Updated: Sep 16, 2020
I was recently visiting a long time friend in the good ol Alamo City, that’s San Antonio for the folks that slept during Texas history. He knows Im a detailing nut so he brought up a recent detailing experience he’d had. He was really disappointed that he’d “spent all day washing & waxing his car just for it to rain the next day & wash away all his hard work”.
I chuckled a little & let him know it wasn’t all in vein because a little rain would not remove the wax he’d put on it & so long as it was a quality product it would offer months of protection from harmful UV rays & maintain its hydrophobic properties.
I then gave him a little crash course on what he could do to maintain the protection he put on one of his most prized investments. Im going to share some of those topics with you guys today in a count down fashion.
5. Avoid washing your car with standard dish detergents at all cost. The strong degreasing capabilities of said detergents can weaken the protective properties that a wax, sealant or ceramic coating install on your vehicle & in some cases it can remove the protection all together. So is it okay to wash it with dish detergent if you don’t have a wax, sealant or coating on the paint? Also not a good idea. Just like a pressure washer with to much PSI can knock the paint right off your car, a degreaser that’s to powerful will cause your paint to fade & become dull in appearance over time. What if you want to remove all waxes & sealants because you are going to apply a fresh coat of wax & want to start with a clean slate, is it okay to use a dish detergent? Sorry guys… its still not a good idea. The auto detailing industry has developed special products that will do this in a safe manner, they are usually called “strip washes”.
4. Use PH Neutral carwash soaps. Using soaps with high PH levels will compromise the protectant that either you or your favorite auto detailing professional previously installed on your paints finish. Your favorite dishwashing soaps typically have a PH between 8.5-9.5 making them very alkaline. This is due to their strong degreasing capabilitys. A Neutral PH is at 7, when a PH is neutral it is neither acidic nor alkaline & thats where you want to be when detailing your most prized investment.
3. Be weary of unusally cheap hand carwash services. Often times these folks are using the cheapest chemicals on the market to justify their low pricing. Most of the time this means using a concentrate of some type that is extremely cost effective for the carwash owner, sadly this doesnt always translate to a wax safe experience. The strong chemicals & abrasives found in the concentrates used at these budget carwashes even when diluted will lead to dull & faded paint. Often times restoring the paint to its original luster will usually cost you 3-5 times what you saved initially. OUCH!
2. Avoid letting Freddy... I mean touchless carwash tunnels & traditional carwash tunnels ruin your cars finish. Although these may seem like the answer for keeping up with your carwashing needs ,they will actually end up doing more harm then good & in most cases your car will look mediocre at best. Since these are meant to be cost effective and quick, they usually have to use a soap with strong degreasing capabilities & this means a very high PH level. As previously stated this is no bueno for your wax, sealant or coating. There is a myriad of other issues that come with tunnel washes ranging from scratches to faded paint, some might even be inclined to say that the end result will be a real nightmare...
1. If you cannot get your car to an auto-detailing professional your best bet is to do it yourself & always use quality products. Your car or truck is usually one of your biggest investments, Auto detailing can sometimes take hours, & if your crazy about detailing like us... it can sometimes take days to get a car just right, but in the long run its always worth it to keep your investment in tip-top shape.
If you have questions that I didn't cover here about how to protect your wax, sealants & coatings or if you would like one of our mobile detailing professionals to install a coating on your ride, fill out this form & we will be more then happy to help you make an informed decision. As usual we hope you found this article both informing & entertaining.
Below are some recommendations for some great detailing products from our friends at The Carsupplies Warehouse