With Memorial Day weekend now behind us, it seems the only major event remaining to herald the summer season is high school graduation. In just a few weeks, thousands of Raleigh’s young adults will toss their caps in the air and excitedly welcome the next chapter of their lives. Some of them may even enjoy a surprise gift – a car, perhaps – that tasks them with some new responsibilities. If you are the proud parent of a graduate and have a vehicle waiting to be unveiled, we at Leith Honda Aberdeen want to offer some insight on effective car detailing; consider it a final lesson before your child moves the cap’s tassel from right to left.
The Vehicle’s Surface
When cleaning a vehicle, everyone can be – oh, how should we describe it – a bit less attentive to the details at certain times. This, however, can lead to habitual carelessness, which is damaging to the vehicle’s paint. Many people make the most rudimentary mistake: wiping a towel or hand across a dry car. Some lubricant, such as water or wax, is necessary to avoid scratching the surface because it lifts contaminants.
A secondary mistake, but no less damaging, occurs while washing and drying the vehicle. Too many people use a sponge to wash and/or dry; a microfiber towel is far gentler on paint than both a sponge and a chamois. These towel products can even be used for applying wax, as well. Keep in mind that maintaining a durable paint job will prevent rust and other complications.
Proper Cleaning Order
There is a particular order in which you should clean your car to minimize water spots and eliminate the vexing task of rewashing.
W.P.I.G. – wheels, paint, interior, and glass.
Washing the wheels first prevents the formation of water spots on the car’s paint. It is also important to begin each washing at the wheels because they require the most dedication – reaching into difficult spots and vigorous scrubbing can be exhausting. People who make the mistake of saving the wheels until last are often more careless.
Glass should always be the last on your list. The glass is easy to reach in all areas of the cabin, and you may find unsightly smudges left behind from cleaning products for the interior. Cleaning the glass may also yield the most visible results, which makes it the perfect final activity for washing your car, truck, or SUV.
All smart detailers have a bucket and mitt designated for the painted areas of the vehicle, as well as a separate pair for the wheels. Brake dust is often found in abundance on dirty wheels, and this can scratch paint. Even if you rinse or wash the bucket out, particles can remain behind that would damage the vehicle during future washes.
For the bucket you chose to clean the painted areas, insert a Grit Guard to keep the dirtied mitts from picking up soot and grime that settles on the bottom. It will help keep those mitts clean and mitigate any potential scratching or damage.
Your side mirrors, taillights, headlights, emblems, and other markings can trap dirty water you attempted to rinse off the vehicle. This water ultimately pours out as you drive, and it may drag lines of soot along your freshly washed car. To prevent this, after rinsing you may shoot air into those aforementioned spots with a portable vacuum blower.
For the interior, use your vacuum’s attachments to clean all of those hard-to-reach places: gaps, crevices, air vents, infotainment panels, and more.
We hope this helps these graduates burgeoning into adulthood get a little taste of the many horrible – uh, sorry, we mean wonderful – responsibilities that awa