Regularly washing your car is a crucial part of vehicle maintenance that helps preserve its appearance and protect the paintwork from damage or premature failure. However, using improper wash techniques can do more harm than good. In this post, we will cover essential tips and guidelines we use at Bare Knuckles Automotive to help you properly wash and care for your vehicle’s paint.
1. Gather the Right Tools and Products:
Before starting the washing process, gather the necessary tools and products. This includes 2 wash buckets (third for wheels), Soap, microfiber wash mitts, boars hair brushes for the wheels, hose or pressure washer, drying towels and soft microfiber towels. Optional would be a blow drying/ leaf blower for drying which we strongly recommend if your vehicle is protected with a ceramic coating! Avoid using household cleaners or dish soaps, as they can strip away protective wax and damage the paint. Also working in a shaded area with our Georgia heat is highly recommended so that products or water doesn’t dry on the surface.
2. Rinse The Car Thoroughly:
Begin by rinsing the entire vehicle with water to remove loose dirt and debris. Use a hose or pressure washer to ensure a strong stream of water that will help dislodge dirt from the hard to reach areas like wheel wheels and crevices. This step is essential in preventing scrathes during the wash process.
3. Three Bucket Method:
We prefer to use a 3 bucket wash method. Two for the paint: one bucket for clean, soapy water and another for rinsing the wash mitt in clean fresh water. The third bucket will be designated for your wheels as they are the dirtiest part of the vehicle. This method prevents dirt and contaminants fro being transferred back onto the vehicle’s surface. Dip this wash mitt into the clean water before introducing it back into the soap bucket for each panel of your vehicle.
4. Car Wash from Top to Bottom:
Start washing the car from the top and work your way down. This prevents dirty water from running down and potentially staining the already cleaned sections. Use gentle, straight-line motions and avoid aggressive scrubbing or circular motions as this can cause swirl marks and scratches on your paint’s surface. Pay attention to areas prone to accumulating dirt, such as the lower panels, wheel arches, and the rear of the vehicle. I typically like to wash these areas last.
5. Rinse and Dry Properly:
After washing, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove all soaps and cleaners. Ensure all soap suds are gone as they can leave streaks or spots.
[ Conditioning/Protection Optional
If your vehicle is protected with a Modesta Glass Coating apply M4 Conditioner to the WET paint lightly (massage in with a wet wash mitt if needed) and Rinse. If your vehicle is NOT ceramic coated you could use Aensō Aquila as a sealant, Simply spray on while the vehicle is wet, wait 30 seconds before rinsing off (do not let product dry or sit for longer than 2 minutes. But it can be applied to paint, glass, plastics and rubber. ]
Use soft microfiber or drying specific towels like Klin’s Drying Duo towels that have a higher nap to soak up the water without the potential to cause swirls or scratches. For ceramic coated vehicles, a leaf blower or some type of car blower would be the most ideal and fastest way to dry your vehicles, especially the cracks and crevices.
6. Final Wipedown
Once the paint is dried we can then add a protectant like a wax or sealant or use this time to use M2 Maintenance Spray for Modesta Coated vehicles. If your vehicle isn’t ceramic coated, Gleam from Aensō is a great stand alone detail spray.
Products we recommend/use:
Soap: Aensō One
Bug Remover: Aensō Animāte
Wheel Cleaner : Aensō Īsern
Tire Cleaner: Aensō Revolve
Tire Dressing: Aensō Orbit
Detail Spray: Aensō Gleam
Water Application Sealant: Aensō Aquila
M2 : Maintenance Spray
M3 : Water Spot Remover
M4: Coating Conditioner
Wash Mitts: Klin Wash Pad or Softy Series
Wheel Brush: Vikan Wheel Brushes/Carbon Collective Firm Brushes
Or visit our showroom and skip the waiting!
Using these products and methods to care for your vehicle will help minimize the chance for damage to your paintwork and keep it looking like new! If you have any questions about the process or products used, please feel free to reach out to us!