Maintaining The Paintwork On Your Car

Washing the car on a Sunday morning might be a chore, but a clean shiny vehicle is a joy to behold. Not only will your car look good for you, but maintaining the paintwork and appearance will help maintain the resale value. Truly looking after a car should be managed from the inside out, so here’s how to keep your car looking as if it’s just driven out of the showroom.

Washing the Car

Weekly washing is necessary to wash off pollutants, chemicals and natural organic compounds which will degrade your paintwork, but there is more to it than sloshing around a bucket of water. Proper washing technique will more effectively remove the contaminants affecting your car, without damaging the paintwork.

  • Never wash your car in direct sunlight
  • Always use a very soft cloth, sponge or sheepskin mitt, and never use washing up liquid which can damage paint. Use a conditioning car shampoo.
  • Start with the wheels. After that, wash from the top down because the lower half of the car is always dirtier.
  • Always make sure your cloth or sponge is free from grit to avoid scratching the paintwork
  • Dry the car thoroughly using a leather chamois or soft microfibre towel.

Waxing and Polishing

Once you have dried your car, you’ll want to make it shine. This can be done either through waxing or polishing. There are pros and cons to both, but generally speaking, wax is meant to protect the paintwork and polish to remove minor flaws. Wax however, by its natural state does not adhere well to the paintwork and will eventually wash off your car – leaving you with little protection. By using wax, you can get a high shine, protect the paint from UV rays and smooth out any small imperfections, but you are effectively sealing those imperfections in for a limited time. Polish on the other hand, is slightly abrasive, and deep cleans the car by removing oxidation and small defects to flatten and smooth the surface. However, as polish removes very fine layers of paint, you’ll be at risk of degrading the paintwork if used too often.

Ceramic Coatings

Rather than committing yourself to endless waxing and polishing of limited effectiveness, car ceramic coatings have been developed to protect your paintwork, give a professional finish, and help the vehicle stay cleaner for longer. And new technology means that ceramic coating is performing better than ever before. Ceramic coating can be applied to both new and used vehicles up to 5 years old, bonding into the pores of the paintwork to restore factory shine. Even better, the product needs no maintenance except ordinary washing, and protects against UV light, acid rain, bird lime, salt and pollutants, solvents and frost. An independent car valeting company will have the exoerience in this area and will advise the ceramic coatings to be of most value to those with little time who want to keep their vehicle looking as good as new.

Harry Price is a freelance writer who lives on the south coast with his wife and 3 dogs.  He finds his coastal surroundings inspiration for his writing.