How to Wash a Car

Sud on black car and window during car wash with green towel

While all drivers know that regularly washing your car helps keep it looking great on the roads of Lincoln and beyond, it can also help prevent damage to the vehicle’s exterior. If you want your vehicle to remain in pristine condition for many years to come, regular car washes are a necessity. Learning how to wash a car properly is easy with this guide from Sid Dillon service centers.

What Does Your Vehicle Need?

Does your car need a quick wash or the full package? If it has been waxed recently or you have just purchased a brand-new car, a simple wash and wax are probably all it needs. However, if it has been a while since you last washed your car, and it has been repeatedly exposed to the elements, it may need a little more care and attention.

Rinse and Wash the Vehicle

You will want to rinse the vehicle first before you start to wash it. This will help to get rid of loose debris and dirt. For a more thorough clean, you can also use car washing mitts and drying cloths. After the body of the vehicle has been washed, it’s time to move on to the windows. Be sure to use a product that does not contain ammonia, and use one that has been specifically formulated for automotive use. For the wheels, opt for a low-strength, acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner.

Remove Bumps and Apply Compound

After washing the car, you may notice that some contaminants still remain. A clay bar is a great tool for gently buffing away tree sap and other debris on the surface of your car’s exterior. After using the clay bar, it is also a good idea to use a compound featuring a dual-action polisher. This will help to smooth tiny scratches just below the surface. If you are using the compound, you will likely need to use 2-4 coats.

If Necessary, Apply Polish

If you decide to polish your vehicle, you should opt for a dual-action polisher. The oils in the polish provide a bright, glossy look. To apply the polish, use either an orbital buffer or a soft towel. An orbital buffer can save you time, but the tradeoff is that you do not have as much control over how the end results turn out. Another danger of using an orbital buffer is that debris that gets stuck between the pad and your car while it’s in motion could end up causing damage.

Wax the Vehicle for a Finishing Touch

Sure, car wax keeps your vehicle glistening on the roads of Omaha, but it also protects the paint from UV rays. Two popular options are carnauba wax and polymer wax. Polymer wax is the more expensive of the two, but the benefit is that it doesn’t haze and doesn’t need to set for long periods.

How Often to Wash a Car

Wondering how often to wash a car? It really depends on your driving habits. If your car is primarily used for running errands or commuting to the office, it should be washed every two weeks and waxed every six months. If, for example, you do a lot of off-roading, you should wash your car as soon as possible afterward.

How to Wash a Car: Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Cleaning Supplies: Use products that protect your car’s paint rather than hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt to wash.
  • Washing: Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
  • Drying: If you air-dry the car, you may notice swirl marks. That is why it is best to hand-dry the exterior with a chamois or terry towel.

Keep Your Vehicle Looking Like New with Sid Dillon

From showing you how to wash a car properly to how to perform an oil change, the service experts at Sid Dillon are happy to help our neighbors from Fremont to Columbus. Contact us today with any questions you may have.