Car wash


car-wash-2Did you know that (statistically at least) you as a South African take exceptionally good care of your car? According to a survey conducted at the end of 2012, the cars South Africans drive are among the cleanest in the world, with motorists in Northern Cape leading on the national level.


The importance of keeping your car clean goes beyond aesthetics. It helps your vehicle retain its value because dirt, acid rain, tree sap, bird droppings, dead bugs and other undesirable particles that cling to your car can dull the paint, corrode the metal and make it more vulnerable to rust.


Though many motorists often opt fo having their cars cleaned for them, every now and then you may want to soap and sponge your beloved machine with your own hands. It’s fun (if not done too often). On top of that, anything that makes you do some physical activity outdoor is good for you.


So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to it!


What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Rubber gloves (to protect your hands)
  • A clean spongy cloth or two for soaping and for rinsing
  • A clean, lint-free, absorbent cloth for drying
  • Clay bar (optional)
  • Proper auto washing soap (dish washing liquid is too harsh!)
  • A wad of newspapers for the windows
  • Tire protectant

How to do it:

  • If your car is very dirty, spray it your car with a hose to remove loose particles. Alternatively, superficially go over all surfaces with a sponge well-soaked in clean water.
  • Apply the soap, and don’t rub too hard, because this might scratch the paint.
  • Rinse well; again, either with a hose or using a bucket of clean water and a sponge
  • Dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  • Now, turn to the windows. Basically, they are already clean (you did not skip them in the previous steps, did you?!). You only need to give them that perfect streakless transparency. For this, crumble a black-and-white page of a daily newspaper and wipe the glass with it in a circular motion. You may need to wet the glass first a little with clean water, so keep a clean damp cloth in the other hand.
  • Noticed any tree sap drops on your car? Automotive clay bar should help. Use according to instructions.
  • The wheels and mags (which are already clean too!) might need a lick of tire protectant. Do follow the instructions to the letter!
  • The last, and according to many the most difficult step, is cleaning the inside. It involves bagging all the litter and putting away CDs, sunglasses, etc. Once you do that, take out the (and clean) the floor mats, vacuum everywhere, wipe the dashboard and the leather seats, and clean the windows from the inside.


Whew! Now step back and enjoy. Your passengers should not moan if you decide to carry a doormat around and make them wipe their feet on it before entering your sparkling car.