I hate washing my car. I love my car to smithereens; I love my big, black and beautiful car. But still, I hate washing time. I have found myself a perfect carwash that gives Dark Angel (that’s my car’s name), a perfect wash. However, once in a while, I make time to wash the car myself and show some tender loving care. If you have a new black car, you will be delighted to learn that you have a new baby. You have to be extra careful with every little move you make. Every careless move shows on the body of your car. You are going to be constantly punished painting, waxing and buffing sessions.
A couple of weeks ago, my four-year-old son decided to surprise me while I was napping, with a car wash. She used a rough cloth that had my beloved car looking all scratched up and with horrible swirls everywhere. I didn’t cry, I mean sure I shed a couple of tears when she wasn’t looking. What I wanted to do was wail long and loud and asks her to pay for the horrible damage.
One thing you need to understand about owning a black car is that everything on your car’s body shows, every scratch, every dent or even flaking off. But why? Because under that black exterior, is a white/silverfish body that hugely contrasts against the black color. Armed with this knowledge, learn how to clean your car without causing any damage to its beautiful body. I’ve learnt the hard way with Dark Angel. I could write dozens of memoirs on the garage visits and numerous paint jobs we’ve been through, but today is not the day.
There are a few ways to wash your car and leave no scratches on it.
Hose it down.
When we were kids, my dad let us wash his car with a hose, Saturday morning. He said never to touch his car exterior with anything but water from the hose. We’d hose down the car in five minutes and spend the next hour hosing each other down. Life is fun when you are a kid who doesn’t own a black car to take care of. Anyway, I learned from my dad that hosing down a car and letting it dry in the sun is a perfectly proper and acceptable way to wash your car.
If you are a clean freak who loves to scrub up on everything to be sure it is clean, then you can start your cleaning right after hosing. Using a high-pressure hose to clean off the loose dirt works best. If your hose at home is not high pressured, you may opt to use one at the car wash. Grinding grit into your car’s surface is what you do when you use a cloth before hosing. All it does is make fine scratches and horrible swirls on the body. After you have hosed it down and cleaned it up well, leave it out to dry under the sun, or even just under a shade.
Use good quality cleaning materials.
This, I learned the hard way when that little girl surprised me with the wash. Remember that part where I said a black car is like a baby? Well, would you wash your baby with a dirty, rough cloth? No? Great. So, ensure you get a good quality microfiber cloth that you only use to clean your car. Do not use it to clean other surfaces as it could transport dirt particles that could damage the car. Whatever fabric you use, must be soft and highly absorbent so that it does not affect the paintwork.
To dry off the freshly washed body, use an equally absorbent and soft cloth. Pat down the car with it as opposed to dragging it across the body. It will ensure no swirls or scratches are left on the body.
As for the detergent, use cleaning products designed for cars. Some harsh products may affect your car’s paint job. The keyword to dealing with your black car’s wash day is gentle. Everything must be gentle, a gentle detergent, gentle fabric, and your own gentle hands.
- Wax your car.
I said I hate washing my car because I do, I loathe it. On the other hand, I love waxing it. I can’t get enough of waxing my Dark Angel and watch him gleam and shine like the Dark Angel he is. Wax on your car’s body can be a real lifesaver. I exaggerate a little there, not quite lifesaving but a lot like sunscreen. Wax is to cars, what sunscreen is to humans. Black cars cannot live without wax. If you are not waxing your black car as often as you should, then you are setting yourself up for real trouble. It gives your vehicle a layer of protection against easy scratches, a water-resistant coat, and the sun rays. Besides, it keeps it looking shiny and sleek, just as it was when you bought it.
Use a good quality wax that will not mess up your car’s paint job. Bad quality products will have your car paint susceptible to easy scratching and peeling or flaking. Make waxing a significant part of your car cleaning routine. See how your wives stick to what looks like a crazy skincare regime? You must have one like that for your car, and stick to it religiously. Waxing must be a part of that regime.
- Two Buckets.
Two buckets of what? Are you wondering? Of water, is the obvious answer? Have one bucket to soap down the car and another one to rinse it off from. When soaping ensure you dip your cloth deep into the water before soaping a different section of the vehicle. The deep soak ensures the grit does not remain on your washcloth. My neighbor taught me the two bucket method. One time, he was washing his car with his regular two buckets. He got on the phone for a couple of minutes, and his twin boys got into one bucket each. Just there talking kiddy gibberish in their buckets, their daddy getting off a phone call and staring in disbelief. I laughed myself silly as I helped him get the kids out of the buckets, and taught myself a new way to clean my car.
There is a multi-mitt way which is a bit similar to the two buckets. In his case, you are going to used different hand washing mitts on different sections of the car. Once one has cleaned a specific section, change to another. The point is that no mitt gets back into the water after a wipe down. I could never do this one because I do not possess that kind of patience. I also do not think washing so many mitts after washing my car is exciting. My mum loves cleaning her car this way. She’s old, with lots of time and patience at her disposal and I could not compete with that so I will stick to my buckets.
If you cannot, for some reason, wash your car by hand, then the carwash is the next best place for you. Before you settle on a carwash for your car, you must do proper research on methods they use to clean the cars. Do not go for a carwash that uses brushes, unless you are sure that they are soft-bristled brushes that will not cause scratches on your car. Put into consideration the quality of wash products they are using too. If they are too abrasive, they may scratch and make swirl marks on the body. Catch me dead in a scratched and swirly car, not my Dark Angel.
Touchless carwash is best for black cars. Like we said earlier, hosing down under high pressure is an efficient washing method in itself. Spending a few extra bucks just to keep your car extra clean is well worth the spend so go right ahead.
Scratches on your car are not cool.
Keeping your black car free of scratches at wash time is a daunting task. You are constantly on the lookout for silly little marks on that black body. However, we have established by now that owning a black car equals owning a baby or a pet, right? Once you establish a proper wash and care routine for your car, it is going to reward you by always looking squeaky clean and free of hose hideous scratches and swirl marks.
Scratches on your cars are an outward show of your carelessness as a driver and as a car owner. Do you graze past gates, other cars in the parking lot or do you have a terrible track record at the police station n bumping up against their cars everywhere you go? If you do, then it will show. Accord your car all the love and respect that you accord yourself. This way you are obliged to keep it clean, and in gentle ways that will not leave it sad and looking miserable.