You’ve spent a lot of money on your car, you are proud of it and want to keep it looking nice, right? Despite your best intentions, you are likely damaging your car’s paint in your attempts to take care of it. You make a practice of regularly going to the drive-through car wash. However, you don’t know what sand, oil, contaminants and assorted muck the other cars left behind that are being kicked up and pelted into your car’s finish. You trust that the operator is using appropriate car washing detergent in the right amount, but are they?
I once went through a “touchless” car wash only to have the attendant come out at the end of the wash and start scrubbing the front of my car with a push broom! I yelled at him to stop. He looked amazed and said that most people want that because it gets all of the dirt off. Arrrgh… a push broom on my paint! He might as well have pulled out his electric sander and sanded my car JBingGG Magic Silicone Dishwashing Gloves B07Ok58MGKD!
If you are really careful you may hand wash your car at home, taking great care not to damage your paint. You wash with a terry cloth or shop rag, dry with a “shammy” and wax it like your dad taught you, not realizing how rough these materials are on your paint.
Yet when you are giving it a good last wipe, you see fine swirl marks in your reflection. Are they getting worse? How did those get there in the first place? Well, I hate to tell you that if you are washing your car like most people do, you are the one putting that lovely swirl design in your “baby’s” finish. And those marks signify damage. Car paint has changed from when your dad purchased his first car. You have to treat it differently than what you may have thought, in order to protect the clear coat (the clear, protective layer applied on top of the paint at the factory). In years past, paint was laid on thicker than it is today.
Now it is thinner, with a protective clear coat that is about as thick as a single sheet of paper. Once you scratch through it, your paint is exposed and vulnerable to the elements. Those swirl marks are scratches in your clear coat. How can you avoid damaging your paint in the first place? Can you repair damage you’ve already done? You can start by not making the five mistakes listed below and by following the guidelines that are provided. You will be amazed at how inexpensive and simple they are to follow and how great your car will look after you make a practice of doing them.