AutoClinic: Common Mistakes You Make When Cleaning Your Car
Cleaning your ride is something most car owners will have to do at sometime along the line even if you like using the car wash services.
The number 1 detailing mistake is a very basic concept that eludes most people in the pursuit of a cleaner car. This of course is improperly wiping, cleaning, or touching the paint too often without lubrication or with improper or dirty towels.
This is known as overtouching and it’s the number 1 detailing mistake, yet it’s easily avoidable. A lot of people however don’t know how this happens or how to avoid it. Here is all you need to know.
Need To Clean
When paint becomes muddy, dirty or even just lightly dusty the desire to return the car back to shiny is normal. What we don’t realise is that anything that sits on top of the paint will cause some type of marring as it’s wiped off because dirt is actually microscopic rocks.
The jagged particles tumble and roll across soft paint and leave lines known as love marks or spider webs.
Cars that have these very fine lines in the paint are a good indication that the cleaning technique used on the paint needs to be adjusted. Millions of tiny little rocks within a given 12 inch wide space on your car paint can cause serious disfigurement of the car.
During the wipe, the towel pushes the rock across the paint and as these rocks roll they scour the clear coat. And sometimes when the rocks don’t roll, they actually grind across the paint causing deeper yet still microscopic gouges.
The Dry-Wiping Scourge
The accumulation of these gouges are known as micro marring and are the likely cause of dull or swirled looking paint. Dry-wiping occurs when a towel is wiped across a dirty or dusty surface without the use of water, spray wax or drying agents.
As a matter of fact, the most common form of dry-wiping is without a towel at all. This involves hand wiping down the side of the car which is just as destructive as a terry towel and in some cases even worse.
To avoid dry-wiping simply introduce a lubricant. Water from a hose, spray wax and drying aids help to encapsulate, lift and encourage contaminants to glide off the paint, leaving less opportunity for potential marring.
The Best Towels To Use For Cleaning
It is best for you to stay off paper towels, beach towels and terry towels on your vehicles paint. Their material is designed to absorb but not necessarily pick up any contaminants it may encounter during the wipe.
Microfiber towels have largely solved this problem as they are absorbent and designed to suspend particles away from the surface of the paint during the wipe. However, just because it’s microfiber doesn’t mean it won’t scratch the surface.
It is essential that the towel is clean for your car to be safe. Dirty, or full, microfiber towels do not allow enough space for the new particles to be absorbed because the fibers are already full of debris.
Continuing to wipe when they are full of dirt will only push dirt around the paint in the similar fashion as paper, beach and terry towels which defeats the entire purpose.
Be As Patient As Possible
The number one cause of detailing mistakes is a lack of patience. Patience and persistence is key to maintaining your car paint. If your car is dusty or dirty and you have no access to a hose, or a spray wax handy, it is best you wait till you get home.
Continually wiping, touching and fussing with the paint which maybe satisfying at the moment, can have long term consequences such as fine lines and swirl marks.
Try not to love your car too much by cleaning it every now and then without the required materials and your paint will shine for you in return.
By understanding and embracing this car detailing procedures, your paint will look better and require less abrasive restoration known as compounding and polishing.