5 Jan 2021

Give your Car a New Year Clean

The continued restrictions mean more opportunities to get things sorted on the home front, and that includes keeping your car winter-proofed so it’s ready to hit the open road when you can. If you’ve got kids loitering at home because they can’t go back to school, it’s a great chance to get them involved too.

Wash it the right way

While it might be more motivating to wash the car on warm, bright days, the sun and heat can leave unsightly streaks, so the winter is a better time to do it and because of the weather, your car needs it more.

Evans Halshaw recommends washing your car every two weeks during the winter and having the following at the ready before you start:

  • Wheel cleaner
  • Pressure washer
  • Pre-cleaner
  • Wash mitt
  • Fresh water in a bucket
  • Car shampoo mixture in a bucket
  • Microfibre cleaning cloth
  • Car polish
  • Car wax

Firstly, soak the wheels in the wheel cleaner for a short while before pressure washing that off. Exercise caution if using a pressure washer around your tyres, especially if they're older as the AA advises that they have been known to cause older tyres to explode in the most extreme cases.

Next apply pre-cleaner to the bodywork which breaks up road and weather contaminants like salt, insects, tar, and sap.

Following this, the 'two-bucket method' can begin, working from the top down, and not forgetting to open the doors and boot to get the edges clean;

Rinse the wash mitt in the freshwater bucket before doing the same in the bucket filled with car shampoo mixture. Wash a panel or section of the car bodywork and repeat the process until the whole car is clean, using the pressure washer to rinse away the shampoo once applied.”

This method ensures dirt that gets onto the wash mitt is rinsed off between applications, so that small bits of grit are less likely to be scratched into the paint as they will fall to the bottom of the freshwater bucket.

The next step is drying with a microfibre cleaning cloth followed by polishing to a shine.

Finally, it is worth taking the extra time to wax. This provides a protective barrier over the paintwork and wheels and means the efforts of your hard work will last longer especially in the harsh winter weather.

The inside

Firstly, remove any rubbish from your car as well as personal items, to ensure they aren’t sucked up while you vacuum.

Next, the vacuuming; try to get into every nook and cranny, particularly underneath the seats and in the seatbelt holes.

Following that, use an electrostatic cloth to clear all of the hard surfaces of dust, crumbs, and other debris. Get stuck into the air vents and other hard-to-reach areas too.

Use a small brush and soapy water and clean the pedals; it is worth putting a towel down first so that your carpet doesn’t get damp.

Finally, the windows; a simple glass cleaner and paper towel combination is best. Spray the glass cleaner directly onto the paper towel, rather than onto the glass surface avoiding damaging other surfaces with the spray.

We all know how frustrating it is when you are ready to set off and the inside of the car is too misted up to be safely driven. So, taking a minute to apply an anti-fog solution to the inside of windows, as well as ensuring the interior is kept as dry as possible by getting rid of excess water or snow before entering the car is well worth it. Let's face it, you'll be raring to go!

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