common car wash questionsBack in the “olden days,” people used to park their car in the driveway every weekend and spend an hour or so washing and waxing their car. In recent times, people don’t seem to wash their cars as often as they used to, but washing your car is the best way to maintain your new car finish. Washing your car should be as much a part of your monthly maintenance routine as checking tire pressure and oil level.

It’s important to be careful when you’re washing your car – you don’t want to scratch your paint or damage your finish. We’ve put together some answers for the most common questions that we hear from our customers about washing a car.

When should you wash your car?

Here’s what you SHOULD do: You should always wash off dead bugs, tree sap, and bird droppings as soon as possible. Otherwise, a weekly car wash will keep your finish in the best shape.

Here’s what you SHOULDN’T do: Don’t wait for a layer of dirt and crud to coat your car before you wash it. Bird droppings and dead bugs can actually leach acids that can strip away your wax and eventually eat into your paint!

What should you use to wash your car?

Here’s what you SHOULD do: You should always use a soap that’s meant for washing cars – it’s usually milder and it’s designed specifically for automotive paint. Use a soft, natural sponge or a lamb’s wool mitt to apply the soap.

Here’s what you SHOULDN’T do: Never use household cleaning products like hand soap or dishwashing detergent. Since they’re not meant for automotive use, they can strip off the protective wax.

What are some general car wash guidelines?

Here’s what you SHOULD do: You should always thoroughly rinse all surfaces with water before you start washing – it helps to remove dirt and debris that could scratch your paint when you start to scrub. You should wash one section at a time, washing and rinsing completely before moving on to the next area. You should start at the top and then move your way around the car. When you’re rinsing your sponge, use a separate bucket – that keeps the dirt you’re removing from getting mixed in with the clean suds.

Here’s what you SHOULDN’T do: Never wash your car when the body is hot, like when it’s been parked in direct sunlight for a long period of time. Your soap will dry faster and you’re more likely to have spotting. Never move your sponge in circles – it can create light scratches. Instead, move your sponge back and forth legnthwise.

How should you dry your car after washing it?

Here’s what you SHOULD do: It’s always best to use a chamois or soft terrycloth towels. You should blot the water, never drag the towel or chamois across the paint.

Here’s what you SHOULDN’T do: Never let your car air dry – driving around the block does not do a good job of drying your car. You’ll end up with watermarks and spots.


If you have any other questions about washing your car or other simple do-it-yourself maintenance projects, call us today at 870-739-4944. We’re here to help you get the most out of your investment and our knowledgeable and friendly staff will answer any questions you might have.