it some time to soak into the dirt. This will begin to lift the dirt away from the surface.

  • Use a wheel mitt to get into the corners and finish with a lug nut brush for the tight spaces and the lug nuts themselves.

Interior Upholstery

How you keep the interior of your car clean depends on the type of material you are trying to tackle:

Fabric

  • Don’t use dish soap or all-purpose cleaner. Mix a tiny bit of laundry detergent with water.

  • Spray sparingly, be careful not to soak the foam underneath the seat fabric. Use a scrub brush, or a clean interior detail cleaning brush to agitate the area in small, circular movements to lift the dirt.

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the moisture. You can wrap the nozzle in a microfiber cloth to press against the wet surface and pick up the dirt as it soaks up the liquid.

Interior Plastics and Vinyl

  • No all-purpose cleaner! Use a car interior spray. Avoid direct spray on gauge cluster, radio and buttons.

  • Avoid getting cleaner on the pedal and steering wheel as this will cause damage over time.

Besides looking good, regular vehicle maintenance will add years to your cars life. Here at Foreign Affairs Motorsport, we care about your car, because you care about your car! For expert car care advice, give us a call today.

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