What To Wash Your Car With For Maximum Paint Protection

Products You May Already Have Around the House

Washing the car isn’t only to make it look good but also to ensure your paint is protected as well. Many vehicle owners think that washing a car is a tiring job, but it can be a fun and rewarding process.

You can clean your car with many different methods. Every method uses different chemicals or detergent for cleaning. But not every product is meant for your car paint. In other words, you should first analyze what product will be most effective for the car’s paint. If you use a wrong product then it can damage your car’s paint.

Instead of taking a risk or doing a lot of research, these are few products that can be used on any car for cleaning purpose. Will they be able to provide paint protection? Yes indeed! Then it might be costly? No, because they are daily household products that you can easily get from your local store.

Household Products for your Car’s Body

The most common product is soap and water. If we are talking about large lumps of dirt on your car then you can easily remove with water. Finding a suitable soap might be a challenge for you. Just like cleaning products, not every soap provides paint protection.

The soap you use must be designed for clean cars otherwise it can damage the vehicle’s paint. To make soapy water, you need to mix baking soda, soap, and water (in a composition). You can also use denatured alcohol to remove tar and sap which is harmful for paint.

Talking about tar and sap, have you ever thought that peanut butter can be used as a cleaning agent? Well, now you have. Peanut butter, as well as denatured alcohol, can break down tar and sap that is on your vehicles paint.

If you want to get rid of grease and grime then consider using shampoo. Shampoo can cut down grime and grease from your car’s body without damaging the paint. You should use baby shampoo as a cleaning agent. Baby shampoo chemicals are guaranteed for paint protection.

Household Product for Windshield’s Wipers

Use rubbing alcohol to clean the road grime off windshield wipers. Use a clean cloth or rag and pour a little rubbing alcohol on it. Take the wiper blade in your hand and then firmly pull the cloth or rag along the rubber edge until it is clean.

Household Products for Interior Leather

Have you ever gotten stains on your leather seats? Well don’t worry because with the help of toothpaste, you can easily remove it. Apply the toothpaste and gently scrub the affected area. If it doesn’t work, then use rubbing alcohol and lightly dab it on the stain.

NOTE: Use small amounts of rubbing alcohol, if you use in excess it can bleach the color of the leather.

Household Product for Windows and Windshield

Lastly, you might want to wash your windows. Many people list this as the last one to prevent mist or splatter from clouding a clean window when you are cleaning other parts of your vehicle. The safest method is the microfiber and newspaper method. They both are great absorbers plus they don’t leave any scratches in the glass. Make sure to not only clean the outside but also the inside of your windows!

What to Do If I Damaged My Car’s Paint?

We all make mistakes, the best thing to do is to find the solution. You can check out our blog of how to use touchup paint like a professional and repair almost any scratch or chip in your paint.

Do you have any questions?

Use our FAQs page to find the answers.

You can also check out our DIY tips by clicking here.

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Cleaning Your Vehicle Without Washing It

You have a hot date or an important appointment and you rush outside, only to find that your car looks like a hazmat zone. Luckily, you still have five minutes to do something about it. But where do you start?

Take a tip from used-car salesmen and give your car “curb appeal” — a good overall first impression. When you can’t make use of a car wash, even little things can make a world of difference.

Vehicle Care:

The folks at Meguiar’s Inc. know a lot about making cars look good. The company’s core market is enthusiasts who lavish attention on their cars. But Mike Pennington, Meguiar’s director of training and consumer relations, was willing to talk about the gray area between a few swipes with a car duster and a full-on Saturday morning “bucket wash.”

“We don’t want to tell people not to wash their car anymore,” he says. “But if you are willing to put a little time into it, you’ll be surprised at how good your car can look.”


Over at Turtle Wax Inc., Michael Schultz, senior vice president of research and development, says car finishes are more durable and the chemistry of waxes and car-care products has changed. This means that for minor indiscretions — think fingerprints, bird droppings and light dust — you can use a spray detailer to sharpen up the look of your car.

But one expert, who used to prepare cars for photo shoots, sounded a note of caution: Be careful of too obviously cleaning just one section of the car. It might draw attention to how dirty the rest of it is.

How to keep your car looking good:

Here are six tricks you can use to keep up the good looks of your car between car washes. Think of it as triage for a dirty car.

Triage Tip 1:

Clean horizontal surfaces with a spray detailer. You don’t have to clean the whole car, just the obvious surfaces that catch dew or light rain and leave water marks. The eyesore areas are the hood, trunk and rear bumper.

Schultz recommends cleaning these surfaces in sections, using a spray detailer and microfiber towel, which is finely woven and makes better contact with the car’s surface. For example, divide the hood in quarters and clean the four sections individually. He estimates you could even clean the entire car this way with spray detailer and only four towels.

