Car care experts are offering tips for car owners when they grab a bucket and sponge to give their car some much-needed TLC this summer.
1. Cool shade and cold water. Wash the car in the shade to avoid the suds drying out and leaving stubborn and unsightly residues on hot paintwork. A quality car shampoo will work just as well in cold water as in hot water, but won’t dry as quickly. Rinse the suds and dry with a fine micro-fibre cloth for a brilliant shine. And remember – washing-up liquid is best avoided because it will strip away the protective layers of wax or polish.
2. Wax for a lasting shine. Waxing the car after washing enhances and prolongs the shine. It protects the bodywork against strong sunlight that can cause paint to fade, and will make cleaning the car easier for months afterwards. Spray-on wax is easier and quicker to use than a hard wax, and should protect the car until the autumn.
3. Banish bird lime and bugs. In the summer months, cars can get peppered with bird lime and bug splats. Bird lime in particular can cause damage to paintwork if not quickly removed, and like splattered bugs can be harder to remove as the sun bakes the deposits onto the paint. Removing these contaminants regularly will help prevent damage and save on elbow-grease later.
4. Love leather and keep fabrics free of grit. Leather upholstery can dry out in prolonged hot temperatures, leading to discoloration and cracking. Keep it supple with a nourishing leather feeder. Also, be sure to mop up spills to avoid stains and stop odours baking into fabric seat fibres. Vacuum any dirt and beach sand from seats and carpets to prevent scuffs and accelerated wear.
5. Freshen the interior in a flash. A weekly squirt and wipe with a plastic replenisher will keep the dash and door panels clean. It will also give your car a lasting subtle fresh scent in place of the musty, dusty smell that can blight interiors in the hot summer months.
6. Sun cream is for skin, not car surfaces. From SPF 4 to 50, the chemical formulation in sun cream can leave stubborn white stains on the paintwork and dashboard that can seem impossible to shift. Take extra care to avoid leaving behind long-lasting white splashes and fingerprints. Should the worst happen, paintwork that has been protected by a quality wax will be much easier to clean.
“Washing a car seems straightforward enough, but we repeatedly see people making harder work of it than they need to and it can be disheartening if the result doesn’t seem worth the effort,” said John Boseley, the Managing Director of Diamondbrite, a provider of vehicle paint and interior protection. “Our simple tips will help motorists spend less time and effort and achieve a super summer shine.”