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The Dos and Don’ts of Getting a Car Wash

A clean car not only looks good, but it also maintains the vehicle’s integrity, ensuring longevity and sustained resale value. However, washing a car isn’t just about splashing some water and soap on it. There are specific dos and don’ts that can make a world of difference. Let’s explore them!

Do’s of Getting a Car Wash

  • Do Use Automotive Soap: Always use cleaners designed for cars. They are formulated to be gentle on car paint while effectively removing dirt and grime.
  • Do Rinse Before Washing: Ensure you rinse the car with water before applying soap. This helps in washing off loose dirt and reducing the chances of scratching the paint.
  • Do Use the Two-Bucket Method: If hand washing, use one bucket for clean, soapy water and another for rinsing the mitt. This way, you’re less likely to transfer dirt back to the car.
  • Do Dry Your Car Properly: After washing, always dry your car using a microfiber towel or a chamois. This helps prevent water spots caused by minerals in the water.
  • Do Wash Your Wheels and Tires: These areas are exposed to harsh contaminants like brake dust, which can be corrosive. Specialized wheel cleaners can make this task easier.
  • Do Opt for a Quality Wax: A good wax doesn’t just make your car look good; it provides a protective layer against contaminants.

Don’ts of Getting a Car Wash

  • Don’t Use Household Cleaners: Avoid dish soap, laundry detergent, or any other household cleaners. These can strip the protective wax off your car and might damage the paint over time.
  • Don’t Wash in Direct Sunlight: Washing in the sun can cause the soap to dry quickly, leading to water spots and making it harder to rinse off contaminants.
  • Don’t Forget the Undercarriage: Especially in winter, salt and other contaminants can stick to the undercarriage. Many car washes offer undercarriage cleaning, so consider this, especially during the colder months.
  • Don’t Neglect the Interior: While the exterior is essential, the interior of your car also needs attention. Vacuum and wipe down surfaces to keep the inside fresh and clean.
  • Don’t Drag the Hose Over the Car: If using a hose, be careful not to drag it over the car. The hose can pick up dirt and debris, which can scratch the paint.
  • Don’t Use a Single Bucket: As mentioned earlier, the two-bucket method is more effective. Using a single bucket increases the chances of dirt and grime getting back onto your car.


A proper car wash is a blend of using the right products, following the right techniques, and avoiding common pitfalls. By adhering to these dos and don’ts, you’ll ensure your vehicle remains in pristine condition, ready to shine on the road!

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