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The Ultimate Car Spring Clean: Part One

The Ultimate Car Spring Clean: Part One

Do you find yourself making endless excuses not to wash your car? Bad weather, lack of time, or the car being used for various activities often deter us from giving our vehicles the attention they deserve.

Cleaning the car may not be at the top of your list of priorities, but it is one of those jobs that gives a great sense of satisfaction. Why not take advantage of the nice weather and treat your vehicle to a valet fit for a celebrity? This series aims to provide you with a step-by-step guide to achieving a professional finish without leaving the comfort of your own driveway.

Step one: The Pre-Wash: Believe it or not, there's a pre-wash stage! Grime can be abrasive and potentially scratch your paintwork if you get overzealous when cleaning. To prevent your five-star valet from adding additional scratches to your car, start the process by giving your car a thorough rinse to remove any loose mud and dust.

Step two: apply elbow grease. Once you've eliminated the worst of the grime, it's time to give your car a good wash down with a cleaning mitt (if you have one) and some hot soapy water. Unlike sponges, wash mitts don't trap mud or grit, which means that they are less likely to scratch the paint. For an extra touch of luxury, consider investing in car shampoo to help maintain your vehicle's colour and lustre. If you don’t have any to hand, any soap will do.

Step three: the alloys. It is amazing how much the wheels impact the overall look of a vehicle, so pay special attention to your alloys. An alloy brush can help you to get into all of those hard to reach corners and crevices.

Step four: lights. With metal areas cleaned, turn to your lights. Use a soft cloth to give the casings a good clean. Check your bulbs and clean inside the casing if it has picked up some grime. If you notice any damage, make note of it and pop to your local garage for advice or remember to flag it up at your next MOT test.

Step five: wipers. There are few things more annoying than giving your car a good clean, only for the wipers to spread grime. Carefully lift them away from the windscreen and clean them using cleaning solution or a solution of water and vinegar (a little lemon juice will cover the smell). Don’t forget to clean the area under which the wipers had been sitting.

Step six: rinse. Now you have put the hard work in, the final rinse is where you will see your vehicle start to gleam. Assuming you are not subject to a hosepipe ban, use a pressure washer or hose to give your car a final rinse. Be particularly careful around the wheels and bumpers; this is your opportunity to get rid of the most stubborn mud.

Step seven: dry. As tempting as it is to have a cup of tea while the car dries naturally, doing so will guarantee a streaky finish. Using a shammy or microfibre cloth, use large, circular motions to get a gleaming finish.

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