by Pat Goss
We all like to keep our cars looking good for the long haul, and that means in most situations, well, we’re going to wash them about once a week. It’s amazing how many mistakes drivers make when it comes time to wash their cars. But one thing that isn’t a mistake is right here. This is a Grit Guard. Now a Grit Guard sits down into the very bottom of the bucket, and any grit and dirt that comes off of the sponge or the wash mitt, well, it settle through the grit guard and right into the bottom of the bucket. That keeps it from getting back into the sponge or mitt, and that in turns means that it doesn’t damage the car’s finish.
All right, but mistakes, well, here’s a great big mistake. Lots of folks think they’re going to save a few pennies by using dish washing or laundry detergent. Don’t do it. It’s not designed for painted surfaces. All right, what will you do? You’ll go to an auto parts store and you’ll buy a regular car wash detergent. That means that it’s designed specifically to protect the paint on your car.
Here’s another thing you don’t want to do, and that is use a sponge. Sponges have these little pores in them. The little pores collect dirt, and as you’re washing the car, you’re actually sanding the surface of your paint, so not a great idea. Also, things like clothes, especially shop towels which, well, they’re treated with chemicals and they have no place for the dirt to go other than to be rubbed into the surface of the paint. Those are not good ideas either. Wash mitt? Hey, that’s a great idea. But there are differences in mitts. They have different lengths of nap on them. You want one with the longest nap that you can find. The longer it is, the more space there is for the dirt to get away from the finish on the car.
Speaking of using one of these, you know, you’ve probably seen cars, maybe even yours, has all of these little spider web looking, circular things in the paint. You see it especially at night under shopping center lights. Well, that’s caused by your doing this circular business when you’re washing the car. Don’t do it. When you wash the car, start at one end of a panel and go all the way to the other. Rinse out your wash mitt, fresh water, fresh soap, and then again, and you continue through the whole car that way. And that will help prevent that spider web looking finish.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.