Essential Accessories For Spring Clean-Up

Making your car look its best is easy, if you have the right tools. The key is knowing what to bring out with the wash bucket.

“Getting a great-looking car doesn’t take a lot of time. You just need to follow some simple steps,” said Richard Stewart Gainer, senior test technician at Black Coral and Black Magic.

Use a terrycloth, microfiber towel or sponge made specifically for vehicles. This will help prevent scratching. Rinsing with a heavy spray tends to leave behind large droplets. Also, left-over suds can cause spotting.

A tire brush removes the browning that causes tires to look dull. Apply a tire dressing to compliment the luster of painted surfaces.

Here are some of Gainer’s tips to remember when washing your vehicle:

  • Dark-colored vehicles show dust accumulation quickly. Apply a spray wax detailer every two or three weeks and a carnauba-based wax every three months.
  • Clean tires and wheels last. Brake dust damages painted surfaces--do not use the same cloth, sponge or contaminated water on the vehicle exterior.
  • Apply a carnauba-based wax every three months to protect painted surfaces. Silicon-based products tend to create a smeared appearance on black or dark-colored vehicles.
  • Use a spray detailer every two to three weeks. It maintains the high gloss shine in between major wax applications. It also prevents contaminants such as bird droppings, road tar and tree sap from creating staining your vehicle exterior.
  • Remove road tar quickly. It is abrasive and causes stains that show up readily on dark surfaces. Tar-removal products soften it and make it easier to remove without damaging paint.
  • Avoid harsh solvents such as detergents. Dish soap or household cleaners can permanently damage paint and rubber surfaces.
  • Use separate tools for separate tasks. The tool wiping brake dust off your wheels shouldn’t also be used on the upholstery or dashboard.