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Car Maintenance Tip 12: Keeping Up Appearances

As tempting as it is to wait for the rain to wash your car, regular maintenance of your vehicle’s appearance is essential. Beyond vanity’s sake, keeping your car clean prevents the buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt that wear away at the finish over time.

Read on for tips on getting the best at-home wash:

Appearance maintenance
  • Choose a shady spot or wash on a cloudy day. If your car is too hot, the water will evaporate quickly and leave unsightly spots.
  • Use car wash shampoo or soap. It’s made specifically for automotive vehicles, so it cleans better than dish soap.
  • Start with the wheels and treat them with extra care. Since they are the closest to the road, they are subjected to the most dirt and damage.
  • Then wash from the top down, rinsing the car often. End with a rinse of free flowing water to allow the water to sheet off the car.
  • Pay attention to the inside as well. Vacuum floors, fabric upholstery, mats and under seats. Scrub and rinse rubber mats and wipe down all hard surfaces with a damp cloth.
  • For windows, use glass cleaner and crumpled newspaper to polish the inside and outside.

Finally, to combat the effects of acid rain, rust-inducing salts and corrosive brake dust, the B&W team recommends washing once a week and polishing every 6 months.