We're open and accepting donations!

COVID-19 can't stop us! Please call us to find out how we are safely handling car donations.

covid announcement


7 Days a Week
Serving All 50 States

Offering Free Vacation Vouchers! While Supplies Last Click Here for More Info


Common Car Cleaning Mistakes People Make

There any many things car owners have to pay attention to while cleaning their trusty vehicles. However, it seems as though most of them choose to ignore some car cleaning basics. Why's that so - we don't really know. If you're wondering what those issues might truly represent, you've come to the right place. In the article that you're about to read, we'll show you a detailed list of common car cleaning mistakes people make. Stay tuned!

Cleaning in direct sunlight

Now, this is something most folks don't see as a mistake. However, one should steer clear of cleaning the vehicle in direct sunlight or when it's really hot outside. This, of course, stands only during the summer. During wintertime, it's alright to clean your car, regardless of the Sun's position. Anyway, here's why cleaning iCommon Car Cleaning Mistakes People Make 2n direct sunlight's bad: the vehicle's surface is hot. Therefore, the water you'll be cleaning with will evaporate quickly and leave those sketchy-looking watermarks on your car's paint. Also, the chemicals and cleaners you'll clean your car with aren't really made to be used on hot surfaces. Don't believe us? Simply read the product's manual. You'll notice it says you should work around your car in the shade. Lastly, by washing your car in direct sunlight, you also put yourself at risk of sunstroke. 

Using kitchen soap is a common car cleaning mistake

Besides cleaning during the hottest summer days, folks also make the mistake of using kitchen soap as their cleaning product of choice (even though that's a legitimate way to clean your home). Also, they sometimes like to use a degreaser. Needless to say, both of these options are a big NO. You'll want to know that these products are, by all means, bad for your vehicle's paint. And will probably remove the protective wax coating, throwing the hard work you've done waxing your car in the trash can. Here's a suggestion: use automotive soap since it's carefully designed not to damage your car's waxing. 

Utilizing paper towels (or old T-shirts)

It's a sight as old as time itself (at least the past 100 or so years): a person using an old T-shirt to wipe their vehicle. If it's so common, what could be so wrong with it? The thing is: some of the T-shirts' prints will act like sandpaper on your car's exterior. Also, old T-shirts will most probably leave streaks on your car. That doesn'tCommon Car Cleaning Mistakes People Make 3 sound like a lot of fun, right? Anyway, you should also avoid cleaning your car using paper towels. As we're sure you're familiar with, they're a bit rough on the touch, and they'll do some minor damage (but still—damage) to your car's paint. Here's a suggestion: use a soft microfiber towel for the best results. 


Using one bucket only

Another addition to the list of the common car cleaning mistakes people make is concerned with the one-bucket-only issue. Okay, so what's that? Most people use only one bucket while cleaning their cars, and it's not a good thing; you'll want to use 2 buckets at all times. In the first bucket, you'll put soapy water; the second's reserved for clean water. We guess you're not into saving on water or anything similar. Speaking of saving money and clean cars, make sure the car is clean before you ship it for your long-distance move, and always keep shipping costs in mind. That way, you'll ensure your car has a safe and sound transfer to your destination of choice. Not to mention that you won't have to clean it once again after you've settled in your new home. 

Applying too much wax

The thing about waxing your car is that it should be lightweight and easy as it sounds. Once you've done cleaning your car, just wax it. Trust us, there's no need to add extra layers of wax to your car's exterior. In the simplest of words: it's a waste of your time and wax. Here's how you'll do this in the most efficient manner: simply add some wax until the surface of your vehicle becomes a little bit white. Afterward, wipe it off with the aforementioned soft microfiber towel. 

Ignoring the tires

Needless to say, Common Car Cleaning Mistakes People Make 4tires are most probably the dirtiest portion of your vehicle since they're in something you'd call close contact with the ground (mud and dirt). Therefore, they require you to give them a thorough, in-depth clean. However, it's not like most folks do it. Be the change! Additionally, you'll want to give your rims some attention, too. Make them shine like new!

What about the windows?

Besides forgetting to clean their vehicle's tires, many folks seem to ignore giving their windows a bath. It seems downright unbelievable, but it's nevertheless the truth. Also, windshields deserve a bath, too. Not only will this make your vehicle look good, but it'll also ensure that you're safe on the road. A dirty windshield is nothing less than a serious risk. Lastly, once you've cleaned the windows using a household window-cleaning solution, make sure you apply some wax just like you did with your car's paint (in the same manner). This will give you windows a shiny look you've always wanted! 

Swirling motion cleaning

Last but not least, on the list of common car cleaning mistakes people make is cleaning your trusty vehicle in a swirling motion. That should, by all means, be avoided. The thing is: by wiping your vehicle in a swirling motion, you'll most likely cause scratches at different angles. You should be cleaning your vehicle in one direction; just pick a direction and go from the front to the rear. It's the best possible way to ensure you won't end up with a scratched car exterior (and here's how you'll clean the interior). 

The bottom line

Alright, folks! That's about it on the topic of common car cleaning mistakes people make. Hopefully, you've found this piece interesting and an enjoyable read. Not to mention the fact that now you're well aware of the mistakes you also make while cleaning your vehicle (and just how you'll prepare your car for long-distance shipping). None of these issues we've mentioned will damage your car greatly. Still, they should be avoided. Go to Cars2Charities.org to learn more about donating your car to charity and how to best prepare your car for pickup.