5 Must Have Car Wash Products

January 27, 2012

Washing your car regularly is vital to keeping the exterior of your car in great shape, but to properly wash your car, you need the right car wash products. While they may seem expensive, having the right products available when washing will help remove dirt and grime more easily and without causing any marring or damage to your paint finish, which will keep your car looking better for years to come.

Buckets and water
Before you can begin washing your car, you will need a water supply and buckets to hold the water used for mixing with soap and rinsing your mitt or sponge. A normal garden hose with a spray nozzle is generally sufficient for rinsing your car, and two 5 gallon buckets will work for the soap and rinse water. The reason for two separate buckets is to help reduce and prevent any dirt from being dragged along your paint while washing. Clean soapy water is mixed in one bucket, and your sponge or mitt is rinsed off in the rinse bucket where any accumulated dirt can wash off of the mitt. It is also recommended that you purchase a grit guard for each bucket. A grit guard is a small plastic grate insert that sits in the bottom of the bucket. Any dirt that enters the bucket will sink below this grating and be prevented from being picked up and redeposited by your sponge.

Soap
Use a soap specifically designed for car washing. Household soaps like dish soap will not only strip away wax, but also lead to accelerated drying and cracking of exterior plastic and rubber trim over time. Many companies make soaps specifically for car washing and can easily be found at any auto parts store.

Rinse-less car wash soap
Good for detailing or cleaning light amounts of dust and dirt from a car, a rinse-less soap does not require rinsing with a hose after application. This makes it a great thing to have for cleaning in colder winter months inside the garage, or for those living in apartment complexes where water and garden hoses can be awkward or unavailable.

Sponge or mitt
This is one of the bets car wash accessories. While any sponge or mitt will generally work for washing as car, a sheepskin mitt is the best choice. Sheepskin is not only much softer than most synthetic materials, it is also very absorbent, and has many folds and crevices to trap dirt in as you wash. This means dirt is held securely away from the paint rather than just being dragged along it.

Drying towel
The best choice for drying is either a sheep chamois or a waffle weave micro fiber towel. You want something that is highly absorbent and very soft. Sheep chamois tend to be cheaper than a micro fiber towel, but the waffle micro fiber towels tend to offer better performance.

When washing your car, you want to remove as much dirt as possible as gently as possible. Reintroducing dirt via dirty water or an old sponge, or using household dish soap can all cause more harm than good, so it's important to use only products designed specifically for car washing in order to get the best results.

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