What you should know about exterior car washing

Taking care of the car does not just mean checking and maintaining the mechanical part. The exterior of the car is also important because the body components can deteriorate over time under the action of dust and other harmful substances in the atmosphere.

In addition, a dirty car can leave a negative first impression on its owner. Thus, in order to have a car with an aesthetic appearance worthy of envy (without rust, holes in the body, elements with damaged paint that require repainting, etc.), the owner must take into account the external washing of the car at a certain time.

There are three different places where the outside of the car can be washed:

  • At a car wash
  • At a self-wash
  • Home

We only mention these three options because people have become reluctant to automated brush washes because it has been proven that over time, they damage the car’s protective varnish and are not recommended.

never wash the car at a automated brush washes machines

Regardless of the location chosen, the solutions used for this operation must be taken into account. Usually, most drivers choose the cheapest option, but they do not think for a second that using cheap detergents can not properly clean the car, nor protect the body.

Practical tips for exterior car washing

Important to keep in mind: it is not advisable to try to remove the droppings from the birds with a dry cloth or towel as it may damage the paint protection varnish. You can only use a microfiber cloth pre-soaked in a special solution for exterior cleaning of the body.

In addition, the following must be known:

During the exterior car washing process, you must insist on the wheels, where excess dust is deposited from repeated braking (especially when driving in the city). If not properly cleaned, this may affect the proper functioning of the brake discs and pads.

In spring and autumn, mud appears on the road. Then, the surface of the cooling radiators, stores a lot of dirt due to the aluminum elements very close to each other. You must insist on the water jet to the central grilles and on the car radiator to remove these deposits. Pay close attention to the process of washing the brushes from the windows because mud can appear when one of the windows is open.

In the end, the front and rear wiper blades must be cleaned with a cloth as dust particles may remain and can scratch the windshield or rear window.

Next, we will treat each of the three options separately.

Exterior car washing at a car wash

Exterior car washing at a car wash

When it is desired to wash the car exterior at a dedicated car wash, pay attention to whether the washing procedures are being followed. Although it seems a very simple process, it involves certain specific steps, and the damage caused by their failure to comply can be seen in time.

  • Step 1: Pre-washing – removing abrasive particles from the body through a strong water jet, but which should not be used too close because the water can damage (there is the paint cleaning process with water for repainting).
  • Step 2: Apply the detergent to clean the dirt – the solutions used must be of high quality to really clean the dirt off the body elements and wheels.
  • Step 3: Remove the detergent and dirt with the water jet
  • Step 4: Check the body if it is completely clean
  • Step 5: Apply the wax layer – it protects the body and helps in the easier removal of water droplets. By frequent washing of the body, the varnish, glass, cans and plastic elements can be kept in perfect condition for longer. Following the application of this wax layer, it can be observed that the glass has a hydrophobic effect, and the dirt does not “stick” so easily to the body.
  • Step 6: Wiping the body and the windows with special cloths
  • Step 7: Maintenance of plastics, rubber pads, and tires – is made by specific substances such as protective silicone. The rejuvenation effect of the tires can be achieved by applying suitable substances that also protect them against aging.

Exterior car wash at a self-wash

Exterior car wash at a self wash

To be able to wash the car in a self-wash, you need at least some minimal knowledge. A true car enthusiast will come prepared from home with certain substances that he can spray on the rims before entering. These can help to remove dust from the brake pads, but also to save chips.

The washing process is largely the same as in a car wash, especially if the self-wash has the option of applying wax. In addition, the owner of the car should know that:

The removal of the body is made progressively from the ceiling to the thresholds, and the cloth is frequently rinsed so as not to collect dust particles that can scratch the body.

To clean the windows of the car, we use a dedicated cloth, such as deerskin that was used by our grandparents (there were no other alternatives for removing the windows at that time).

With another washcloth, preferably, the mobile interior parts of the body (doors, engine hood, boot lid or tailgate) are removed.

A third blade should be dedicated to the rims. If they are made of alloy, each spit is removed to remove the water droplets and the last traces of dirt, if any. It also rinses frequently.

In addition, maintenance of chrome ornaments after washing is done with dedicated solutions applied with the help of microfiber cloths.

Exterior car wash at home

Exterior car wash at home

Car owners who have the opportunity to clean their car at home usually choose to use a pressure washer. Again, repeat the procedures from the car wash plus the one from the self-wash, only now you can use the substances desired by each owner separately.

And in this case, you must have some knowledge in the field because the non-observance of the dilution ratios of the substances can affect certain elements of the body (the rubber pads and the plastic surfaces that get to whiten or crack).

An important aspect is the existence of a water softening system because otherwise, the whole body will remain stained. If not, the car will be wiped up as soon as possible after the exterior washing is completed.

Very important to remember: Never leave the car in the sun and then start the external washing process because there is a risk of cracking the windshield and/or the hatch (normal or panoramic). Also, the car should not be washed in the sun under any circumstances, especially a dark car. The water dries too quickly, before starting to use specific cloths, and stains may remain on different body elements.

It is very important to observe in order and correctly all the steps necessary for the external washing of the car in order to avoid the risk of damage to the body elements, the rubber pads, and the plastic or chrome parts.

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