You aren’t the only one who took abuse from our long, harsh New England winter. Sand and salt covered the roads, and your vehicle has probably seen some cosmetic abuse from these corrosive-melting agents. As spring warms up, take the opportunity to give your vehicle some TLC and wash it by hand. Follow these steps for an expert hand wash:
Start with the wheels. Cleaning the wheels first will ensure that you don’t get any dirt from them onto the body of the car you just cleaned later. Using a cleaning mitt and brush, clean both the wheels and brakes of any filth.
Use a two-bucket system on the body. One bucket should be a mixture of soap and water; the other should be a rinse bucket for your mitt – water only! Both buckets should have grit guards in the bottom to prevent dirt from swirling back up onto the mitt and transferring back to the car.
No dish soap. Grease and car wax are very similar in property. So, if you use a dish soap designed to remove grease from dishes, it could strip the wax from your car as well.
Don’t use that old beach towel. Even if you think it’s clean, old towels or may have tiny grains of sand embedded in their fibers. Don’t risk the grinding on your car, instead use a microfiber mitt and rinse it in your rinse bucket each time before going back into your soap and water mix.
Work from the top down on the body. Start on the roof and work down panel by panel from hood, to trunk, to body panels, etc.
Avoid air-drying to prevent water spots. A microfiber drying towel should do the trick in removing water.