Can I just wash my car with water?

There are many different ways how one can clean a car thoroughly, but using just water is not one of them because water is not enough to remove grease from the car’s surface. Furthermore, if you only clean your car with water, you are likely going to cause all sorts of watermarks on the paint.

You need to wash your car regularly in order to make sure your paint stays in a good condition. Some sort of impurities such as bird poop contains acidic properties which can wreak havoc on your car’s paint if not dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

However, there are some instances where you can use pure water to clean your car up. A great example of this is if your car is only mildly dusty or covered with fresh leaves. A power washer can easily remove the dust and debris that has not been situated on the car’s surface for a long time.

All in all, be sure to read this article to find out all the dos and don’ts of car washing such as investing in a quality household-level power washer, which type of tools you should use for the job, and when to clean the car in general.

Do’s of car cleaning – Things to consider to make your life easier

The first thing you need to consider is buying a quality power washer if your state does not prohibit driveway car washing. You should invest in a quality household power washer that does not exceed more than 2000PSI because more than that is bound to damage your paint.

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You should also take great care when it comes to picking the right nozzle for the job as most sub 15-degree nozzles can also cause paint defects even if the PSI level is under 2000PSI. No matter if your state prohibits driveway car washing or not, you should always be conservative with your water consumption.

If you are washing the engine bay, be sure to do it by hand in order not to damage all the intricate electrical components. You should also dry the car by hand by placing microfiber towels on top of the car without gliding to minimize the risk of scratching the paint.

Finally, you should also invest in quality car care products such as snow foam nozzles for your power washer, dedicated car cleaning solutions, brushes for your wheels, and microfiber mitts for the trusty two bucket method.

Don’ts of car cleaning – Things to avoid in order to preserve the paint

Sometimes it’s more important to know what not to do as opposed to what you should not if you want to keep your car’s paint as fresh as possible. As such, be sure to consider all these factors whenever you decide to wash your car in order to make the most out of it.

Be sure not to wash your car during midday or in direct sunlight because this will speed up the drying process which tends to leave all sorts of watermarks and streaks on your car. If the surface of the car is warm to the touch, chances are that the water is going to evaporate before you can dry it out with a towel.

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Also, be sure to avoid using sponges that are not made for car cleaning purposes because they are often designed in a way that enables them to trap lots of dirt within the sponge. This can scratch the car’s paint, so it’s best to avoid it completely.

Don’t use cleaning mixtures that are not designed for car use because they can often contain chemical ingredients which are not fond of car paint. Finally, don’t leave your wheels and tires for the end of your cleaning sessions because they are usually the dirtiest part of the car and should be taken care of first.

Car cleaning frequency – Summer vs Winter

Knowing when to clean the car is arguably more important than knowing how to clean it up because if you don’t do it frequently, it makes no sense to do it all. As such, be sure to clean the car up at least twice per month during the summer.

On the other hand, you should clean the car up even more frequently during the winter depending on how much salt is on the road. The common recommendation is 4-6 times per month. Finally, whenever you encounter acidic impurities on your car such as bird poop, be sure to clean it up whenever you see it to minimize the risks of damaging the paint.

Also, be sure to clean your interior up while you are at it in order to make your car as tidy as possible.

FAQ Section

Can I take my car through an automated car wash?

An automated car wash seems to be the easiest and most time-efficient way how one can clean a car up. However, these are known to use aggressive and large brushes which can damage the surface of the paint easily. It’s best to avoid these if they are not 100% necessary.

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However, not all automated car washes are the same. Some of them are significantly better than others, but such stations also cost considerably more money. The best way to clean the car up is to use the trusted two bucket method which can be easily done by almost everyone.

How much does it cost to get your car professionally cleaned?

It depends on how thorough you want to clean your car, but on average it costs around $50-$100 to do a more basic treatment. If you want to deep clean your car or detail it completely which includes polishing, interior cleaning, trim, and tire cleaning you could pay more than twice as much.

Either way, it makes sense to professionally clean a car up from time to time such as on special occasions or when you want to sell the car.

How long should a full car detail take?

A thorough car detail takes quite a bit of work and that’s why it tends to cost upwards of $200. As such, you are likely going to have to leave your car for up to 5 hours on average. If the detailing shop has lots of traffic, you might even have to leave your car for a day or two.

Be that as it may, if you own a valuable car, it’s best to take your car for a thorough detail from time to time in order to keep it in its optimum condition.

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    Marko Mikulic

    Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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