You might be making these easy mistakes and not even realising. In the world of car rental, we’ve become experts in cleaning our vehicles to perfection, so that each and every hirer can be proud of their rental car. Here’s what NOT to do:
Using Washing Up Liquid
It would seem like a great idea, as it’s perfectly good at getting rid of grease and does wonders on your plates. But unfortunately, washing up liquid (especially the cheap kind) contains a whole host of harsh chemicals that can ruin your paintwork. Components such as the bleach and ammonia can break down the sealant and wax to turn your paint dull over time. Car shampoos are specially developed to be gentle on car paint while removing dirt and grime. Rather than applying the shampoo or wax directly to the car, you should be carefully applying it to your cloth first.
Using a Sponge Scourer
You would think this goes without saying, but a lot of people make the expensive mistake of using the hard side of a sponge. We’re not talking metal scourer here, either. It’s the rough, green side that people use to scrub particularly difficult spots which then turns into a hundred little scratches all across your paintwork. Always stick to a microfibre wash mitt or microfibre sponge.
Using the Same Bucket
You need to rinse your cloth in clean water each time, or you’ll be rubbing that same grime and grease all along the car as you go. If possible, rinse under running water but if not, take two buckets with you – one for rinsing and one for washing. Failing that, change the bucket water for a fresh lot, for each section of the car.
Washing Your Wheels Last
This one is a bit of a no-brainer for us, but we see it everywhere we go. If you wash your wheels last, you’d be thinking all the dirt from the car has dripped on to the wheels and now to wash it away onto the floor. Right? Wrong. Your wheels are most likely the dirtiest part of the car, and you’ll need a pretty strong jetwash to get right in, to the back of the wheel arches. Doing this sprays the dirt all over the place, the rim of the car especially. Why clean the whole car only to spray and flick tyre-mud back on to it? Counterproductive and timely. Do it this way, wheels first and you’ll see why.
Leaving the Car to Air-Dry
A lot of us think it won’t make a difference once it’s washed, to just leave it in the sun to dry. But sadly this leaves a lot of watermarks and smears, plus the body isn’t waxed or sealed to protect it. Taking a dry microfibre cloth (or mitt) buff the water away until dry. Then apply 1-2 coats of wax (no more or you risk over-polishing) to protect the paintwork from scratches, maintain the car’s value and of course, to make it shiny. You’ll be able to tell when the car needs waxing by watching how water runs off it – if it doesn’t form nice beads then you need to wax your car again, or top it up with a quick detailing wax.