How to Wash a Car

Washing a car

Washing a car may seem like a basic task, and doing so regularly keeps it looking fresh. But there is more to car washing than meets the eye, as a proper car wash protects your vehicle’s exterior and reveals scratches, dings, and dents you may want to take care of. Keep your new Ford model clean no matter where you drive around Peoria by learning how to wash a car with Mike Murphy Ford! Our experienced service team can help with car washes, decoding dashboard warning lights, and more.

Prepare For Your Wash

First and foremost, determine whether you need a full-fledged cleaning or simply need to quickly wash your car. Most of the time, new cars or those that have recently been waxed and polished simply require a wash and wax. However, if your vehicle has gone without attention for a few months, it may need a more thorough cleaning.

Rinse and Wash

Before you begin the washing process, start with a quick rinse of your vehicle to remove any loose dirt and debris. You can then use car washing mitts and drying cloths to clean the car’s surface, followed by a window cleaning with an ammonia-free solution intended for car use only. From there, use a low-strength, acid-free, pH-balanced aluminum wheel cleaner for the wheels and tires.

Remove Contaminants and Apply Compound

A clay bar helps you buff away contaminants like tree sap that have adhered to your car’s exterior. Feel free to also apply compound with a dual-action polisher. With two to four coats, this can smooth out tiny scratches beneath the surface.

Apply Polish (If Necessary)

Want your car to have a sleek, glossy appearance? Then apply a dual-action polisher using an orbital buffer or soft towel to apply. Keep in mind that orbital buffers might be faster, but they don’t provide the same control as a towel in the finished look of your car. Plus, debris between the pad and your car while the buffer is in motion may result in scratches.

Apply Wax

We all know that wax makes a significant difference to the appearance of your vehicle, turning heads as you cruise the East Peoria streets. But it serves a greater purpose, too, as it protects your car’s paint from UV rays. The most common types of car wax are:

  • Carnauba: Costs a bit more, but doesn’t haze and doesn’t need to set for long periods
  • Polymer: Costs slightly less, but may haze and may need a longer set time

How Often to Wash a Car

Wondering how often to wash a car? Ultimately, this depends on your driving habits, as well as your preferences? If you simply commute to and from Pekin, for example, try to wash your car every few weeks and give it a wax every six months. However, if you take your new Ford F-250 off-roading, clean it as soon as you can when you return home.

Tips on How to Wash a Car

Keep the following in mind every time that you endeavor to wash a car:

  • Cleaning Supplies: Avoid household supplies like dishwashing soap, hand soap, or glass cleaner. Instead, use solutions designed for car washing to protect your paint, and use a natural sponge or wool mitt to apply the solutions.
  • Washing: Lather your car with soap and rinse the sponge with fresh water as you go through each component: car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
  • Drying: Avoid air-drying your car. This often causes swirl marks. Rather, use a chamois or terry towel to hand-dry the surface.

Get More Car Care Tips from Mike Murphy Ford!

Do you have any questions about how to properly wash a car? Need additional tips, like how to clean car floor mats or how to clean leather car seats? Mike Murphy Ford in Morton is here for you! Along with car care advice, our service department provides certified auto repairs and maintenance whenever you need it. Take advantage of our current service specials while you’re here!

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