Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Car Washing Tips

Car Washing Tips

Wash your vehicle in the morning or evening to avoid water spots. You must dry quickly to prevent them from forming. Yes I hear continuously the marvels of how wonderful microfiber towels are drying a vehicle. I've hollered good and loud for many years about the problems associated with microfiber. DO NOT use it on any kind of sealed, finished or painted surface including walls, vehicles, floors, furniture, cabinets etc. Microfiber is made of 85% polyester, which is plastic.

Plastic scratches. If you want to use it on a vehicle (or any other surface other than glass) that is up to you just be sure to order several bottles of my Advantage to remove the oxidation when it sets in because the gel coat is now gone. Don't wait for your vehicle to oxidize before you order it though. Advantage keeps your vehicle looking better than it did in the showroom!  

Use only Woolite or baby shampoo to wash your vehicle including RVs. Some detergents like Mr. Clean, Simple Green and even dish soap can leave a residue that is difficult to rinse clean. Over time they soften and damage the clear or gel coat finish. Our Lambswool Mitt is one of the best on the market and is far thicker and plusher than most you find in automotive supply stores. It's gentle and will not scratch like most brushes.

Lambswool To Wash

Most brushes will scratch when you apply a bit of pressure to clean the dirtier areas. The bristles collapse, leaving you without the soft protective flagged ends. Paint manufacturers recommend lambswool for vehicles newer than 2002. The paints have changed from lead based to either Chroma based or water based. If a lead based paint looses its gel or clear coat finish, it won't begin oxidizing for around 18 months. Chroma and water based paints being oxidizing within two to three months. This happens because a Chroma or water based paint is not as "hard" as a lead based paint.

Clean the windshield wiper blades monthly to prevent them from smearing the windshield when in use.

Apply a very, very light coat of Advantage to your windshield. Glass is porous so when the bugs hit they dry into the pores making them difficult to remove. Advantage coats the glass so the bugs can't penetrate into the pores. If you are using a wax that contains petroleum distillates do not get it on the gaskets. Distillates will dissolve the rubber and cause your windshields to leak.  

Clean gaskets with a stiff bristled toothbrush. To help with bug removal on the front of your car, apply Advantage twice a month until you have 5 or 6 coats of a protective layer built up.  

Clean Your Car Tires

Tires require regular cleaning. Rubber naturally oxidizes with time. That oxidization causes the tire to appear like they are cracking. Grab an SOS pad and scrub the tires four times a year to remove the oxidation.

If after scrubbing, the tire is still cracked and is under warranty, have them inspected. If you apply a tire treatment you have just voided your warranty since the treatment will be blamed for the problem. Goodyear and Michelin have both issued warnings not to use any kind of treatment on their tires. Many of the tire treatments contain petroleum distillates, which deteriorate rubber. The problem is if the bottle contains less than 7% distillates the manufacturer does not have to make the disclosure. Their MSDS sheets will hide the name petroleum distillate behind other names like aliphatic hydrocarbon, hydrocarbon, petroleum, mineral oil to name a few or they may simply say it's proprietary information.  

Rule of thumb - If you don't know what is in a product don't put it on your vehicle. What you don't know will hurt – your wallet that is.

*NOTE: when you go to purchase a new vehicle and the tires are shiny and you want the vehicle insist the dealership change the tires. That shiny surface is petroleum distillates and the tire warranty has been voided even before you drove it off the lot.

Wheel Care

if you have aluminum wheels I found two products at a recent trade convention that did an excellent job cleaning and polishing them. Met-All and Flitz seemed to out perform the others I tested. Both can be found at automotive stores. Yes I know there are others that are quite good. If you are using a good polisher then stick with what you are using.

Any vehicle that has a sealed wheel – these are very shiny and are on newer RVs and some cars and trucks - can only be cleaned by using mild detergent. Any kind of metal polish will remove the finish. To make wheel cleaning a bit easier, head to a department store for a toile bowl brush or bottle brush made with the cotton fibers. They work into the holes and crevices so cleaning is much easier.

This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at http://www.goclean.com. Copyright @2006 All rights reserved worldwide.