Car Wash and Car Care Myths

May 17, 2011 by

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Girl washing car

If you’re like me, you probably can’t remember the last time you had your car washed. But before you take you car to a local car wash service, consider saving some money and washing your car yourself. Washing a car may not only be cheaper, but is a great way to cool down during the summer.

However, when it comes to auto hygiene, there are many myths about the best way to wash and care for your car. While you may have the best intentions of cleaning your car, your car cleaning techniques may actually be counterproductive, or at the worst harmful to your car. Luckily for you, we have busted the top five most common myths about caring for your car.

Myth #1: Dishwashing and laundry detergents are safe to wash your car with

Dishwashing and Laundry detergents may get all the dirt off your vehicle, but they will also remove important protective coatings off the paint surface and dry out the paint on your car. Dish soap and laundry detergent are actually counterproductive because it speeds up the oxidation process and shortens the life of your car’s paint.

Myth #2: Leather protectants can also keep my dashboard looking new

Leather protectants are not designed for the synthetic material most dashboards are typically made out of. Because of this, protectants may cause your dashboard to dry out and age faster. To prevent aging, use interior conditioners specifically designed for dashboards and synthetic material

Myth #3: Waxing is not always necessary

Car wax seems like a hassle, but it actually cleans and protects automotive finishes while acting as a protective barrier from everyday wear and tear. Waxing your car will also make subsequent washing easier because it will prevent things from sticking to the paint. Wax, however, is not designed to make a dull surface shiny, you will need polishing to create a high-gloss surface that new cars have.

Myth #4: Waxing Once a Year is Enough

How often you wax will vary depending on the environmental conditions and weather of wear you live. A good indication of when you need to re-wax your car is car wax beading. After a rain shower or car wash, look at the beads of water on your car. If the beads are smaller than a quarter, then the wax is still protecting your car. However, if water starts to form elongated beads or long thing sheets, it is time to re-wax your car.

Myth #5: Old T-Shirts, Kitchen Towels and Paper Towels make Good Cleaning Cloths

While these cloths may be clean and have good water absorption, they make actually scratch the paint surface and damage your car. Experts recommend investing in a premium terrycloth microfiber because it will pick up any leftover dirt without scratching the surface of your car.

Want to protect your car? Get an auto insurance quote now.

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Melissa

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