Common Car Washing Mistakes to Avoid

Washing your car is definitely a time investment. You want to make sure you’re being as efficient as possible to prevent unintentional damage to the exterior of your vehicle. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get a couple of things wrong. So we’ve compiled a list of a few common mistakes you should avoid to get the most out of your car wash.

Using Dish Soap

Please—PLEASE—don’t use dish soap to clean your car. Dish soap is formulated to remove harsh, stuck-on food and grime; it’s too strong to use on your car. What’s the worst that could happen, you ask? Well, it could damage your car’s paint job and any waxes or sealants that protect it. Take the extra time to find the right soap for your needs—your car’s exterior will thank you for it.

Using Low-Quality Towels

A low-quality towel can be your worst enemy. After meticulously washing your car, the last thing you want to do is ruin your hard work by using a crappy drying towel. A low-quality towel can leave swirl marks and scratches on your car. Invest in a couple of high-quality, plush towels. It’ll make your job a whole lot easier.

Starting at the Bottom of Your Car

We may get some pushback on this one, but we’re sticking by our advice: don’t wash your tires first. In fact, we recommend that you wash your car from top to bottom. That way, you’re pushing dirt down and to the ground, rather than scraping dirt up the sides of your vehicle. If you start by washing your tires, you’ll dislodge the worst of your car’s grime first. And before you’ve made any real progress, you’ll instantly dirty your sponge and water/soap buckets. Why create more work for yourself? 

Not Hosing Down Your Car Properly

There’s a lot you can accomplish by hosing your car down properly. By rinsing your vehicle first, you’ll get rid of loose dirt, dust, and sediment right away, saving you time and elbow grease. If you don’t hose down your car, loose dirt could get stuck on your sponge or wash mitt, potentially causing scratches or scuffs.

Washing Your Car in the Sun

We recommend you don’t wash your car in direct sunlight. Soap and water will dry a lot faster in the sun, potentially causing pesky water spots and etched paint and glass. If you can, move your car to a shaded area, or wash your car in the morning or afternoon, when the sun is not as strong. Is it absolutely impossible to wash your car in the sun? No, but you may have to work a lot faster to make sure you’re not unintentionally leaving soap and water on the surface of your car.

With all the advice, suggestions, and new techniques available, it can be difficult to find the right car washing method for your needs. But by avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll significantly improve the results of your weekend car wash. Keep at it and good luck!