Spring has sprung, the sun is shining, and it is probable that all you notice when you look at your car is a line of grit and grime. If you want to add a sparkle to your vehicle, read on! Last week we walked through ten steps to make the interior of your car feel like new. This week, we are turning our attention to the exterior.
The top tip when cleaning anything is to start from the top and work your way down; this will prevent grime and grub from the top from marking lower areas that you have already cleaned.
You will need:
- A hose pipe (if possible).
- Bucket of warm, soapy water.
- Clean sponge.
- Soft cloths, such as old towels.
- Polish or wax.
- Before you start, make sure that all of your windows are shut! Starting at the roof, give your car a good hose down, to get rid of the worst of the mud, bird droppings and grime. Car surfaces are prone to scratching, so a hose will prevent you from inadvertently scratching the paintwork by rubbing in abrasive grime, such as grit or sand. Finish up with the wheels and wheel arches; these may need a bit more attention as they tend to get grubbiest.
- If you come across stubborn mud, give it a good soaking and leave it to soak in for a while. Tyres and wheel arches may benefit from soaking.
- Once you have got rid of the worst of the debris, use a clean, soft sponge to cover the car with warm, soapy water. A bit of elbow grease, plenty of soap, and circular motions will help you to get rid the most stubborn stains.
- Clean your windows and mirrors – an e-cloth or similar will help you to get a good, smear-free shine.
- Once your car is clean, leave it to dry completely. If you are in a rush, you can use a soft, clean cloth, such as an old towel, to dry it off. It is essential that the cloth is soft and clean; any abrasion at all can damage the paintwork.
- Following your spring clean, you may decide to treat your car to a wax or polish. If it is the first time you have used a particular polish or wax, test it on a small patch to make sure that you can get a good finish. Following the instructions on the packaging, use a shammy cloth to apply your wax or polish.
- When cleaning your car properly, it is very possible that you will come across the odd chip or scratch, or maybe even a spot of rust. It is always best to deal with these issues sooner rather than later; you can either buy products to treat the problem yourself or take your vehicle to a trusted garage and ask them to look after your paintwork and bodywork.
By the time you have finished, your car will look like new! As a result, you will probably drive more carefully, and people will treat your vehicle with more respect, too. If you don’t have the time to give your vehicle the TLC it deserves, don’t just go to a drive-through car wash, head to a reliable valeting service and get the job done properly.