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The DO’s and DON’TS of Washing your Car…The Ultima Way!

Showroom Shine


The weekly act of washing a car is not only therapeutic for the owner’s state of mind but also to the vehicle’s appearance. That’s good, because the frequent washing is also the best way to maintain new-car finish. So, it seems simple but there are some things to watch for so you don’t accidentally scratch your car or break your back!

When should I wash the car?

Don’t…wait for a layer of dirt and grime to accumulate before washing. Weekly washing prevents the possibility of environmental damage from such things as bird droppings and bug remains. Brake dust, accumulated metal particulates, creates rust which embeds itself into clear coats and paint. And roadway chemicals that contain acids can both strip away wax and eventually eat into your car’s paint.

Do…wash off dead bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap mist as soon as possible. A weekly wash will keep the finish in its best shape. Weather also impacts your car’s paint. Rainwater containing acid, if left on the surface may permanently mar the paint. And rock salt and sand used on roadways during snowy and icy conditions will certainly eat into the protective finish if not removed.

What kind of products should I use?

Don’t…use household cleaners like dishwashing detergent or glass cleaner on the paint. These aren’t formulated for use on the car’s paint and may strip off the protective wax.

Do…use a dedicated car wash product that is specifically designed for use on automotive paint.Ultima Paint Guard Wash is a hyper-concentrated formula that creates thick, rich suds. Its paint conditioners resist water spotting and streaking. Apply the suds with a large, soft natural sponge or a natural wool-mitt. The PFC Wool Wash Mitt is an ultra-plush mitt with a deep pile to hold tons of suds. It safely washes away dirt and grime without scratching your car’s finish.

How should I dry the car when I’m done?

Don’t…let the car air dry, drive around the block to catch some wind or let it bake in the sun. All will leave watermarks, which in areas of hard water, are the minerals left after evaporation.

Do…use a soft microfiber towel. You may need to use a few towels, certainly a separate towel for tires and rims. Sonus Microfiber Polishing Towels have a waffle weave fabric that creates large absorption cups, making it capable of absorbing tons of water! It is the perfect combination of water holding capacity and spot-free car drying.

Are there any general guidelines I should follow when washing my car?

Don’t…wash your car when the body is hot, such as immediately after driving or when it has been sitting in direct sunlight. Heat speeds the drying of soap and water, increasing the chances that spots or deposits forming.

Do…rinse the surface thoroughly with water before you begin to wash, removing any loose debris that could cause scratches. Free-flowing water will allow the water to sheet off your vehicle.

Do…work top to bottom, concentrating on one section at a time. Start at the top and then work your way around the car rinsing as you go.

Do…work quickly and efficiently. The fastest way to remove excess water is with a soft, microfiber drying towel designed to absorb water quickly without scratching paint surfaces. Use a separate towel to dry wheels and rims preventing water spots on chrome and aluminum.

Do…maintain that shine with a quick detailer spray. Ultima Detail Spray Plus lightly cleans, removing dust, fingerprints and fresh contaminants while enhancing the shine. Use it daily with the Ultima Autospa Microfiber Buffing Towel on paint, glass, plastic and wheels to maintain a “just detailed” appearance.

Do…seal in the results and protect the shine. Ultima Paint Guard Plus provides long-lasting protection against road salts, bug remains, acid rain and lots more. It even protects the glass windows by repelling water spots on the outside and smoke and bad odors on the inside of the glass which aids in cleaning. Protection is economical too. One 4 oz. bottle will provide enough protection for 4 cars for a full year! Apply two even coats of Ultima Paint Guard Plus to your cars at the beginning of each season. It’s a critical last step in the protection of your car.