Why is Keeping Your Car Washed Important?
It’s just a bit of soapy water, right? How important can it be? This is one of the most regularly-asked questions about auto detailing out there! I’ll get right to the point – keeping your car clean is the number one most important thing you can do. It isn’t just about looking good; it’s the quickest, easiest defence against more serious issues building up, so it’s the thing you should do by far the most often. Here are a few reasons why:
These cause nasty smudges and are, of course, completely inevitable. You’d be amazed at how quickly several hundred fingerprint marks can build up.
Not the delicious kind! I’m talking about bits of grit, dirt and stone flying up from the road surface and causing minor chips in your paintwork. If they’re left to collect dirt, they can cause all sorts of problems – spreading, oxidisation, you name it! Also, not washing your car frequently can lead to these chips being hidden under fresh layers of dirt, which means they’re doing their dirty work behind the scenes.
- The elements
Water, wind and sun can all cause issues. They’re also inescapable!
They’re sticky, messy and not very pleasant to look at when they’ve been smeared all over your paintwork. But they can also make a real mess of your paintwork.
- Your Car!
It’s an enemy to itself! Oil, brake dust and fluids are among the worst contaminants – can’t live with them, can’t live without them!
What’s the good news?
Well, the good news is that washing your car, and doing it well, isn’t particularly time-consuming or difficult to do. Here are a few tips on how to wash your car really well.
- Use a great-quality soap
A great soap should produce great suds – it’s in the suds where the magic happens. Our very own Vital Car Wash Soap separates dirt from paintwork so that you can wipe it away easily, without any risk of scratching. The suds and bubbles are formed as a result of a special pH neutral chemical reaction with water, which is tough on dirt and grease but will not damage any wax or sealant. Vital Car Wash Soap is a professional product designed not to leave any spots, swirls or streaks that a basic water solution can easily do. It’s economical – you just need 2oz to do your whole vehicle – and you can use it on glass, plastic and bodywork.
- Use the two-bucket wash method
If you wipe away dirt and then put your wash pad straight back in your soap bucket, you’re contaminating the soapy water with dirt, which will hugely reduce the effect of the cleaning solution. The two-bucket wash method ensures that you avoid this and get the cleanest possible finish. Ensure that you have separate buckets for water – we’ve got some great pails you can take a look at - and the Vital Car Wash Soap solution, so that you can rinse your wash pad in the water before you put it back in the solution.
- Follow the steps!
Take a look here at our Vital Car Wash Soap – you’ll see all the steps to getting your car looking amazing, plus a really important Expert Tip.
So how often should I wash my car then?
Now, this is a question that’s tougher to answer. I’d love to tell you to do it once a week, but I realise that modern lives are busy and that not everyone has the time or the inclination to do it this often. So I’m going to break down a few things for you to consider so that you make the right choice on frequency.
- Where do you live?
There are a number of things to expand on here. Firstly, if you live in an urban area, you’re going to have to wash your car more frequently than if you’re a bit out in the suburbs. This is simply because there are far more airborne contaminants in cities than in the countryside. Pollution is one of the number one spoilers of car bodywork, so if you’re in a massive city like LA or New York, once a week is the way to go. Also, if you’re parking your car on the street, like 90% of people in cities are, then it’s even worse. Your car is exposed 24/7 to the elements, and this includes pollution, pigeons and more.
That said, don’t think that because you live in the wilderness that you get off so easily! With lush green countryside comes rain, bugs and trees. The rain may mask superficial dirt but it can also cause problems with rusting, swirl patterns and its own acidity. Bugs are a real pain too – their insides are sticky and can bond with the paintwork on your car. The worst of all, though, is tree sap. It’s unbelievably sticky and a real pain to get rid of, so think twice before keeping your car under a tree!
- How often do you drive your car?
Put simply, the more often you drive it, the dirtier it will get. This is an inevitability folks! As you drive, your tyres kick up dirt and dust, and you “collect” all the airborne bugs in your path too. If you’re a commuter, your car will be worse hit than anyone else’s, because you’re doubling distance with city centre parking!
- What’s your climate like?
Ideally, a mild, temperate climate provides the ideal conditions for your car. But if you live in conditions like that, you’re also in the minority! Down here in Fullerton, we get a lot of beautiful sunshine, which is great. But sunshine is also dangerous – prolonged exposure can cause paintwork to fade and even for surfaces to warp under extreme conditions. The number one problem with heat though? All those YouTube videos of glamorous models washing cars in the glorious sunshine! This is the number one no-no for any kind of cleaning, waxing or polishing. Always do your work out of direct sunlight. Don’t ruin your car while being a poser!
- What do you prefer?
Ultimately, this is the most important one. If you want your car to have that showroom shine year-round, then you have to wash it once a week. No choice there! If you’re happier with a generally clean finish but with spots of dirt here and there, then you can go to once every two weeks, or even once a month if you’re living in a quiet, suburban environment and your car is stored in a garage. Any longer than this though, and you’re risking building up some issues that could lead to long-term damage to your bodywork.
So remember – you need to wash your car regularly. It’ll prevent more time-consuming, costly issues happening down the line. And it doesn’t need to be a chore. At Proje’, our motto is “Enjoy the Process!” And we mean it – all of our products have been designed and chosen especially, to make the process of auto detailing easy, efficient and fun. So, from all of us at Proje’: Enjoy The Process!
If you have any questions about any of the techniques or products that I’ve mentioned in this post, just contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the Proje’ team will be in touch with you! Remember that we stock only the best auto detailing supplies, so why not click some of the links in this blog post, or visit our products page to find out more?
This content was inspired by Jimbo at Autodetailingpodcast.com - check out my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCERlrMos2CPLVe8jmZSIPJA