Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

If you want the paint to sparkle, wash your car often

Rob

Site Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,589
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
If you want the paint to sparkle, wash your car often
Terri Sapienza / The Washington Post

Our cars take a daily beating from bad roads, bad drivers and exposure to the elements (rain, sun, salt, bird droppings, pollen). Yet 52 percent of us wash our cars less than once a month, and 15 percent never wash their cars at all, according to a survey by the International Carwash Association.
Regular (as in weekly) car washings are for more than appearance's sake. Taking care of the exterior finish will prolong a car's life and protect its resale value. Scott Martindill is owner of Mobile One Services, an auto-detailing service in suburban Maryland. He has tips for an at-home washing this weekend. Better yet, tonight.
How often: ``Generally speaking, a car needs to be washed every week to two,'' says Martindill. ``At the very least, washed and waxed every six to 12 months. Bare minimum.'' If the car is exposed to lots of snow or pollen, if it's parked outside or driven long distances, wash more often. ``If you only wash your car once a year, you're shortening the lifespan of the paint.''
Cleaning basics: Car-washing detergent (available at auto stores, hardware stores and big-box chains such as Target), a thick lamb's wool carwash mitt and plenty of water. Dish soap or household cleaners can dull paint and strip wax. A carwash mitt will catch and hold onto dirt instead of dragging it over the finish. ``You're much more likely to scratch the paint if you use a sponge,'' he says.
When and where: Early in the morning or late afternoon in a shaded area is best. If you wash in the midday sun, use lots of water and rinse often to avoid the soap drying on the paint, which will leave a film on top of the paint and make the car look dingy and splotchy.
How: Rinse first to loosen debris, then start at the top and work down. Rinse the mitt often. Scrub tires and wheels last with a separate mitt or sponge. Vacuum the carpet with every wash; shampoo every six to 12 months.
Wax on: A car should be waxed every three to six months, says Martindill. Wax forms a barrier between the elements and the paint and gives the car a more polished look.
A word from the EPA: Try to wash your car on a grassy or gravel-topped area to minimize runoff. Avoid using the driveway or street because detergents and cleaners running into city storm-water systems can pollute rivers and harbors. See www.environment.nsw.gov.au/envirom/carwash.htm for more information.
 

JJU

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2000
Messages
157
Location
USA
I would agree with everything he says except his "waxing" philosophy is not frequent enough except for show cars. Most carnauba-based wax is gone 6 to 8 weeks after is has been applied on a daily driver auto due to evaporation.

It is necessary to go to a synthetic product if longer durations is needed before re-application.

There is actually much more appearance maintenance that should occur but I'm assuming that the author is just concerned about the paint in his article.
 

1st vette

Active member
Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
27
Location
Chicago
Where does the detergent go??

1 Simple question. Given the following:

A word from the EPA: Try to wash your car on a grassy or gravel-topped area to minimize runoff. Avoid using the driveway or street because detergents and cleaners running into city storm-water systems can pollute rivers and harbors. See www.environment.nsw.gov.au/envirom/carwash.htm for more information.

Where does the detergent go if you wash your car on your lawn, or gravel topped area?? Or, are we only concerned with water pollution, and local groundwater be damned??
 

BobbyG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
80
Location
Rehoboth, MA
Corvette
2004 Z06 Millennium Yellow
For the most part my DD's get washed once a week. I remember years ago I was washing my car and my neighbor yells over; "you're washing it too much and you'll wear the paint off"....:W

My Z06 gets washed far less than my DD's but it stays covered in the garage and gets detailed sprayed as needed, almost never bathed.:booty
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Win Both Corvettes!

Win Both Corvettes and Get Extra Bonus Tickets Now!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Dead Center Foundation

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Partners

Top Bottom