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How to elevate your car wash


IRVINE, Calif. (2018) – Washing is defined as the removal of loose contaminants from a surface. It’s so easy to create swirls when washing and drying your car, and then once you have swirls in your paint they aren’t so easy to remove. So how do you wash your car without putting swirls into the paint in the first place? Meguiar’s, the car care experts since 1901, offers washing tips and techniques to help you elevate your car wash and obtain the very best, swirl-free results the next time you go to wash your car.

Tip 1. Leave the Dish Soap For the Dishes. Many of us grew up washing our cars with dish soap. If it thoroughly cleans the dishes it’s sure to clean the paint correctly, right? Wrong! Since dish soap is a degreaser it’s too aggressive on the paint and begins to strip off essential nutrients, polishes and waxes leaving the paint more vulnerable. When washing you want to make sure you are always using a quality automotive soap that’s pH balanced, like Meguiar’s® Ultimate Wash & Wax. This will help you remove loose contaminants from the paint while preserving your wax protection, and since it’s a wash & wax it will benefit you further by leaving behind additional wax protection each time you wash your car.

Tip 2. The Importance of Accessories. You always want to be as gentle as possible on your paint to keep it looking its best and shining its brightest. For that reason you want to use high quality accessories that will create as little friction as possible. Microfiber is always going to be the material of choice because it pampers the paint, it’s gentle, and it helps to absorb dust and debris minimizing the risk of creating swirls.

For washing, Meguiar’s recommends using a high quality microfiber wash mitt like Meguiar® Microfiber Wash Mitt – X3002, as this is extremely absorbent and soft, and both lifts and traps dirt and dust to minimize scratching and swirling. Then, for drying the water of the paint there’s Meguiar’s® Microfiber Water Magnet Drying Towel – X2000. This premium towel absorbs up to two times the water of traditional terry towels, reduces drying time, and is extremely gentle on the paint to reduce the risk of swirling and scratching.

Tip 3. Technique. Technique is equally as important as the right wash and right accessories. There are a few simple things you want to keep in mind with how you wash your car that will help ensure you end up with amazing results. Always make sure you are working on a cool surface and in the shade as this will keep the soap and water from drying prematurely, and help to minimize the creation of water spots. Then, when initially rinsing off your car knock off as much of the debris as possible with water pressure. With less debris on the surface there will be less to potentially swirl the paint. Next, wash from the top of the vehicle downward. Cars typically gather more dirt closer to the ground, so by washing the lower portions of a vehicle last you will run less of a risk of picking contaminants up with your wash mitt.  One last suggestion Meguiar’s offers is to consider taking the nozzle off your hose when you do your final rinse as this will flood the surface and allow the water to flow and sheet over the paint. This action will assist in demoting water spotting and you’ll end up with less water on the surface to dry.

Tip 4.Two-Bucket Method. It’s so easy to pick up the smallest piece of dirt or debris when washing and push it into the paint producing unsightly swirls all over. The two-bucket method makes use of one bucket that contains the diluted wash solution and a second bucket with just water to use as a rinse so you can get as many of the contaminants off your wash mitt as possible. Each time you come off the paint with your mitt and wash solution dunk the mitt into the second bucket of water, agitate and swirl it around. Then, wring out your mitt before going back to the first bucket and washing another section.

One accessory often overlooked that you want to consider is Meguiar’s® Grit Guard – X3003. The Grit Guard sits at the bottom of most 3.5 – 5 gallon buckets and helps collect contaminants from your wash mitt. It ends up pulling debris off the mitt and depositing it at the bottom of your wash bucket instead allowing that debris to stay on your mitt and pushing that debris right back into the paint.

Tip 5. Clean and Monitor Towels and Accessories. It may sound pretty basic but dirty towels and accessories can be the culprit of unwanted swirls and scratches. While washing and drying your car always monitor your wash mitt and drying towel to ensure you don’t accidentally pick up a piece of dust or dirt. If you’re not using the two-bucket method or grit guard, rinse your mitt off thoroughly after each section and wring it out. Then, it’s a good idea to designate a drying towel specifically for the wheels and tires. These towels tend to get much dirtier and you wouldn’t want to accidentally use a towel from these surfaces on your paint. Finally, wash and rinse all accessories thoroughly when done so the next time you go to wash there won’t be any contaminants on them.

With these simple tips and techniques you’re sure to elevate your car wash which will end up providing you with more swirl-free results so your car will continue to look its best with maximum depth and shine.

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