How to Wash a Car

Washing black car with green cloth

Washing your car on a regular basis not only helps keep it looking great on the roads of Guam, but it can also help protect the exterior from damage. However, car washes must be done properly, or they can do more harm than good. The experts at Triple J Guam are here to share tips on how to wash a car properly.

Be Prepared

Does your car need a quick wash, or should you perform a more thorough scrub down? If your car is new, it will probably just need a quick wash and wax. However, if your vehicle is in need of a little more TLC and has been out in the elements for a couple of months without being washed, more attention is probably needed.

Rinse & Wash First

It is a good idea to give your car a good rinse before you begin to wash it. This will help to eliminate loose dirt and debris. For a more thorough wash, use car washing mitts and drying cloths. When you’re done washing the body of the car, you can move on to cleaning the windows. Avoid using any product that contains ammonia, and opt for a product specifically designed for automotive use. For the wheels, you should use a low-strength, acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner to clean the wheels and tires.

Remove Bumps & Apply Rubbing Compound

If you’ve noticed that there are still other contaminants like sap attached to the surface of your car, a clay bar is a great tool to use. Buff away the debris gently before applying a rubbing compound with a dual-action polisher to smooth tiny scratches beneath the surface. To perform this step effectively, you will usually need 2-4 coats of the rubbing compound.

Apply Polish When Necessary

If you would like to apply polish to the exterior, it is best to use a dual-action polisher. The oils in the polish will give your car a sleek, glossy look. For applying the polish, you have the option to use a soft towel or an orbital buffer. While the orbital buffer can help you complete the task quicker, you do not have as much control over what the finished product looks like. Also, keep in mind that if any debris gets between the exterior of your car and the buffer pad, it can lead to scratches.

Apply Wax

In addition to helping your car shine bright on the roads of Guam, car wax is also important for protecting the paint from UV rays. Carnauba and polymer are the two most common types of car wax. Polymer wax is a bit more costly, but it will not haze and you do not have to wait for long periods of time while it sets.

How Often to Wash a Car

Wondering how often to wash a car? The answer to this question really is based on how you drive. If your vehicle is primarily used for short commutes to work or for running errands, washing it every two weeks and waxing it every six months should suffice. If you do a lot of off-roading, It is best to wash the car as soon as possible after any adventure.

Additional Tips for How to Wash a Car

  • Cleaning Supplies: Rather than using hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner, opt for products that are designed to protect your car’s paint. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt when you wash your car.
  • Washing: Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
  • Drying: If you air-dry your car, it can lead to swirl marks. To avoid this, use a chamois or terry cloth towel and hand-dry the surface thoroughly.

Turn to Triple J Guam for Car Care Advice

Do you have additional questions about how to wash a car properly? Do not hesitate to reach out to the team at Triple J Guam. We would also be happy to answer any other questions you may have regarding vehicle care and maintenance or taking care of leather seats. Contact us today for more information.