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Keep looking new 1
Cars are a Joke!
& About Me
How to Properly Clean, Maintain and Polish your new car so it
looks brand new after ten years use. Mine does! And its easy. The devil is
in the details as usual.
You bought your lovely new car or van
and you want to make it look as good as humanly possible and
to keep it that way for many years easily?
Part 1 |
kept mistaking my 9 year old VW van for a brand new one. It
actually looked newer and better in the flesh than a brand
new showroom one.
It requires a little knowledge and a
few rules! But its actually very easy.
You will need one or two
things you may not have considered though.
you have just taken delivery of your new or
reasonably good condition used car or van then first
you need to inspect it carefully.
Click image below for a larger view!
for an even bigger image!
Most new vehicles arrive "clean-ish" but basically
undamaged but things like the engine bay and where
the doors open and close and maybe grills and some
other dirt traps will still be dirty. Look also for
overspray and areas of dull paint or any delivery
any are found then get back to the company that
supplied it because its not supposed to be like
It may be easier to wash the vehicle
carefully first especially if its a used car. See washing!
It absorbs all the salt and surfactants in
common household detergents, (salt used to thicken it
and make housewives think its better value!) which also
strip all the oils and waxes out of your paint,
NEVER ever use household detergents! Always use purpose
designed wash and wax and use as LITTLE as possible. You
don't need detergents other than to remove grease and
heavy deposits. All they do is remove all the wax and natural oils from the
surface of the paint and leave it dull and porous.
NEEDS to have a coat of wax and not be
finely scratched to
maintain that "as new" gloss and shine without any swirl
marks in it.
I am presuming that it already has
a perfect shine at least one of lower quality if its a brand new
car - If not
then you need will need to wash it, tee-cut or compound all marks and fine scratches away
first and then wax to
get a deep shine which is hard work. But you need only do this a) if it needs it
and b) once!. - Personally I use Farecla G10 for the fine polishing to
remove and marks and scratches. Its a very fine quality abrasive. Designed to be
used with a power polishing pad but it also works by hand if you have the
energy. Buy it easily on eBay! And then wax using any quality car wax. I
use Autoglym here but there are many good waxes. But before you do that you will
need to wash it! The first essential item you really need then is a water
butt! Go buy one!
barrel or even three or more if you don't get much rain.
Reason - Because tap water has everything from chlorine
to lime scale in it.
Don't wreck your new paint
with tap water if you don't have to!
Go to a Hardware
store for a water butt to catch the rain. It is not
expensive and you will save your paint, lots of extra
work & time and the planet! (Like I care!)
this simple experiment if you don't believe me. Get a black tile or
something. Clean and polish it. Drip some tap water on
it. Then get another and drip some rain water on it.
Leave both somewhere to dry. You will see! The tap
water leaves hard to remove white marks (limescale and other
dissolved salts) whereas the rain water leaves almost
nothing behind. The surface
that was wet with rainwater hardly needs a wipe and
dries clean and shiny. Rain water is after all basically distilled water. If it
gets dirty from your roof then the barrel fixes that! The impurities will either
sink to the bottom, or float to the top and be removed as the barrel overflows
during heavy rain. Either way they do not end up in your bucket!
tap water dries on your perfect paint it
leaves a layer of very abrasive salts and limescale.
As you polish or wipe this off you scratch the paint -
limescale is a good abrasive! Thousands of fine scratches. It doesn't happen
all at once but after a few washes you will begin to see
swirl marks and many fine scratches if you look closely.
NEVER wash a car unless its cool. It has to be cool
enough so that about 99 percent of the rinse water runs off
naturally. Water that runs off after rinsing leaves no
marks. It cant because its not there! Water that DRIES on your warm car leaves all its
dissolved solids, salts and dissolved limescale behind on your
paintwork and glass. Best time is just at dusk on a cool day overcast day. Or
very early morning. You don't want the water
drying on the car! Because it will dry horrible and wiping or polishing
scratches your paint. Get this right and you don't need to actually use a cloth
on your car at all.
