External car wash

auto välipesuA car wash is not a luxury but a necessity.

What should you do when even after the most careful car wash dirt stains that could not be removed with car wash shampoo remain on the external surface of the car, the front bumper is still covered with insect splatters, which is the result of speed, the roof is covered with bird droppings and resin fallen from poplars sticks hard on the surface, the lower edges of the doors and wings are covered with bitumen and cement splashes?

If this type of dirt is not duly removed, as a minimum permanent stains of different colour and size will develop on the paintwork of the car. But also major damages can occur – bird droppings and insect splatters can corrode the lacquer paint. The lacquer paint of the car is damaged by sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions emitted by industry. Upon contact with water these emissions form sulphur and nitrogen acids, which cause spots when falling on the paint coating. But how much metal dust is created during the friction of brake discs and all this dust falls on the painted body parts of a car … It is so much that all these damages can be felt with the hand when hand washing the car.

Remember! A well maintained lacquer paint coating is as smooth as glass. And vice versa – an oxidized, soiled paintwork resembles a fine sandpaper.

Important to know!
Important to know!

What you should know about a car wash:

  • Water, snow, sleet, etc., slide easily off from the clean paintwork of the car but dirt on the unwashed car absorbs water, keeps it inside and in addition attracts additional dirt. Considering the fact that besides mud there might also be different chemical reagents on the road (especially in winter), the prolonged impact of water may speed up the corrosion process in various parts of the body.
  • In case you wash the car with a pressure washer, never point the nozzle too close to the paintwork! Otherwise you may damage the paintwork, especially if there are micro damages on the surface!
  • But in case there are stickers or other elements on the car body and these are covered with a film, these areas must always be washed cross-wise to the body. Otherwise there is a risk that this sticker will be washed off or water can penetrate under the sticker and eventually the sticker may come off.
  • Do not use dish washing liquids – these will make surfaces treated with lacquer paint matte.
  • Mud, sand, salts, etc., tend to accumulate mostly on the inside surfaces of the wheel arches. Due to this a thick, wet layer is formed on the surface, which stays there for weeks. This in turn means disastrous impact on the paintwork and metal.
  • A high-pressure water-jet accesses even such areas, which in a car wash with brushes remain untouched.

Thanks to this knowledge you can wash your car yourself by using correct techniques or professionally inspect the work of car washers or car detailers and to avoid damages to the car.

Important! Never rub, even not with your finger, paintwork of your car when it is not washed. Otherwise you may cause scratches on the surface that can only be removed by means of polishing.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How often should I wash my car and should I wash it at all?
It depends on circumstances but normally it is sufficient once per week. But it might even be enough with once per month if this is followed by a lacquer paint finishing.

How should I wash the car with matte paint or that is covered with matte film?
Wash as usually but it is important not to use shampoos that contain wax and do not use drying waxes after washing.

Why do some cars have bright gloss when some are somewhat dull even after washing?
Gloss is characterised by reflection of light and the gloss depends on the reflection of light from the surface, which takes place at the same time with dissipation of reflection.

My car got spotted with cement splashes. Now these are dry and I cannot wash them off. Can these splashes be somehow removed?
To remove cement splashes you should never start polishing these off, since there is a high risk that you will cause more scratches. For removing lime and cement splashes use special chemical substances that do not cause mechanical impact and will not damage the paintwork of your car.

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Hand Car Wash Guide:

Let’s start with the most economical type of washing – hand wash. Give the car an overall rinse starting from the top. This way sand particles and debris will be removed, which would otherwise leave scratch marks on the paint surface. Washing product should be chosen according to the sensitivity of the lacquer coating and the type of the lacquer protective product (wax or lacquer protection). For sensitive and darker lacquer coatings use soft sponges made of natural or artificial material. For light and less sensitive lacquer coatings an ordinary car sponge may be used. For removing dirt such as insects or resin sticking on the lacquer coating use a piece of cloth made of microfibers. Attention – this will also remove soft and sensitive waxes.

For hand washing you need two buckets. One with hot water and shampoo and the other with plain water. The other bucket is for rinsing the sponge or cloth. In this way minimum dirt will be dissolved on the surface and no stains will remain after drying. Wet the sponge/cloth properly with shampoo water and start with washing horizontal surfaces, starting from the roof. Do not use excessive force during washing and before dipping the sponge in the shampoo water rinse it in the bucket filled with plain water.

Pro Tip: rinsing the washed areas immediately with plain water prevents appearance of stains of the shampoo or remaining dirt during drying.

When all horizontal surfaces have been rinsed with water, wash all vertical surfaces using the same method as described above. Finally rinse the entire car with plain water. An ordinary hose without a spray nozzle will leave less water drops on the surface and the car dries better and more quickly.

Important to know: before drying ensure that the surface is clean from insects, tar stains and other debris. These can be easily removed from the wet surface with cleaning paste. In case the surface you want to clean is already dry, spray some water on it from a spray bottle.

For final drying use a traditional chamois or sponge cloth. The latter absorbs 2-3 times more water than leather and can also be used in summer, when unwiped water droplets may leave spots when drying. Cloths made of microfibers are ideal for drying or final drying sensitive lacquer coated surfaces.

By following our tips no spots should remain on the car body. Choosing correct washing tools and shampoo ensures that the protective wax or lacquer protective product gives longer protection to the surface.