Detailing your vehicle keeps it looking sleek and attractive, when done correctly, that is. Without the proper care, thought, and maintenance, your detailing attempt could go awry, leaving your car with scratches, stains, or peeling paint. If you’re wary of ruining your car, here are some common car detailing mistakes to avoid.
Working in the Heat
Working under the sun’s scorching rays isn’t fun. On top of that, it’s tiring and can be damaging to your car’s appearance. Washing your car in direct sunlight can lead to water spots, swirl marks, and other damages to your vehicle’s finish.
Additionally, when working in the sun, you’re more likely to rush your cleaning job. To avoid the heat, you wash a little faster, dry a little faster, and wax a little faster, which leads to hasty, inadequate work.
Wait until it’s cooler outside to detail your car. Park your car in an area with ample shade or hold off until the evening.
Using Harsh Cleaning Chemicals
Another common car detailing mistake to avoid is using a damaging or inefficient cleaner. Some household cleaning agents, such as shampoo and hand soap, are fine to use in a pinch. Others, however, will do more harm than good. Harsher chemicals, such as those in dish soap, will remove the toughest dirt and grease from your vehicle, but they’ll also remove the protective wax, sealant, and paint.
Before you use any type of soap on your car, check to see if it’s safe. If you don’t, you’ll end up stripping your car of its protective layers and completely exposing it to the elements.
Drying With Scratchy Towels
Any towel is fine, right? In actuality, this is false. Tougher, grittier rags can scratch the surface of your car and are inefficient at absorbing impurities such as dirt, grease, and other grime.
We recommend using microfiber towels, which are soft and highly absorbent. This eliminates the risk of scratches, makes your car easier to clean, and dries the surface better than regular towels or chamois.
Most microfiber towels are reusable. You can hand-wash them or toss them into a washing machine.
Misusing the Wax
If you’re careful, wax can be a great way to spruce up your vehicle. Make sure you’re using the right type of car wax. Since different waxes provide different benefits, it’s crucial to get the kind that will provide the desired effect.
Don’t forget to use the appropriate applicators, as well. For dry wax, this usually involves a sponge and foam applicator. For liquid wax, use the provided applicator pad. Applying wax directly to the vehicle’s surface can lead to dark spots and uneven streaks.
Clean your vehicle before applying any wax. If dirt or other impurities are left behind, they can scratch your vehicle during the waxing process. Take care to avoid over waxing, as well. Two coats are considered the ideal amount. Any more than that, the substance will fail to adhere.