The more that runs off due to
the hopefully well waxed smooth shiny and cold paint the better it will dry.
If done properly using little to no detergent,
rainwater, on a waxed polished car then it should dry so
well that the next day you will barely need a towel to
wipe away any marks and will look as if you spent hours
waxing it all over again. WITHOUT any of the work or the fine
scratches that this inevitably causes.
Use only quality purpose bought Car
Wax products (I use Autoglym car wash detergent
but any half decent wash and wax car shampoo is fine)
Remember its only required to use as much detergent as
needed to remove any road film or oily dirt and to JUST break down the waters
surface tension.. The simple
rule is that the less detergent you use the less you
damage the paint as well as the rubber door seals etc.
Less is more. As as all detergents strip off the wax
from the car.
So less will always look
better and be easier to polish off and dry shinier and cleaner!
If you can get away with almost plain water from the water butt
(rain water) better still! Rain water dries much
cleaner and leaves hardly a mark on your car. See
picture of the water butts I use.
Always use good large sponges. Buy half a dozen. If you
drop one on the floor throw it away now! You can never
get all the fine sharp particles out of it no matter how
hard you wash it and it will
cause the dreaded swirl marks all over your paintwork.
Use a different one for the places where abrasive muck
and grease and brake dust accumulate. Keep one only for
that job and don't mix them up! When washing start
at the top, roof and bonnet (hood?) and work around the
vehicle. Do ONE panel thoroughly and carefully at a time. Do all the
cracks and crevices and the bits where the doors open
etc as fast as you can. The aim is to get all of it done
(washed) as soon as you can so that the first bits you
washed don't get chance to start to dry before rinsing! Now
starting with the top, and then the other body panels as
fast as poss. Get it rinsed with a clean bucket and your
precious rainwater. Its possible to buy rinse aid. I use it
mixed into the rainwater but its not essential. It
should run off your car and leave almost dry panels. If
it doesn't you are either washing it while the
temperature is too warm, or your car needs a re-wax!
provided you washed a totally smooth scratch free properly waxed vehicle, didn't use much of
your "wash and wax detergent" (very few bubbles) used a clean sponge
and rinsed it very fast and chose a nice cool day it will be almost
Much of the water will have literally "fallen" off on to the ground.
It simply cannot stick to your shiny waxed car.
Water will only remain in
the odd crevasses and door shuts and handles etc.
And a few droplets here and
there. However Any water still standing or trapped in bumpers or grills or
window rubbers behind number plates etc will still dry a little streaky or keep
running down the vehicle.
use a wash-leather. No matter how careful you are
they are by their very nature both abrasive and trap
dirt particles and also the dreaded lime scale. Another bad idea! If you want perfect paint
and not have to re-wax or anything do what I did!
yourself a cheap 4 stroke leaf blower! (don't
get a two stroke one because they spit out oily particles!)
It blows the water out of all the cracks, grills and door
shuts, etc very easily!
And after about 4 minutes your car
or van will be dry! Far more effective than any scratchy old
wash-leather! And faster as well as more fun! A blokes wash leather!
Faster and much more effective as it blows water out of all the areas a wash
leather or towel cannot get to. Clears
the drive and garden too!
just to finish off use the next thing you needed to go and
buy, Towels! I bought 6
large soft hand towels on eBay for
about 10 UK pounds. They are great for finishing off and
giving the vehicle a finish off "wipe". Don't buy anything
else because nothing else - not even microfible cloths -
work as well. Buy ones the same colour as your car.
The dust that comes off them cannot be seen when using for
polishing! If you drop one, Throw it away or use it for your house. Or at the
very least don't use until its been washed VERY THOROUGHLY. Dirty
drying and polishing cloths are another reason for all the
fine scratches everybody else's cars seem to have!
Even on a ten year old car I have none at all and
because I keep all the rubber and plastic parts clean
without using lots of detergent they too all look as new.
Detergent is the enemy of most of your car! Use as little as
Waxing your vehicle properly is in part 2 below
Part 1 |