DIY Car Washing - Six Reasons You're Doing it WRONG


If your ride is covered with enough mud, dust and pollen to render it unrecognizable, it's time to sling some suds. But if you're like most American car owners, there's a little something you should know. Chances are if you're going the DIY route to get your car looking like the showroom sparkler it was when you bought it, you're doing it wrong.

E3 Spark Plugs offers a few common car washing missteps and tips to fix them:

  1. You're washing your car with the same stuff that cleans your dishes. WRONG! Dishwashing detergent is simply too harsh and can damage your ride's paint job. Use a cleaner formulated specifically for washing vehicles instead.
  2. You use a plain ol' sponge or washcloth to wash and dry your car. WRONG! Sponges won't sufficiently grip dirt and grime, and both sponges and plain washcloths can scratch your paint job. Opt for microfiber washcloths and microfiber towels instead. They're less harsh but get the job done.
  3. You use one bucket. WRONG! Fill one bucket with warm, soapy water, and another with plain water. Dip your microfiber cloth in the sudsy bucket, wash a section of your car, then rinse it out in the plain water bucket. This keeps all the dirt and grime you just pulled off your car from mucking up your suds and defeating your whole purpose.
  4. You clean your wheels and tires first. WRONG! Wheels and tires typically are the dirtiest part of your ride, so clean them last to keep from mucking up your suds and rinsing water.
  5. You wet and rinse your car off wherever the hose hits first. WRONG! When first wetting your car and when rinsing suds, start at the top and let gravity do its thing. Otherwise, you'll need multiple rinses to avoid missing a spot.
  6. You wash your entire car before rinsing it. WRONG! Keep your car wet the entire time to avoid dried suds, soap scum and water spots. Clean a section, then rinse the whole car, clean another section and rinse the whole car again. Repeat until you're done with all sections.

Got more great car cleaning tips? Post them on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.

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