If worries about a water spot here, a streak there, and a scratch in yet another place have you ready to throw in the towel on washing your own car, don’t. In fact, you shouldn’t even have a towel to throw in. There’s a proper way to wash and dry your car — and come away with a smooth, even and shiny finish — and it starts with using the right car care products.
Henry Ford was on to something when he said, “Any color you like, so long as it's black.” No color looks as sharp on a vehicle, but keeping it that way is hard work. Black shows dirt and dust, and there's nothing as annoying as swirl marks on a black car. You can purchase auto scratch removers to lessen the appearance of swirls, but the best approach is prevention.
You take great care of your car, regularly washing and waxing it to ensure it stays shiny and in like-new condition. Yet have you ever thought about the condition of your actual wheels (not the tires)? If you have not polished or cleaned your aluminum wheels recently, you could be setting the stage for corrosion and detracting from the overall look of your vehicle.
The Problem With Aluminum Rims
Aluminum rims are a great option because they give the car a smooth ride. However, the one downside to aluminum rims is the high risk of damage from road debris and more specifically brake dust. Brake dust is made from tiny metal shavings from the rotor and carbon fibers from the brake pad that, when combined, are highly corrosive. Brake dust is inevitable so it is important to polish and buff your wheels to ensure they are not being damaged.
Before you jump into polishing aluminum wheels, make sure you are tackling the job in the right way.
Here's what you need to do:
Rinse the wheel wells thoroughly to remove brake dust and road grime. Be sure to get into the crevices and clean behind the wheels as well as the wheel well.
Use an aluminum wheel cleaner to clean the wheels more effectively. The best aluminum wheel cleaners are designed to be non-acidic, so they will not tarnish the aluminum.
Buff the wheels using a Buffing Ball on a 3/8” drill with an aluminum wheel polish. The fibers of the Buffing Ball will get into the crevices you can't reach to achieve a brilliant shine.
When buffing, do a small portion of the wheel at a time, because aluminum polish turns black quickly. After buffing, use a clean towel and remove the polish before it changes color. Repeat on the next portion of the wheel.
Wipe everything with a dry towel then a wet towel to remove polish still lingering on the wheels.
Dry everything thoroughly using The Absorber to ensure you do not leave water spots.
Find the Best Products for Cleaning Aluminum Wheels at CleanTools
The task of cleaning aluminum wheels becomes a bit easier with the right tools. Although the quality of the aluminum rim cleaner is important, the towels and buffing tools you use will also play a role in the effectiveness of the job. CleanTools has a number of products that will make this job a breeze. Use The Absorber and the Buffing Ball to clean and buff your aluminum wheels in little time, so you can enjoy shiny rims and wheels that match the rest of your car.
The problem with oxygen is that it’s everywhere. That is to say, it’s good for us that oxygen is everywhere because we need it to live. But, it’s not good for your car’s finish because of the damage oxidation can cause. Oxygen molecules are constantly in contact with the surface of your car’s paint job. It tends to cause other molecules close to it to lose electrons which, over time, causes those other molecules — like the molecules in your car’s paint — to fall apart.
As your paint continues to oxidize, the effects become more noticeable. At first, you’ll see that the paint looks a bit duller than it did before. Then, the surface of the paint will start to fade and the colors won’t be as vibrant. A paint job that is suffering from heavy oxidation will have a dull, chalky surface. The final stage of oxidation means the clear coat will deteriorate, causing patches of paint to dissolve permanently. That opens the door for rust and means you’ll need to repaint the car.
You wouldn’t dream of driving your classic automobile through an automatic car wash, so why would you polish your prized possession with average cleaning products? Car collectors invest a lot of time — and money — in restoring vintage rides to their original glory, right down to the glimmering paint jobs and crushed velvet interiors. Our top-notch automotive products are so effective in helping you keep your car in mint condition, it will look like you just drove it off the lot in the 1950s, without a speck of dust or rust.
Using the right tools and tips you could save yourself $500 from professional detailing service. With the proper tools and a little extra attention, you can take matters into your own hands and conquer these often-overlooked steps in the car cleaning process. If you need a little help along the way, we offer reusable, chemical-free tools designed to give the proper care your car deserves at every step in the detailing process.
The more you spray and scrub, the more water spots smear, streak, dry, and re-appear. It’s important not to give up on this seemingly minor detail. If you know a few tips and tricks, you’ll have no problem removing lingering blemishes caused by hard water.
What causes it:
Water spots are a common problem if you’re doing your own detailing, as the sun can quickly dry mineral-laden hard water onto your car’s exterior.
How to clean it:
For optimal results, use our multipurpose Absorber towel. The Absorber's superior drying power soaks up more water than a leather chamois and terry towel, and its unique surface glides effortlessly across your vehicle leaving no lint behind.
2. Make Brake Dust Bite the Dust
After scrubbing and buffing your car’s exterior to a dazzling sheen, it might be tempting to cut some corners when it comes to the rims and wheel wells. After all, who’s really going to pay attention to your tires? Unfortunately, grimy wheels can easily throw off the whole effect of a freshly washed car, and the longer you skip this step, the more annoying it becomes.
What it is:
Small iron deposits form on your rims and wheel wells as brakes, pads, and rotors wear down over time due to friction. The heat and friction generated by the braking system cause this residue to cling deeply to the wheels and rims.
How to clean it:
Tackle this job with CleanTools’ reusable Buffing Balls, which are made from small fibers that help lift dust from chrome, aluminum and other metals. Our tool can attack gunk at speeds of up to 2500 rpm.
3. Destroy Dashboard Dirt
Drivers see their vehicle's interior more than they see the exterior, so a clean, uncluttered dashboard can be a welcome change. Untreated dirt inside your auto may contain chemicals that will damage the vinyl, plastic, and other surfaces on your dash.
What it is:
Dust, dirt, and microscopic buildup will cause cracking and peeling on your dashboard over time. The more you ignore it, the worse it will be, until one day you’re stuck doing extra work to rid your dash and control panel of debris. The following steps can help you properly clean your interior and prevent cracked, or discolored surfaces:
How to clean it:
Teeny tiny microfibers make our Dash Gear cloth especially effective for routing out dirt and dust from tight crevices, and hard-to-reach areas. The Dash Gear won’t streak electronic panels, or leave lint on your dash.
Detailing your ride can be a rewarding, but daunting task. Don’t skip these overlooked steps in the interest of time. Instead, use the proper tools and techniques to get the job done right the first time.