Washing and drying your car often is the best way to maintain the quality and condition of your car paint. It will not only make the exterior look spotless and clean always, but will also improve the longevity of your car and its paint.
After all who doesn’t like to drive a car that looks like new, even after many years of use!
Before going into how to best dry your car, let us also see a bit about car washing.
As you know, washing your car often is a good way to remove all the loose dirt, bird poop and road film from your car’s exterior.
A time-tested and proven way to wash your car is to use the two-bucket wash system. In this system, one bucket contains soap water and the other bucket plain clean water for rinsing. First wash your car with soap water. Take a piece of cloth, wash sponge or mitt and dip it in the soapy water. With this soap water, clean the external surface of your car. Dip as often as you like to keep your cloth/mitt/sponge wet enough to clean the car.
Once you’re done with the first round, wash the cloth/sponge in clean water. Now, you can clean the car with a cloth and wash it off every time to remove the soap water. Alternately, you can hose or pour water on the entire car to clean the soap water. The choice completely depends on what is most comfortable for you.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while washing.
- Never wash the car when it is hot because the water will evaporate quickly and can leave behind water spots.
- Always make it a point to clean your car in a shady place.
- Wash the wheels and tires first as this is where most of the grime and dirt sits.
- Do not use the same water that you used for washing the wheels and tires, to wash your car’s body.
- Buy the right tools needed for giving your car a good clean. Some tools that could come handy are a wheel scrub brush, car shampoo and a fairly long water hose for spraying water on your entire car.
- Never clean your wheels if they are still hot after driving.
With all this, your car is sure to get a good wash. But does it end there?
Not at all because drying your car is another important, and often an overlooked aspect of car maintenance too.
One of the first questions that is sure to come up in your mind is, why should you bother drying your car? Washing it makes sense because you have to remove all the grime and dirt. Can you not let your car to air dry instead of bothering to wipe it down with a microfiber cloth?
Well, if you do that, it is as good as not washing at all. When the water evaporates from your car, it leaves behind water spots that looks ugly, to say the least. Also, these water droplets tend to contain small amounts of dirt and dust left behind from washing, so your car is not completely clean until you dry it.
Sometimes, there is also a possibility of oversight where you may have missed cleaning some part of your car, or you would not have given the best wash to that area. After all, we are all humans and errors and oversights are bound to happen. When you dry your car, you remove those as well, thereby giving your car a nice and clean finish.
Now that you know the importance of drying, let us see how you should do it.
Yes, there is a process involved and you can’t simply take an old towel, wipe down everything and move on, especially if you want to have a clean finish. After all, you have taken the time to wash the car, you might as well spend a few extra minutes in drying to make your effort worthwhile.
Car Drying Process
To dry your car, follow the below steps.
- As a first step, spray water with a hose at medium pressure. Rinse your car one more time by allowing water to flow freely over the car’s surface. But make sure you do not spray water directly on it. This helps to remove any extra grime or dust on it and also removes the water droplets that could contain dirt.
- Allow your car to drip dry for a minute or two. In the meantime, get your drying tools ready.
- It is a good idea to invest in the best microfiber cloth and a good quality squeegee. In fact, if you have a paint-free squeegee, use it on the windows to clean off the water. After removing the water with your squeegee, use the best microfiber cloth to wipe down the windows.
- Use a clean microfiber cloth to dry down the rest of your car. A good practice is to start at the top and work your way down because if oyu do it the other way round, you’ll simply be doing double the work. Imagine you dry the bottom first and when you dry the top part, there is always a possibility for the water at the top to drip down, which means, you’ll have to clean the bottom part again. To avoid this hassle, start at the top and move down.
- While drying, throw the entire microfiber cloth on the car’s surface. Slowly, pull this cloth towards you from the surface of the car. After doing it once, take the towel and shake it vigorously to remove all the water droplets in it. Next, fold your towel into a square for wiping to prevent any streaking incident.
- Once you are done with the exterior part, open the car door and wipe down the sill areas in the car. Again, dry them under the doors, otherwise they will get wet when you close the doors, thereby making you do the same work again!
- Next, move on to the tires and wheels. Use the best microfiber cloth to dry your wheels and tires. Ensure that this towel is different from the one used to wipe down your car because there is always a possibility for this towel to get soiled because of the oil and grease.
- Lastly, open the trunk and wipe down the seals and jambs in it. Also, wipe down your engine compartment with a different cloth because that tends to get soiled as well.
Once you are done drying, put the cloths for washing separately as you don’t want the grease and oil to get mixed with other clothes.
Car Drying Towels
Another important tool required for drying your car is good quality car towels. Unfortunately, all car towels are not made the same, so it is important you know what to buy for your car.
Many of us tend to use our old bathing towels to dry our car. But this is not a good idea at all because these bath towels contain heavy polyester thread that could scratch the surface of your car while drying. In fact, if you do some research, you’ll realize that polyester is stronger than steel and this is why it has found use in many different areas today. So, using an old bath towel is as good as using steel rods to dry your car.
To avoid these hassles, your choice should be a good quality microfiber cloth. There are many grades of microfiber cloth too!
There are heavy duty microfiber cloths for cleaning grease and oils, and this could be an ideal choice for your wheels and tires. The medium duty one is great for dusting and drying, and could be a good choice for drying your car. Lastly, the thin duty microfiber cloth is most ideal for cleaning windows and glass surfaces, and you can use this for cleaning your car windows.
Also, it comes in varying sizes. A rule of thumb is, when you fold the cloth twice, it should cover the palm of your hand.
After washing and drying your car, consider spraying a little wax or protectant to give that extra shiny finish to your car’s exterior. You do not have to do this after every car wash, that is assuming you wash and dry a few times a month. You can add spray this wax coating once every few months or when you feel your car’s surface is looking a little dull. This will make your car look like new.
Overall, washing and drying your car is an important way to protect the exterior car paint from dirt and dust and to give a great look for your car. of course, along with this, your car and its paint will also last a long time.
We hope the above suggestions go a long way in helping you give the perfect wash to your car every time.
- How to Clean a Car With a Microfiber Cloth – howstuffworks