10 Summer Car Washing Tips You Need To Do
Road trips and beach outings are commonplace during summer. Unlike highly visible muddy splatters during the rainy season, road dust and grime tend to go unnoticed during summer - the reason why many neglect washing it often during this season.
But does failing to look after your car during summer have its dangers?
The short answer: yes.
Because there’s less moisture during this season, road contaminants tend to get rough and dry - the perfect combination for scratches.
Other than that, because of intense heat, brake dust tends to get baked more into your car wheels and nearby paintwork causing corrosion in the long run.
In this post, we’ll talk about the best car wash practices during summer and why they’re important.
If you’re interested in keeping your car protected during the hot season, this post is a must-read for you.
Read on to know actionable tips.
Tip 1: Wash In The Shade
This is easy if you have a home garage. But if you don’t have one, it’s not the end of the world. You can either park your car temporarily near an awning or under a tree.
You can also park on the side of your house where the shadow is cast during the time you wash your car or wash early in the morning or before it goes dark so it’s not so hot.
Why is washing in the shade so important?
First, you don’t want to get a sunburn. If you do, you’ll dread washing your car the next time around and will probably put off washing it until it looks extra unpleasant to use. If that happens, you’re exposing your car to premature avoidable damage.
Second, you’ll be avoiding water spots and drip marks. Since it’s humid, water will dry out before you even finish washing one side of the car. This will be a waste of water and the water spots will tarnish the fresh look you want your car to get.
Worse, the deposits left by the dried-out car shampoo can be a pain to remove. It can also damage the clear coat when baked on the surface.
Third, you might also mistakenly scrub a dried-out portion of the paintwork thinking it’s still wet from pre-washing. If you do so, you'll cause nasty scratch marks on your car’s finish. This will cause you to visit a paint correction center sooner than you think.
Recommended Reading: 3 Effective Ways To Remove Swirl Marks On Your Car
Tip 2: Wipe Off Bug Guts And Bird Droppings Immediately
Bug guts and bird droppings release acidic toxins that are corrosive. When left on the car surface for too long, it can get baked on the clear coat and start to etch the paintwork. When it dries out, wiping it off will cause scratch marks.
When you see bug guts or bird droppings anywhere on your car, wet that area to hydrate the contaminant. It softens the dirt, lessening the chance of getting surface scratches when you wipe it off.
Keep a bottle of water and a clean microfiber towel in your car’s trunk so you can clean off bug guts and bird droppings anytime and anywhere you are.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Bug Guts And Splats From Your Car
Tip 3: Use A Hot Weather Specialized Shampoo
Though not readily available in many auto care supplies, several stores have specially manufactured hot weather or summer shampoos. These kinds are specially made to prevent water spots from forming,
If you can’t find any, a car shampoo that has a neutral PH level and wax-friendly formula should work just fine. Check for one with natural high-quality ingredients.
Tip 4: Focus On High Traffic Areas
I don’t mean washing in the middle of the road full of cars. By saying focus on high traffic areas, I mean take special attention to parts of the car that’s in direct contact with incoming contaminants.
These will be the windshields and front grilles where bug splatters get caught. Bug guts and tree saps can quickly clog up or blur your view. This limited visibility can be a cause of road accidents.
The front grilles are also a good place to look for these pests. They love getting trapped in this place. It can be a challenge to clean this area especially because the spaces are tight.
But there’s no tight space a car cleaning gun can’t handle. The air pressure that spreads the cleaner onto the surface will also agitate stubborn guts and sap on nooks and crevices.
And remember tip number 2, don’t wait until the next time you wash your car if you don’t want the bug gut’s toxins baking on the clear coat.
Tip 5: Expedite Rinsing With An Air Powered Cleaner
Using a car cleaning gun or a pressure washer rinses your car faster and more thoroughly than when you use a regular hose. You’ll have to finish rinsing extra fast to reduce the risk of car shampoos staining the surface if it dries out before rinsing.
Tip 6: Clean One Section At A Time
You can divide the car into 5 sections: roof, front (hood), right side (doors), left side (doors), and back (trunk). Doing so will help prevent water from drying on the surface before you wipe it off.
The car’s surface can get extra hot in this season, the humidity around your car isn’t the only reason for water to evaporate fast. The car’s body is made of metal - a conductor of heat. If it heats up too much, it’ll only take a matter of minutes before the pre-rinse water or the shampoo dries off.
You have to wash in sections so you can dry it faster than humidity can. Start with the roof and finish off either with the hood or trunk.
Tip 7: Use Drying Aid Or Quick Detailer Spray
Apply a drying aid or a quick detailer spray after rinsing the car shampoo off the car. It should be applied when the car is still wet, just before wiping it dry because it’ll help minimize streaking and water spots.
You can still do this technique throughout the year.
Tip 8: Don’t Wax Your Car In Direct Sunlight
If you parked in the shade, this won’t be much of a problem. Because of the car body’s heat increasing if, under direct sunlight, it’s not recommended to apply wax in this setting.
When the surface temperature is too high, wax applied to it won’t behave as expected. It can get baked on the clear coat. Peeling or uneven coverage will be a problem because removing this baked wax layer will be extra hard.
Tip 9: Don’t Apply Compound Or Polish In Direct Sunlight
Just like wax, compounds won't behave as intended under direct sunlight. Even if you machine or hand polish the surface after applying the compound, the result won’t be as top-notch as when you applied it under a shade.
The compound will eventually peel off irregularly making your car finish look terrible.
Tip 10: Don’t Apply Ceramic Coat In Direct Sunlight
Ceramic coats are way more delicate than wax or polish. Applying it to direct sunlight will have the worst results. It’s tricky enough to apply in good conditions, much more so under intense heat.
Recommended Reading: Top 7 Automotive Shampoos For Ceramic Coats
The Bottom Line
Most of the tips on the list boil to one important point: don’t wash under direct sunlight.
The car’s surface will get too hot. Water will evaporate quickly causing streaks and watermarks. The protective coating won’t act as intended to cause an insightful finish.
If there’s one thing you need to make sure of when washing in summer, it’s to wash under a shade. Be it under a tree, in a garage, or on the shady side of the house.
If you do so, you’ll help keep your car’s clear coat as good as it can be for the longest time possible.