Washing your car can be a huge source of enjoyment, pride, or even relaxation, but the most common or traditional techniques we've learned as kids are killing the paint. Here are the top 3 mistakes we can avoid and their simple solutions.

Watch all of our Autoblog Details videos for more tips on car cleaning and maintenance by professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you're at it, check out Larry's other video series on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars, Autoblog Wrenched!

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[00:00:00] Washing a car can be a huge source of enjoyment, pride, and even relaxation, but the most common or traditional techniques we've learned as kids are killing the paint. Here are the top three mistakes we can avoid and their simple solutions. I've always said your paints like skin, it breathes like skin, it needs to be cared for like skin. However, if you wash your paint with these your paints gonna get scratched. Typically, sponges used for bathing yourself are designed to rub or scrub away dirt and dead skin.


[00:00:30] This process, however, will be devastating to your paint because the dirt and contaminants are pushed along the surface during the wipe. This is an exaggerated example of the tiny rocks being pushed across your paint causing fine scratches, however, specific car wash mitts are designed to pick up the dirt and carry the debris in the fibers until it's released in a clean bucket of water. A separate bucked and grip guard are used to gently release the dirt from the mitt into the separate bucket, greatly diminishing the chance of reintroducing the dirt to the paint and causing these common scratches.


[00:01:00] Number two is still a common mistake, despite all the attention given to proper car care around the world. Although dish soaps can be useful in certain areas of detailing, they are not designed to maintain a vehicle's appearance on a regular basis. Car soaps purpose is to remove the dirt with as much lubrication as possible while leaving the paint's protection or wax unharmed. Despite each being considered soap, they have slightly different, yet specific purposes in their formula much the same idea as hand soap and hair shampoo.


[00:01:30] Both strikingly similar, yet vastly different. So avoid dish soap for your regular maintenance washes. At number one, it's a very subtle nuance I see in driveways and car shows around the world, and that of course is using the same towel for different areas of your car. As most of you know, using the same towel for your wheels, and then using the same towel for your paint would be devastating to your clear coat, especially if you're using the wrong towel altogether, such as this old rag.


[00:02:00] Using the same tools, towels, and mitts on the wheels, engine, or exhaust as you would the paint will quickly damage the clear coat and require a polish or even a compound to remove. The goal here is keep a very separate bucket for the paint, and a very separate bucket for the wheels. The tools in each bucket do not get mixed or substituted ever. By sticking to this very simple rule, you could avoid the most common carwashing mistake causing your car's finish to look swirled or dull.


[00:02:30] Although washing your car can be therapeutic, polishing out easily avoidable mistakes on a regular basis can become tedious and jeopardize the integrity of your clear coat. Avoid these mistakes and follow the simple rules and your car will thank you for it. If you found this video helpful, please share and keep up with all the latest detail videos by liking or subscribing to the Autoblog page. I'm Larry Kosilla from ammonyc.com. Thanks for watching.



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