Make That Detail Last
Maybe you’ve just had your car professionally detailed for the first time, or you just want to make your latest detail last longer than previous ones. Here’s a list of things to avoid doing because they could ruin your detail, and a list of things you can do to help preserve it.
What Not To Do
Free wash with every service! Many dealerships and garages will offer a free complimentary car wash when you take your vehicle in for a tune up. While they mean well, chances are the people that are doing the washing aren’t trained in proper washing procedure and technique, and could actually do more harm than good. Simply put a “Please Do Not Wash” sign on the dashboard and the driver’s seat, and let the mechanics focus on what they do best.
Soap is soap, right? Wrong. Here at CJ’s, we’ve heard tales of well-intentioned car owners using dish soap to wash their vehicles. Dish soap often has powerful degreasers and other chemicals that will eat through wax and sealant, leaving your car less protected than it was when you dropped it off. Other household cleaners contain ammonia, which will dry out plastics, rubber, and tint. Your car is worth the modest expense of specially designed automotive soap and cleaners.
Lots of people know this these days, but automatic car washes (including “touchless” varieties) are not worth the convenience.
Drive through car washes. Lots of people know this these days, but automatic car washes (including “touchless” varieties) are not worth the convenience. The giant swirling brushes will damage your paint by smearing around dirt and grit without actually doing much cleaning at all. Furthermore, chemicals used in these washes can be very harsh and strip away wax and sealants. If you don’t have time to hand wash your car, just bring it to us.
What To Do
Use the right products. Following up on what we wrote above, only use products that were designed to be used on vehicles. Automotive soap and cleaners are easily found at hardware stores and specialty shops. Make sure to use high quality microfibre towels or wash mitts to do the dirty work. Microfibre textiles trap dirt, rather than just pushing it around like cotton. Getting yourself a good quality microfibre mitt and a few towels is the best thing you can do to preserve your car’s exterior.
Hand wash and dry. If you have the time and space, treat your vehicle to a proper hand wash and dry. Here is a good resource to help you get the best results.
Weekly maintenance is best. Keeping contaminants away from your vehicle is the best thing you can do for your paint. Washing it yourself is great, but we understand this represents a significant chunk of time. Don’t worry if weekly washings sounds impossible for your schedule; we are here to help.