One of the lovely things about summer is that the evenings and weekends are longer and (hopefully!) sunnier. So if you love keeping your car clean and shiny, you’ve got more time to do it in the light. After all, it’s no fun giving your car a polish when it’s pitch black and freezing outside.
Below are our top car cleaning tips to help keep your car gleaming all year long.
Which car cleaning method do you need?
If your car is fresh off the forecourt, it may only need a wash and a wax, but most older cars will also need a polish.
What should you use to clean your car?
Use separate microfibre cloths for paintwork, windows and wheels. Buy special car detergents rather than using household soaps and bleaches. If you’re using chemicals, read the label carefully as some will be ok for certain areas but may cause serious corrosion to others. Follow the usage guides carefully to ensure the best possible finish.
How should you wash your car?
Give it a good rinse all over to begin with. This should get rid of any surface dust and dirt. Then take a cloth and use car wash soap to clean it, working in circular motions all the way round. If there are any stubborn patches, you can use a clay bar to remove them.
What do you do if your car is scratched?
If your car’s a bit scratched up, use a compound with a specialised pad to work it into the paint surface. You may need to apply the compound several times to get the desired effect, so leave plenty of time for this.
Do I need to polish it?
Polishing is optional, but it will enhance the colour and gloss of your paintwork. You can apply it by hand or with a dual-action polisher. Polish should be applied before any wax treatment.
Why do I need to wax my car?
Wax will really help to protect your paintwork, preventing fading and preserving your gloss, so it’s well worth applying it during your car cleaning extravaganza!
How do I clean the windows?
It’s important that your windows are clean so that they look nice and – more importantly – so that you can see out of them! Again, avoid using domestic window cleaning products and opt for a car window cleaner. Use circular motions when applying and wipe them down twice with a clean cloth to get rid of any residue.
What’s the best way to clean my wheels?
Some of the products avialble for use on wheels are pretty harsh and could potentially strip the paint off your alloys. Check what type of wheels you have and make sure you use a suitable cleaning product. Once you’ve cleaned your wheels, you can shine them up so that they really catch the light as you cruise around in the summer sun.
What about the interior?
If you’re serious about having a clean car, you’ll want to valet the inside as well as cleaning the outside. It’s all very well having a shiny exterior, but what happens if you need to give someone a lift? Clear all the junk out of the car and give it a good vacuum. Remove mats and vacuum them before replacing. Polish the interior, give the windows a wipe and pop an air freshener in for that clean car smell!
Get a FREE* valet at selected IN ‘n’ OUT locations.
If that all sounds like a lot of effort and you’d rather be sitting in a pub garden or out for a long walk in the country with the family, we have some good news for you. If you book in for an MOT & Service Combi, you can get a free valet at selected IN‘n’OUT locations! That way you can make sure you engine is as healthy as you car looks on the outside!