Keeping Your Car Clean – An Expert Guide

18th May 2022

Keeping your car clean isn’t just about making it look good, and giving you something to do on a Sunday afternoon. Cleaning your car may help your car retain value, as well as some other surprising safety benefits.

Milton Keynes Mechanic

In this article, we cover all the basics of car cleaning, including:

  • Why cleaning your car is necessary
  • How to clean your car like a pro (exterior and interior)
  • Why cleaning your car improves safety and performance

If you find the article helpful, please share it, and if you’re looking for a car servicing and MOT specialist in Milton Keynes, contact Quality Car Service today.

Why Cleaning Your Car Is Necessary

Whether you use a professional car washing service or do it yourself, cleaning your car isn’t just about making it shiny and smelling fresh, it has other key benefits, including:

  • It protects the paint –If you don’t have a regular washing regime in place, over time dirt such as bird excrement, grit and sand etc, reacts with the paint and gradually creates stains and blemishes.

  • It protects the interior –Even if you don’t have young children or pets, your car's interior can get quite mucky, and much of that dirt, especially on the carpets can get ground in, making it more difficult to remove, and giving the inside of your car a pungent scent.

  • It helps protect the car's value – While this is not guaranteed as other factors will affect the value of your car, it stands to reason that if you do your best to look after the paintwork and the interior of your car, when it comes to selling it, your car should retain more of its value.

How To Clean Your Car Like A Pro

It shouldn’t be hard to clean your car, but to do a thorough job, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. Below we’ve broken the method down into 4 simple steps. Follow them closely, and you’ll never do it wrong again!

The Exterior

  • Rinse

    It doesn’t matter if you use a common garden hose or the Jet-Wash 3000, just make sure you give the car a good rinse to get rid of all the grit and grime, before even contemplating soaping up.

  • Soap

    We say soap, but really you’re going to need a good car shampoo, with added lubricants. WARNING: Stay away from detergents, such as washing up liquid, as it’s designed to cut through grease, and over long periods will eventually cut through your lovely paint job.

    For best results, use lukewarm water in a clean bucket, and follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle carefully, for how many parts shampoo to water to use.

    When it comes to your sponge, it’s worth splashing out a bit, and buying one that’s soft, non-abrasive and durable, and designed especially for washing cars.

    When applying the shampoo, work from the top down, so the water and dirt don’t run down across the bits you’ve already cleaned.

  • Rinse as you work

    The reason for doing this is so you don’t leave stubborn soap marks, and also, so you’re not just pushing dirt from one place to another.

  • Dry

    You’ll be surprised how many people skip the drying bit, especially if it’s a hot summer's day. But, drying once you’ve rinsed off is vital to ensure you don’t leave mineral-heavy watermarks, that over time will dull the shine.

    To dry thoroughly, use a clean, slightly damp, microfibre cloth or chamois leather. Dry gently, and make sure to rinse the cloth or chamois in pure water regularly, to prevent dirt from collecting and causing unnecessary abrasions.

  • Clean the exterior windows

    At this point, it’s time to clean the windows. You don’t have to go too specialist here, just make sure you use a lint-free microfibre cloth, and a non-smear glass cleaning solution.

    Clean in a circular motion, and don’t scrimp on cloths if one gets too dirty to continue using.

  • Polishing

    Not everyone has the time or inclination to give the car a polish, once they’ve used up their energy washing and rinsing. But, finishing with a polish, really is beneficial to the look and the overall health of your paintwork.

    Most good car polishes work by removing a microscopic layer of paint, and in doing so helps to remove oxidation, water spots, minor scratches, and other impurities that can dull the paintwork over a long period.

The Interior

Cleaning the interior of your car is just as important as cleaning the exterior, and just like the exterior, there is a right way and a wrong way. Follow the steps below to get it right every time.

  • Take out the rubbish

    Clear the carpets, the seats, the dashboard, the boot, the footwells, and anywhere else you have visible rubbish or debris too big for the vacuum to handle.

  • Shake the mats off

    If you have removable mats, take them out and give them a good shake to get rid of most of the dirt and grit, and clean them if necessary.

  • Vacuum

    With a clear area, get vacuuming, and utilise the different tools on the vacuum cleaner to make sure you get into every nook, particularly down by the pedals.Pro Tip: Use a clean, soft paint brush to loosen dirt trapped in the air vents.

  • Wipe down

    Whether you buy special car interior wipes or use a microfibre cloth with a car specific spray, give every surface a good wipe over.

  • Clean interior windows

    Just like the exterior windows, use a specific, non-smearing glass cleaner to clean and polish the interior windows.

Why cleaning your car can improve safety and performance

It might sound a bit unlikely, but by keeping your car clean you can really improve the safety and performance of certain components of your car. Components include:

  • Windscreen wipers –By ensuring you carefully clean each blade, you’ll remove built-up dirt and grease, helping you get a smear-free swish when the next downpour comes.

  • Footwell – By making sure you remove all the debris from the footwell, you remove the chance of something getting jammed in the pedal mechanism.

  • Brake discs –By directing the jet hose at your brake discs, you help to remove the build-up of brake pad dust, and other road dust, therefore helping to improve braking performance.

Mechanic, Milton Keynes

If you’re looking for a mechanic and MOT specialist in Milton Keynes, look no further than Quality Car Service. We provide all the services you need, to help you get the best out of your car or van all year round. Book your appointment today using our handy online booking form.