Car Cleaning Tips for Lasting Beauty
Washing your car:
Automotive stores contain shelf after shelf of cleaning agents. A variety of cleaners, wax, sealants, wax and wash products all beg for your billfold. Yet there isn't an owner's manual that gives advice on how to properly care for your vehicle. What Frank next door has used for years on his car may not work for your brand new vehicle since finishes are frequently changed by the manufacturer. Besides if it foams, it's toxic to our environment.
Let's take a look at some easy solutions and toss in a few quick tips.
· Paint manufacturers recommend washing with soft 100% Lambswool Mitts. Lambswool will not scratch like some brushes and sponges.
· Use mild soaps like Mary Moppins EPA certified Clean Ez. Most people use liquid dish soaps or harsh cleaners which deteriorate the shine and ruin the finish.
· Wash early in the morning or evening to avoid water spots. Add one-half cup of food grade distilled white vinegar to your wash bucket. Vinegar neutralizes the alkali in water to prevent water spots.
· Start with the roof and wash by section drying each section as you clean to avoid water spots. Once water spots form on a car or truck you have but one or two days to remove them. Water spots etch into the surface becoming difficult to remove.
· Use a concentrated organic cleaner like Clean Ez to remove oil and grease. Remember give your product time to work. Rinse immediately.
Windshields and tires present an entirely different set of problems when you clean. Glass is porous so water spots etch in quicker than they do on the body of a vehicle. If you see those nasty spots before your eyes, wipe on boiling vinegar in the evening. Keep applying every 5 to 6 minutes for about 30 minutes. For windows or windshields, scrub with a white scrub pad. Use a soft cotton cloth when working on the body of a vehicle.
Below are a few handy tips for working with windshields to make your view a bit clearer:
- Clean windshield wiper blades frequently to remove the oil buildup, which causes them to smear the windshield.
- Scrub window gaskets twice a year with a stiff bristle brush to remove the oxidation.
For streak free windows try Mary Moppin's Benya, which even removes the film from the inside windows.
Tire Care: Scrub tires four times a year with an organic cleaner or CleanEz and a tire cleaning brush to avoid problems. Rubber naturally oxidizes and can leave the tires looking cracked. Scrubbing removes this oxidation. Sos pads work quite well removing dirt and grime on whitewall tires. Scrub and wipe with a shop towel then rinse. This prevents the SOS suds from going down the drain and into your streams and rivers.
Think twice before using a tire treatment. If your tire should blow out and the tire manufacturer determines a tire treatment caused the blowout they will not honor the warranty. Warranties only cover manufacturing defects and tire treatments are not a defect. Most tire treatments contain petroleum distillates, which deteriorate rubber and over time can cause a blowout. Although one treatment may not affect the tires, a blowout on a major highway is not the place to find out.
Wax, protect or seal
There is a large selection of products made for protecting the finish of your car or truck. Let's first look at the difference between wax, protectants and sealants. All three usually contain petroleum distillates, which binds other chemicals together in a product.
There are different kinds of distillates. High quality distillates may not damage the clear coat finish. Low grade distillates deteriorate the sealant leaving you with an oxidized vehicle.
There is a fail proof method to determine whether or not your vehicle is oxidizing. If you are applying a protectant three to four times per year and the paint is still coming off on your buffing rag then your wax contains the wrong kind of petroleum distillates. Changing products should correct this problem. If you are applying a protectant only once or twice a year then a more frequent application is needed.
Here are guidelines to follow when purchasing a wax or protectant:
- Wax is made from Carnuba, which seals the pores of fiberglass and yellows most white or off white paint.
- Protectants like Mary Moppin's Advantage are made from polymers, which do not seal but sit on the surface to protect against UV damage.
- Products containing silicone are certain death for your car. Over time, silicone slowly deteriorates the finish causing it to oxidize. Unfortunately silicone cannot be completely removed. Paint will not adhere to silicone so it peels leaving the car in a disastrous state.
- Sealants remove damaging oxidation, scratches and water spots. The bottle will read for heavy duty waxing or oxidation removal.