Five mistakes to avoid when spring cleaning your car

Individual washing red car with sponge and soap

Spring has sprung and the days are getting warmer, which means it’s time to make sure you’re giving your car some TLC. But before you whip out the bucket and sponge, here are five key mistakes you need to learn to avoid when washing your car.

The right way to clean


  1. Stay away from washing-up liquid

Let’s admit it. Some of us may have used washing-up liquid to clean our car when we couldn’t find any car shampoo, but this is something we shouldn’t be doing.

Cleaning your car with washing up liquid can strip the wax and oils that protect the paintwork, causing the colour to fade. As a consequence, you’ll have to have your car resprayed, which can cost hundreds of pounds.

Stick to using car shampoo, even if it means taking the time out to go and buy some at the last minute.

  1. Don’t use harsh materials to dry

When you’re removing dried dirt from the exterior of your car, don’t use a Brillo pad or even a towel as this can damage the paintwork and create small scratches.

Instead, you should use a dry micro-fibre cloth – which you can buy from any supermarket – to mop up residual water.

  1. Get out on a cool day

Many of us wait to wash our car on a sunny day so we don’t have to stand outside in the cold.

On a hot day, heat can cause soap and water to dry very quickly, creating water spots that are difficult to wash off. That’s why it’s often preferable to wash your car on a day when the weather is slightly cooler.

If you absolutely have to wash your car on a hot day, make sure it is in the shade.

  1. Bleach isn’t the solution

When cleaning the inside of your car, you’ll want to make sure you remove as much dirt as possible from the seats. But remember, household disinfectant can ruin your upholstery.

So, what should you use instead? If you’ve got cloth seats, start by vacuuming any debris, then spray a solution of hot water, white vinegar and a dash of washing up liquid into the fabric. Scrub this in with a soft brush and your seats will be looking brand new.

This white vinegar solution can also clean leather seats, but be careful to avoid soaking the seats completely. Spray some on the seats, leave it to dry naturally, and then finish off with a specialised leather conditioner.

  1. Pay attention to the wheels

The dirtiest parts of your vehicle will always be the wheels and tyres.

So, you’ll want to pay special attention while cleaning them. Start by hosing them down with a pressure washer, which can remove loose dirt very quickly. Then, get stuck in with a wet sponge to clean away any stuck-on residue.

Finally, when it comes time to scrub dirt out of the nooks and crannies of your alloys, an old toothbrush comes in handy.

Helping your car and your pocket

By avoiding these mistakes, and taking the time to clean your car properly, you’ll save yourself from having to pay money to fix any damages.

Duncan McClure-Fisher, CEO at MotorEasy says: “Regular maintenance of the interior and exterior of your vehicle will help avoid paintwork issues such as rusting and staining on the seats which may require specialist attention.”

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