How to wash your car so you don't get those infernal swirls on your paintwork? | McCarthy Cars

How To Wash Your Car So You Don't Get Those Infernal Swirls On Your Paintwork?

I don't know if you are like me but I really don't like it when I see swirls in a car's paintwork. You know, the swirls that come about from not washing a car in the right way.

Retro car

If you don't like them either then here's some tips on what we would recommend to prevent this from happening:

  1. Wheels, Arches and Door Jambs Start washing your car here as these are often the dirtiest parts of the car. The other reason to start here is that you might want to use a different or specialised type of cleaner for these areas and you don't want to splash any wheel cleaner solution onto newly cleaned paintwork as you'll just have to wash it again.
  2. Pre-Rinsing Using a hose pipe, direct a gentle spray of water onto the paintwork of your car at a shallow angle. Resist using a power washer or a strong jet from a hose pipe here. The reason is that there is a risk that if you blast the paintwork with high pressure water at ninety degrees to the paintwork, you could force grit into the paint and cause scratches. So, my advice would be to start with a gentle spray of water to wet the paintwork and soften up the dirt and grime. If you can't use a hosepipe then use a watering can with a rose fitted to the end.
  3. Shampooing The key to minimising the risk of scratches here is to use two buckets with shampoo and water and two washmitts/cloths. One should be used for the top of the car (roof, bonnet, windows and sides above the level of your wheels) and the other for the areas lower than this. The reason that we do this is because different areas of the car will be covered with different types of dirt and grime and you want to minimise the risk of transfer of dirt and grime between areas. To further help with this and limit any scratches or paintwork swirls then start from the roof and work down. Also, don't let the shampoo dry on the car as this can cause streaks and soap spots.
  4. Rinsing Once washed, now comes the rinsing. First of all use a gentle spray like before to rinse most of the soap off and then follow up with a stronger flow of water ie. your powerhouse, regular hosepipe or your watering can without its rose. Keep rinsing your car until all of the soap is removed. Rinse from the top of the car down.
  5. Drying Take care here too as this is also an area where scratches can occur. Sweeping a towel across your paint to remove water can cause scratches. A better way is to pat the car dry as it minimises the risk of picking up stray grit particles in your towel. The technique here is to lay your towel on the wet paintwork, gently pat the towel, lift off and squeeze the water out. Repeat. Your towel should absorb almost all of the water. However, there may be a thin film of water left on the car but this will quickly evaporate to a streak free and shiny finish.
So, that's our safe way to wash your car that minimises the risk of putting those infernal swirls into your paintwork.
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