Everyone takes care of their vehicle’s engine, transmission, tires, brakes, and other moving parts, but have you ever given your paint job a thought? Lack of maintenance and care can affect your car’s appearance, making it look old and faded before its time. Washing the vehicle every week or two can keep it looking beautiful and shiny for many years to come!

What will you need for the job?

The right tools — Don’t rely on “any old rag” as the tools for the job, but get your hands on the right equipment:

  1. Squeegee — Nothing cleans windows more efficiently!
  2. Big sponge — The bigger the better!
  3. Bucket — Where else are you going to hold your soapy water for cleaning?
  4. Cotton mitts — These are handy for drying off those last drops of water.
  5. Scrub brush –– DO NOT use on the car; only for use on the rims and tires!

These tools will help you leave your car looking beautiful, but they’re just the first step.

Car washing soap — Have you ever used dishwashing soap to clean your car? BIG MISTAKE! The dish soap can strip off the outer layer of wax protecting your car. The result is a paint job more susceptible to damage, nicks, and stains. DO NOT use dish soap, laundry soap, Ajax, bleach, or anything else abrasive on the vehicle.

Only use special car washing soap! This soap has been formulated specifically for washing vehicles, using only ingredients that will not degrade the wax.

Cleaners/polishes — Once the car is clean, it’s time to give it a polish. Polish can make your car shine, and it’s meant to be applied beneath the layer of wax. Every vehicle care store will sell a wide variety of products, and not all are applied or used the same. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before applying.

Note: If you apply the waxes, soaps, and polishes incorrectly, you can damage the paint job. ALWAYS read the instructions.

Wax —  Wax is the finishing touch that will leave your car looking beautiful, but it will also protect your paint job against damage, dust, and debris. Interestingly enough, there are different types of wax according to the type of vehicle you own. (Consumer Reports has an excellent article on choosing the right wax)

You won’t need to wax your car too often–no more than once every few months. If you apply two coats of wax, it will ensure a smooth, even layer of protection!

Have all these things on hand, and use them regularly to protect your vehicle’s paint job against the elements, collisions, debris, nicks, and damage.

About the Author: Network Auto Body is proud to be the certified collision repair center Los Angeles residents turn to when they want quality repairs and top-notch customer service.