Car cleaning mistakes that could cost thousands: 10 simple errors to avoid


With the warm summer weather arriving, drivers are eager to spend time restoring their motors. With this in mind, experts at Secure Tools, suppliers of car cleaning products, have revealed the most damaging internet viral car cleaning hacks.

Using abrasive brushes
Scourers and kitchen sponges may be useful in the kitchen, however using them on your motor can cause permanent paint damage, requiring paint correction work costing up to £2,900.
As an alternative, look into automotive polishing products and brushes or sponges specifically designed for car cleaning.

Using washing up liquid
Using washing up liquid can strip away essential wax and oils that protect your car’s paintwork, resulting in fading or discolouration.
Automotive wash is designed to remove harsh dirt without stripping oils and waxes from your car’s paintwork, so it is important to purchase the correct shampoo for your car to avoid expensive paintwork correction.

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Washing the Car in Hot Weather
Avoid washing your car in hot weather or after a long drive when the engine is hot.
Washing your motor in direct sunlight can leave behind substances that adhere to the surface, making them extremely difficult to remove. Instead, select a time of day when the sun is low in the sky or clean your motor out of direct sunlight.

Using Household Disinfectants to Clean the Interior
Household cleaning products contain chemicals that can damage your vehicle’s upholstery and interior surfaces.
Instead, opt for interior sprays or wipes that are designed for car cleaning, avoiding any that contain high levels of alcohol if you have leather seats as this can cause damage to the interior finish and cost up to £1,400 to reupholster.

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Not removing bird faeces immediately
Bird faeces contain a high level of PH that can be extremely damaging to your car’s paintwork.
Instead of using abrasive materials to scrape off the faeces causing further damage, use car shampoo and hot water to soften the dirt before wiping it away.

Not looking after the wheels
Edwin Thomas, Managing Director at Secure Tools, told Express.co.uk exclusively: “Properly cleaning your alloys and the underside of your car is vital to keeping your motor rust-free and looking new.
“For this, you’ll need a pressure washer with an adjustable nozzle, and a bucket and sponge that are only for washing your wheels. Brakes produce metallic dust, and alloys attract stones and grit, so the sponge you use for your wheels shouldn’t go anywhere near the rest of your car!”

Not cleaning the wheel arches and underside of the car
Over time, salt and mud can build up under the vehicle, leading to moisture, which in turn, leads to rust.
Mr Thomas said: “Switch to a low to medium pressure on your pressure washer, and ensure that the brakes have cooled down. Pressure wash the underside of the car, wheel arches, and alloys, removing buildup that causes rust. Then, apply alloy cleaner to your wheels for the suggested amount of time, and wash this off. You can buff the wheels with car wax for additional shine.”

Washing the car in the wrong order
When washing your motor, begin by pre-rinsing it with a pressure washer to remove any excess dirt and then move onto spraying wheel cleaner on the wheels of the vehicle.
When cleaning with car shampoo, you should start from the top and work your way down, cleaning the wheels last.



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