Cleaning your car during lockdown

We are well into our lockdown period and while you and your house might be in the top form your car could need some attention.

A layer of dust could be sitting on your car because it has been standing for a while now. In this article, we are going to take a look at ways to keep your car clean and you busy.


For those who can wash your car in a driveway, it is always good practice to completely rinse your car with water, this should be done early in the morning or late afternoon. Washing a car during the day when the temperature is at its hottest is not advised as the water tends to dry quicker on the hot paintwork, this prevents lubrication and could result in scratches when you wash the car.

Using a hosepipe or a pressure washer is always smart as it supplies a steady flow of water which removes large dirt particles. Once you have rinsed the car it is advised to use the two-bucket method. You fill one bucket with clean water and the other with water and car shampoo. Rinse the sponge every time before dipping it into the soap. This will remove any dirt picked up from the car and help prevent damaging the paintwork in other areas.

Do not use dishwasher liquid to wash your car. It contains chemicals that remove oils, some oils within the paint and even the clear coat could be damaged over time. It is advised to use car shampoo instead. Start from the top of the car and work your way down, washing evenly and rinsing the sponge regularly. Once the body of the car has been washed, move to the wheels and tyres. There are some special cleaning tools for these areas which can be bought at various stores. While cleaning the wheels, check the tyres and look for any possible damage or nails/screws that could be stuck in the tyres. It is also advised to check the condition of your brake disk and pads.

Once your car is washed and rinsed, drying it quickly will be beneficial as you want to prevent water from drying on the car, pulling it back into the garage, space permitting will help. Municipal water is full of chemicals that, when left to dry on paint and glass can cause watermarks to from resulting in very expensive paint correction processes to remove. Use a microfiber cloth or two as these are softer and designed to soak up water more effectively than regular clothes. Do not use a towel as this can damage your paintwork.

What if I don’t have a driveway?

If you do not have a driveway and are unable to pull your car into a public area to clean it then fear not as there are a variety of waterless products on the market which assist in maintaining your car. Waterless cleaners help remove dust and mild dirt such as that leftover after the rain. It is advised to use these products on lightly dirty cars where dust and road dirt are the main forms of contaminants as heavy levels of mud would need water to remove first.

Waterless cleaners work in conjunction with microfiber cloths for best results. These cleaners are used best to maintain your cars cleanliness however they can be used to clean a dusty car. Spraying generously on the car, a section at a time as well as on the cloth for added lubrication is advised. Don’t let the product dry, hence cleaning a section at a time. These products offer a fuss free form of cleaning which can be done quickly.


Once your car is clean it is time to add a layer of protection to the paintwork. Polishing your car is the best way to do this and even though many shampoos and waterless cleaners offer wax protection they are not nearly as effective as a good old polish. There are a variety of polishes, waxes and hybrids available from your local supermarket. Once you have your polish there is no need to put polish handprints all over your car and then drive around as this damages your paint on an unbelievable scale. Reading the back of all polishing products you will note that the maximum time to let the polish cure is around 10 minutes.

Apply the polish to a polishing pad or soft cloth and polish a section at a time, and by section we mean panel. Applying polish to the whole car at once will mean that when it comes time to remove you will have very dry polish on the car which requires more force to remove, even this can damage the paint. A good way to judge when the polish is ready to come off is when you rub your finger through an area and it removes the polish but leaves a somewhat oil-like residue behind. Use less force, rub evenly and in the same direction. Take your time and do a proper job as the results can drastically change the appearance of your car.

Lockdown exercise

If anything, washing your car can be turned into an exercise. To properly clean your car will take a few hours, put some music on and enjoy it. Clean the outside, inside and polish your car. You will be amazed at the results, at the things you find and if your car needs any further repairs.

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