To get started, remove any clutter from inside the car, including items that have accumulated in the trunk that can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency. The next step is to thoroughly clean and vacuum the interior and wash the windows.
When washing the outside, include the tires, wheels, underside and fenders to eliminate any road salt or grime. Wheels and tires should be cleaned with a mitt other than the one used to wash the body. This will avoid contaminating the vehicle’s paint with debris from the wheels and tires.
Wash in the shade and with a product sold specifically for cars. Wash one section at a time, thoroughly rinsing away the soap as you go. Work your way down toward the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. Clean the fenders and bumpers last since they will have the most dirt and grime that can contaminate the wash mitt.
Give the car a final rinse: Remove the spray nozzle from the hose and let the water cascade down the surfaces of the vehicle. To avoid water spots, dry your car with a chamois or other product made for drying.
The last step is to wax the car. This should be done out of direct sunlight and every six months. It goes a long way toward protecting the vehicle’s finish and makes subsequent washes easier.
If you found any stone chips, rust or other problem spots while washing your vehicle, the experts at the Car Care Council recommend having these taken care of immediately to prevent further damage.
The Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.
For further facts and tips, visit www.carcare.org.