Many car enthusiasts worry about scratching or putting swirl marks in the car’s finish. The spray detailer is designed to avoid this by lubricating the dirt so it can be wiped up with a towel. But Schultz stresses the importance of flipping the towel often so you don’t grind dirt into the clear coat — the transparent finish covering the car’s paint.

Triage Tip 2:

A clean windshield is (almost) a clean car. Glass is easy to clean and it sparkles like a jewel once you remove the haze and grime. Visibility is a huge safety factor, but a clean windshield also just makes you feel better about your car. When you’re finished with the outside of the windshield, clean the driver-side window and side mirror, too. And for bonus points, clean the inside of the windshield and rearview mirror.

Keep a bottle of glass cleaner in your trunk, along with a roll of paper towels or the aforementioned microfiber towels. A foam spray cleaner also works well. For the really lazy folks, there’s a squeegee. In addition to cleaning, a squeegee works well in the morning when there is dew all over the windshield. Squeegee off the morning moisture and your glass won’t be left with those horrible drying marks.

Triagec Tip 3:

Take out the trash. It’s a car, not a dumpster. Pull up next to a trash can somewhere and throw away papers, food or other junk that dates from the second Bush administration. Better yet, put a small trash bag in your car and empty it often, Pennington suggests.

While you’re shoveling out your car, you might find a couple bucks’ worth of change. Use it to buy a car deodorizer. Pennington says car interiors can absorb smells, but there are new products that actually absorb dreaded foul odors rather than just mask them. We’ve tested a few and they seem to work.

Triage Tip 4:

Shake out the floor mats. When time is tight and you don’t have a vacuum, you can simply grab your floor mats and shake off all the gravel, loose dirt, sand or — heaven forbid — used ketchup packets. The mat on the driver side probably is secured, so you’ll have to work it off the anchors first. But the other floor mats are unattached and you can simply whisk them out for a quick flapping.

Triage Tip 5:

Clean the wheels and tires. Pennington says that having dirty wheels on a clean car is like wearing old shoes with a new suit. So it makes sense to make the “shoes” look as sharp as possible.

The absolutely laziest way to go is just to use a cotton rag to wipe off the flat center section of your rims. (There’s too much dirt on the rims for one of your microfiber towels to handle.) If time allows, work the rag into the spokes or crevices. You also can use a brush for the hard-to-reach areas.

As tires degrade, the rubber takes on a brownish hue that makes them look dull, Schultz says. So after you’re finished cleaning the wheels, apply tire black with a sponge. Easier still, just use a spray product to get a quick shine.

Triage Tip 6:

Clean anything you touch or look at. When you’re in the car, you spend a lot of time looking at the gauges, the dashboard and the center console. So take that microfiber towel you used on the car’s exterior and quickly clean off a few strategic areas inside the car. The plastic covering for the gauges is a must. Then, wipe the dust off the dashboard and sweep the fingerprints from the center console. Our experts recommend keeping car cleaning wipes in the glove compartment for quick interior touch-ups.

Now that you’re finished, here’s one more suggestion to make your life easier: Be very careful where you park. Sprinklers can undo all your hard work. And if you leave your car under the wrong tree, you might return to find it looking like a rock in the Galapagos Islands.

Quoted from Edmunds.com.

Do I really need to WAX my car?

The answer is: Probably. Waxing has always made cars extra shiny. That’s still the case today, but both modern paint jobs and wax formulations have improved a lot in recent years. Paint used to be just thatpaint. A new car got a layer of primer and a few coats of colored lacquer, and that was it. Wax not only gave the paint a good gloss, it was also the only line of defense against scratches.

Beginning in the 1980s, manufacturers started adding a layer of clear coat, which seals the paint and adds to the shine of the car. The clear coat also takes the environmental abuse. Things like ultraviolet light, ozone, exhaust, salt, dirt, rain, bug guts, and bird poop build up tiny scratches and oxidation on the clear coat’s surface. As the paint ages, that damage causes the surface to get hazy and the shine to subside, but there’s generally no damage to the color layer below. Not waxing will leave the car looking dull and the clear coat vulnerable to accelerated wear. If you don’t particularly care how the car looks, you can be lazy and never wax it just keeping the car washed will leave it looking reasonably nice (use a gentle soap made for cars no detergents). Waxing provides a sacrificial layer on top of the clear coat so that when you remove dirt and such you’re not directly rubbing the paint.

Things have changed substantially since dads spent Sunday afternoons rubbing carnauba wax onto lacquer car paint. Now even that classic formulation has additives that make it easier to wax on and wax off. New synthetic formulas are even simpler to apply and offer longer-lasting protection, and spray-on waxes can be applied with almost no effort at all. Plus, you don’t need to wax that often. Even if you obsess over your paint, four coats of wax a year are plenty, and you can use spray-on wax to maintain the shine. We like to wax the car at least twice a year, once before winter and once in the spring.

Quoted from: