If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you more than likely clean your car yourself. While this is a fantastic concept when you have the time to do the job right, you should be aware that most people make several common mistakes in the process. Cleaning and washing your car may not appear to be the most challenging task in the world, but if you are making the below mistakes, they can make your hard work a waste. Here are some of the top car cleaning mistakes you should avoid:

11 Car Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Car Cleaning in Direct Sun

While cleaning your car during nice weather may seem reasonable, it is best to avoid doing it in direct sunlight. When it’s hot, and the sun’s rays are directly on the windows and car paint, whatever car cleaning solution you use will quickly dry before it has a chance to function. But it is only part of the issue. Another concern is that water and vehicle washing chemicals dry out and leave streaks on the surface of your car, which is extremely tough to remove.

Car Cleaning with Dishwashing Soap

When it comes to cleaning the automobile, many people go for dishwashing detergent because it is the most conveniently available alternative. Many experts, however, say that washing with dish soap is incredibly harmful to your vehicle. It has the potential to remove any protective wax coating that you apply. Furthermore, dish soap lacks a healthy pH balance, which means it may wind up harming the clear coat. Therefore, it is preferable to use a specialized cleaner, which your automobile needs to keep clean.

Making Use of a Paper Towel or an Old Rag

Cleaning your car using the incorrect tools is just as terrible as using the incorrect solution. The use of old rags, t-shirts, or even paper towels can cause minor scratches in the paint. It would be best if you used a soft microfiber towel that is gentle on the paint. Otherwise, you will be causing damage to the surface, which is not desirable.

car cleaning mistakes to avoid

Top-to-Bottom Washing

Another error individuals make while washing their cars is not starting from the top. There is no doubt about it: cleaning from the top down is the most effective method for car cleaning. When you start from the top, any dirt will make its way down so you can deal with it when you get to the bottom.  However, there is one exception to this rule: the rims. You can clean the rims first so that dust and debris don’t blow onto the body of your automobile when you get to that portion.

Using Only One Bucket

Using just one bucket is probably the most significant error people make when cleaning their cars.  You must have two buckets on hand. The first is to make your primary washing solution, and the second is to rinse your cloth and rag in it. Using two buckets can reduce your chances of polluting your wash water, so it does not get put back on your car. 

Spraying the Steering Wheel, Gas Pedal, and Brake Pedal

Another big mistake is spraying your steering wheel, gear knob, brake, and gas pedals with Armor All, vinyl cleaner, or leather cleaner.  These chemicals can create a slippery effect which can be dangerous when you drive. You will also be continually touching your steering wheel and gear knob with your hands, and if you are taking a long trip, you will most likely touch your face and eyes. The chemicals in these cleansers may cause an allergic reaction in your eyes. If you use a leather or vinyl protectant, spray it on a paper towel rather than directly on the leather or vinyl. This will keep it from going all over your windows and other surfaces that you don’t want it on.

Using Too Much Wax

Waxing your car should be as simple as the phrase suggests – Wax On, Wax Off. You should wax your car after you’ve washed it.

car interior cleaning tips

There is no need to add additional coats of wax. It’s a complete waste of time and resources. Instead, apply wax to the surface until it becomes somewhat white, then wipe it away with a microfiber towel.

Car Washing in the Grass

Car cleaning in the grass may not seem like a mistake; however, the issue comes when you rinse your car and all of the chemicals end up on the lawn. Some of you have children, while others have pets. It is hazardous to both your children and pets, as well as the grass. In addition, it is unlawful in several nations to wash your automobile in an area where there is no local drainage system. So please, the next time you wash your car, do so in your driveway. Again, protect the children, pets, and grass.

Skipping Your Tires

Your tires are by far the dirtiest part of your car. This is because they are constantly in contact with muck and dirt. Don’t skip cleaning your tires; they deserve the same attention you give to the rest of your car. A great set of clean rims can also add luster to your vehicle. So get a bucket of soapy water or a cleaning solution and go to work cleaning your wheels. Also, make sure you’re using a clean towel that will not create scratches, such as microfiber.

Cleaning Your Car Seats

It is not sufficient to vacuum your automobile seats. It would be best if you cleaned your seats, whether they are leather or fabric. Leather seats are simple to keep clean. If you spill something on leather, wash it off and finish up with a leather-approved cleaning solution. It’s a whole different situation when it comes to fabric seats. If you spill something, make sure to wipe it up as soon as possible. Clean your seats with fabric or upholstery cleaner as soon as you can after a spill, so no stains set in.

cleaning car rims wheels

Skipping Your Windows and Windshield

You need to take more care when it comes to cleaning your car windows and windshield. Not only will your car look better, but clean windows and windshields make it safer to drive. So, the next time you wash your car, pay close attention to the windows. 

Wrapping Up Car Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Lastly, make sure you’re visiting an express car wash routinely to keep your car in pristine condition. With Splash and Go Express Car Wash, your vehicle is in great hands. We use environmentally friendly soaps and the latest soft foam technology, and we make it easy to avoid car cleaning mistakes because we take care of it all! Check out our website to learn more about cleaning your car and tips for all things vehicle-related. And, if your vehicle is in need of a good wash, visit Splash and Go Express Car Wash today!