5 Essential Car Wash Products for Getting the Best Shine

January 27, 2012

There are some essential car wash products that are needed to provide your vehicle with a shine you can brag about. The most basic of these are car soap and car wax. Without a proper cleaning, the car will not have a quality shine. By not using the correct car soap, even the best car wax will not be able to prevent the occurrence of tiny scratches from improper washing.

1. Car Soap Washing Products

Unlike laundry detergents and dish washing liquid, car soap should have an abundance of rich, luxurious foamy bubbles. In the first two cases, a large quantity of foam gets in the way of the cleaning action. However, as far as car washing is concerned, the more lather the better, because the lather is what carries away dirt particles that could scratch the finish. Use only products specifically designed for washing cars. Car soap is pH balanced, so existing car wax and/or sealants will not be destroyed. Car soap contains natural oils, used as lubricants, to trap dirt and grime so they can be rinsed away. Some of the more expensive brands have a particularly nice aroma to them, completing the pleasure of the do it yourself job.

2. Car Washing and Waxing Materials

Some believe that any old rag, towel or sponge will work as a car washing and waxing instrument. This is not the case. Only wash materials made especially for car washing and waxing should be used. They are typically made from sheepskin, microfiber cloth, cotton (chenille) and natural sea sponge. These materials come in a variety of sizes and even come in the form of a mitt. Car wash/wax materials are absorbent and allow for complete rinsing so dirt particles are removed, and they are soft and non-abrasive.

3. Car Wash Clay

If the finish feels rough after washing, then it may need claying. Over time, contaminants such as tree sap, road grime, brake dust and some other airborne pollutants can bond to the paint's surface. By using clay and its required lubricant, these types of debris can be safely removed from the finish.

4. Paint Sealants

These are made from polymers that bond to the paint's surface, protecting it from bonding contaminants. This product is used before waxing. It is easy to apply because it is wiped on. Some people will only apply the paint sealant, while others use paint sealant and car wax.

5. Car Wax

Products containing carnauba wax provide a high quality and lasting shine. Carnauba wax is a naturally occurring product that is used by a specific type of palm tree as a leaf protectant. It is mixed with oils and other products in order to be used in a car wax product. Since carnauba wax is very expensive, there is typically only about 3 percent wax in these products. Even though the label may say 100 percent carnauba wax, it is referring to the type of wax, not the amount in the product.

When washing and waxing your vehicle, the most important step is the washing process. Without using proper washing materials, the finish of your vehicle can be permanently damaged. Applying a quality wax or sealant can preserve the show room look of the paint.

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