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15 Things You Should Never Use to Wash a Car

last updated April 29, 2019

Cleaning your own car can be really exciting and some people consider it to be therapeutic. It provides a great opportunity for you to closely inspect your car for any damages as you give it that clean look and feel. We have compiled a list of 15 things you should never use to wash a car if you want it to serve you longer.

15 Things You Should Never Use to Wash a Car

Outdoor car wash

1.Household towels

Many car owners are guilty of grabbing an old t-shirt or a kitchen towel and using it to wash your car. This is wrong because these towels are not meant for car washing and may strip off paint from your car and leave swirl lines.

You should get thick microfiber towels or soft sponge that will be gentle on your car. They pick up the dust from your car while giving the protective wax a shiny and clean look and feel.

2.Automatic Car Wash

You must be wondering why this is on top of this list whereas the waving towels and brushes at the automatic car washes do a good job of cleaning your car. The problem is that many cars get washed at the automatic car washes and all that dirt may stick on the towels and brushes. Over time, the dirt makes them rough and this may damage the protective wax on the body of your car.

3.Tire Shine

Up to this date, I have never understood why someone would like to have black shinny tires on their cars. Most tire shines being sold in the market are not good rubber products as they make use of silicone-based agents to give the tires that shiny look.

These chemicals erode the surface of the tire slowly causing it to dry-rot over the years. There is also a possibility of the cleaning agent settling on the body of your car while driving and causing a lot of damage to the paint and bodywork.

4.Stainless Steel Sponges

Some car parts like the exhaust pipes and the bonnet components may become rusty and covered with salt deposits over time. Many people tend to take rough materials like steel wool that can be easily accessed and use it to rub off the accumulated layers of dust. This will not only remove the deposits but also scratch and erode the surface that you are cleaning leaving ugly marks behind.

5.Sunny Day Wash

Many people believe that cleaning your car and leaving it to dry out in the sun will give it an extra shiny look. Contrary to this belief, the heat from the sun causes the cleaning agent and water to dry off quickly leaving behind ugly marks on the car. The same happens if you clean the car immediately after driving it as it still heated up.

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6.Dish washing Soap

Despite numerous warnings to people not to use dish washing soap, people still use it when cleaning their cars. This is detrimental as it causes the top layer of the car’s paint to wear off causing premature corrosion of the shiny color of the car.

7.Pressure washer

The use of pressure washer has been believed to remove dust from the tiniest of spaces in your car. While this is true, it leaves behind a lot of damage to your car. Not only does it weaken the wax covering meant to protect your car’s paint but also damages sensitive electrical components on the engine.

8.Bucket wash

When you imagine someone washing their car, the first image that comes in mind is them standing next to a bucket filled with soapy water. The routine when washing a car with a bucket of water is dipping the washcloth in the water, wiping the dust off the car and cleaning it in the bucket. This, however, makes the water dirty and transfers the dust deposits back to the body of the car.

9.Window Cleaners

Cleaning a car is very delicate as you need to use particular products for different car parts. Using general glass cleaners to give your car windows and windshield a shiny look will work for a while until they start becoming dull and acquire a coating that doesn’t allow you to view outside clearly.

10.Cleaning Rags

When one is done cleaning the car, they set out the cleaning rags they were using to dry without cleaning them first. There is a high possibility that the next time they will pick them up without washing them hence transferring the dirty to the car for the second time.

11.Garden Hose Pipe

When washing a car with water only, most people will prefer to use the garden hose pipe to rub the dust off the car before wiping it dry. The impact of the water landing on the body of the car is great such that the top layer of the paint comes off leading to the paint coming off sooner than expected.

12.Hot Water

Many drivers believe that if you use hot water to clean your car, it will be cleaner than if you used cold water. Unless you picked up oil and grease stains during a drive, it is not recommended that you use hot water. High temperatures break up the molecules that are in the protective coating of your car leaving it exposed to damage by various weather elements. For grease and oil stains, make use of cleaning soap and mildly warm water to get rid of them.

13.One Cleaning Cloth

When cleaning your car, you should not use the same piece of cloth to clean all the car parts. Some of the dirt found in let’s say the wheels or car engine might be transferred to the body part of the car and make damage it’s fine finishing. The cleaning cloth should also be compatible with the coating used on the part you intend to use it to clean.

14.Jewelry

When cleaning your car, you should remember to take off all the jewelry that you might have on you such as earrings, necklace, and bangles. This is because you risk scratching off the paint on the body of the car causing corrosion of the paint that may lead to rusting.

15.Baby Shampoo

Baby shampoo has been used for the longest time to remove bird shit stains on cars. Research has however shown that if you let the baby shampoo to sit for too long it creates a faded patch on the area that it was applied. To avoid this, ensure that you apply the shampoo sparingly and rinse it off with adequate water even if you are not cleaning the rest of the car immediately. This should be done under a shade as the sun causes the moisture in the shampoo to evaporate faster leading to staining.

What kind of soap can I use to wash my car?

The kind of soap that you use to wash your car determines how clean it will be. Many people just use their household cleaning products when cleaning their cars and this is very wrong. These products are not meant to protect the car’s paint and will leave the car looking dull and dry as they remove the shiny protective wax on the body of the car.

You should use cleaning products specifically meant for car-wash as they have agents that protect the car’s paint. You should use a soft sponge or thick microfiber towel to apply the soap on your car and lift off the dust.

Can you wash your car with just water?

Yes, you can wash your car with just water and get that clean and brand-new look. However, you should not spray water on your car from a pipe as this will get the dirt loose but it will also scratch your car paint. It will also leave water drops on door windows and the windscreen which will stain when dry.

So how should you clean using water? You take a thick microfiber towel and keep it in water and use it to gently wipe off the dust from your car. The towel will absorb the dust while protecting the paint of your car.

Can I use Lysol to clean the inside of my car?

Lysol cleaning products started being sold in 1930 and it was marked a gynecological product for women. It then diversified into the home cleaning business where it thrived as people came to love how effective and efficient it was on top of its rich clean smell.

Although the Lysol cleaning wipes are purposed for general home cleaning, you can still use them to clean your car interior. Having these wipes in your car comes in handy in cleaning spills on your car quickly before they bleach the seats. It is however recommended that you test the wipes on a small spot first as some delicate car interiors may react with Lysol cleaning wipes damaging the color and finish of the seat.

Parting  Shot

These tips will enable you to maintain that appealing glossy look without wasting money on unnecessary car cleaning products.

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