How to Wash Your Car to Protect Its Paint

That nice car paint you have? It does more than make your vehicle look good. Paint actually protects the steel body of the car right underneath it. The protective coat prevents dirt and moisture from getting in contact with the steel frame, which would cause it to rust and corrode. If you want to preserve your car, then you’d have to protect its paint as well.

We prepared this quick guide for beginners. From choosing the right car wash tools and products, to safely washing your car – here’s everything you need to know to protect its paint!


How to Choose the Right Car Wash Tools

It all starts with the right tools. Generally, you want specialized car wash tools made of natural materials. They’re tough on dirt and won’t leave any scratch marks. You can use either a large soft sponge or wool plush mitts to wash painted surfaces. Never use the same tools for washing other parts of your car – such as the tires or rims. Dirt could get trapped in them and scratch the car paint.


Choosing Car Cleaning Products That Are Safe on Paint

  • Car wash soap: Used for cleaning the car surface, it’s specially formulated to be mild. Don’t use household detergents like bleach, laundry soap, and dish washing soap in its place. They are too harsh and will strip off the protective layer of wax, making the car more vulnerable to scratches. Eventually, they will wear off the paint and expose the steel body.
  • Car polish: It’s an optional car cleaning product. You should limit its use to the removal of mild scratches and minor imperfections from the surface. When choosing one, make sure that you opt for a non-abrasive variant since most of them are abrasive to paint.
  • Car wax: A must-have if you’re serious about keeping your car’s paint job in mint condition. Car wax is applied after you are done washing and polishing the car. What it does is add a protective coating which keeps moisture and dirt away from the paint, giving it a glossy finish. Some variants even protect against the UV rays of the sun, which help to preserve the paint color. Most car waxes contain natural ingredients like carnauba wax, beeswax, and natural oils.


Tips for Washing Your Car to Protect Its Paint

First, you need to park your car in a shade. Once you’ve found a spot you can begin washing the tires and wheel rims. When you’re done washing them, get a fresh batch of soapy water and a separate pail of clean water.

Now you can clean the car surface with soapy water and the recommended tools. Use the pail of clean water to rinse tools between washes. This will prevent swirl marks and remove trapped dirt which could scratch the car. When washing the hood and body panels of your car, swipe the tool lengthwise. Swirling motions can leave marks on the surface.

Dry the car surface using natural or synthetic chamois. Both of them are non-abrasive and safe to use. Afterward, you can proceed with waxing your car. Though you can always have a professional take care of it for you.