A study has revealed the most common car cleaning mistakes motorists should avoid to steer clear of expensive repair bills.
With this in mind, experts at Secure Tools, suppliers of car cleaning products, have revealed the most damaging internet viral car cleaning hacks.
1 – Using Abrasive Brushes
Scourers and kitchen sponges may be useful in the kitchen, however using them on your motor can cause permanent paint damage, requiring paint correction work costing up to £2,900.
As an alternative, look into automotive polishing products and brushes or sponges specifically designed for car cleaning.
2 – Using Washing Up Liquid
Using washing up liquid can strip away essential wax and oils that protect your car’s paintwork, resulting in fading or discolouration.
Automotive wash is designed to remove harsh dirt without stripping oils and waxes from your car’s paintwork, so it is important to purchase the correct shampoo for your car to avoid expensive paintwork correction.
3 – Washing the Car in Hot Weather
Avoid washing your car in hot weather or after a long drive when the engine is hot.
Washing your motor in direct sunlight can leave behind substances that adhere to the surface, making them extremely difficult to remove. Instead, select a time of day when the sun is low in the sky or clean your motor out of direct sunlight.
4 – Using Household Disinfectants to Clean the Interior
Household cleaning products contain chemicals that can damage your vehicle’s upholstery and interior surfaces.
Instead, opt for interior sprays or wipes that are designed for car cleaning, avoiding any that contain high levels of alcohol if you have leather seats as this can cause damage to the interior finish and cost up to £1,400 to reupholster.
5 – Not Removing Bird Faeces Immediately
Bird faeces contain a high level of PH that can be extremely damaging to your car’s paintwork.
Instead of using abrasive materials to scrape off the faeces causing further damage, use car shampoo and hot water to soften the dirt before wiping it away.
6 – Visiting an Automatic Car Wash
It may seem like the easy and inexpensive option to take your vehicle to the nearest automatic car wash, however, these systems are often old and not properly maintained.
Hand washing your vehicle is far better for keeping it clean and damage-free.
7 – Using One Bucket
Using one bucket can make your microfibre mitt become full of excess grit, which can scratch the surface of your vehicle’s paintwork resulting in up to £135 spent correcting it.
Instead, use two buckets, one with car shampoo and hot water and the other with clean hot water to rinse the wash mitt.
8 – Leaving the Car to Dry Naturally
Leaving your car to dry naturally can result in water marks, making your car’s paintwork appear dull.
Polishing the exterior of your car with a microfiber drying cloth or leather is essential for avoiding stains.
9 – Avoiding Cleaning the Wheel Arches and Underside of the Car
Over time, salt and mud can build up under the vehicle, leading to moisture, which in turn, leads to rust.
Wheel arches require a good wash with a pressure washer and foam every time you wash your car.
10 – Washing the Car in the Wrong Order
When washing your motor, begin by pre-rinsing it with a pressure washer to remove any excess dirt and then move onto spraying wheel cleaner on the wheels of the vehicle.
When cleaning with car shampoo, you should start from the top and work your way down, cleaning the wheels last.
Edwin Thomas, Managing Director at Secure Tools, said, “When cleaning both the exterior and interior of your car you should carefully consider which products are most suitable for the job, avoiding abrasive substances and materials.
“Always use the correct automotive cleaning products to avoid damaging the upholstery, interior surfaces and paintwork of your car.
“Car cleaning mistakes can often lead to hefty repair bills requiring specialist attention.
“Washing your car on a hot summer’s day can affect the overall finish, causing build-up which can result in the vehicle’s paintwork appearing dull. Try washing your car once the engine has cooled and if possible, in the shade or when the sun is low in the sky, earlier in the morning or later in the evening.