ZEN AND THE CAR WASH

7. August 2010, 17:42 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

For some people washing their vehicle can be a labour of love. For others a necessary evil. It either case a few basic tips can help make the most efficient use of your time and efforts.

  1. Never wash your vehicle in direct sunlight, or right after it has been sitting in the sun for a period of time. Heated metal and painted surfaces cause accelerated water evaporation resulting in water spots.

  2. Make sure you open up the body drain holes. These rubber grommets in the underside of fenders, quarter panels and doors are designed to let water drain away. When plugged they trap water inside the vehicle body and cause rusting from the inside.

  3. Ensure you have the necessary supplies such as buckets, cotton cloths, sheepskin mitt(s) and a chamois. Also use a non-detergent can washing solution if at all possible, and a good wheel cleaner.
  4. Start at the top and work down to the wheels. There is no point in flowing dirt over previously cleaned surfaces.

  5. Wipe down the roof completely with your cleaning solution and then rinse. Do smaller areas individually taking care not to let them dry. Then proceed to the hood and trunk also rinsing them thoroughly. Ensure you rinse under mouldings, where dirt and debris often gets stuck. You then proceed to the upper half of the vehicles side panels repeating the above .
  6. Use a separate set of cloths or mitts for the lower half of the body. This area generally is dirtier and small abrasive particles can ruin your finish so carrying them onto the upper body should be avoided.
  7. Use a high pressure nozzle or the hose to remove as much dirt as possible from the inside of wheel wells and openings in styled rims. A separate cloth should be reserved for the wheels. Clean them first with your car wash solution and then after rinsing, clean them using the wheel cleaner to remove stubborn grime and brake dust. Do not apply the wheel cleaner to hot wheels as it may alter the finish.
  8. Use plenty of water as you want to clean the finish without damaging it. New multi-coat car finishes are quite thin and you want to try and float the dirt off without having to scrub.
  9. Don't let the vehicle drip dry. While commonly done, it also frequently leaves water spots behind. Use a chamois to help prevent this. Also dry the inside of door jambs and plates to help prevent rusting.

For those without the patience or inclination there is always the drive-through car wash. Just so long as you realize that they don't get your vehicle as clean as possible.

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Keywords: car wash,car care,zen

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