It’s that time of year again when the cold weather starts settling in and with it, the snow and ice. For many people, this means it’s time to break out the car cleaning supplies and get to work. Cleaning your car in winter is important not only for appearances but for safety too. In this article, we’ll provide you with a guide to cleaning your car in winter.
1. Buy a car wash kit.
You can buy a kit that has everything needed for wintertime cleaning, which includes a snow brush, ice scraper, and snow brushes. If you don’t have a kit, you can also buy the individual components separately. There are many car wash kits on the market that can make the process of cleaning your car much easier. These kits often include a variety of brushes and sponges, as well as a soap or detergent. Additional equipment may need to be purchased if your car is very dirty.
2. Use the right soap for your car’s paint type
If you have a car with a matte paint job, you’ll want to use a soap that doesn’t have any wax in it. Wax will make the matte finish look shiny and this is not what you want. A great option for matte cars is to use dish soap. Dish soap is gentle on your paint and it won’t leave any streaks or residue behind.
If you have a regular paint job, you can use any type of car soap. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully so that you don’t damage your car’s finish. You’ll also want to make sure that you are using the correct brush for the job. A soft-bristled brush is best for cleaning cars since it won’t scratch the paint.
When it comes to washing your car in the winter, it’s important to take your time and do a thorough job. This means getting into all of the nooks and crannies, and paying special attention to the areas around the wheels and under the car. It’s also important to make sure that all of the soap is rinsed off completely so that there is no residue left on the paint.
Car washes are flocked to reduce friction and prevent scratching, but this is bad for matte finishes since it makes the finish shiny. It’s important to note that using a flocking car wash in summer can also damage your matte paint job by stripping off any protective oils that keep it protected from the sun. If you want to visit a car wash that won’t damage your matte paint job, look for one with an abrasive-free surface, which means that there is no metal underneath the flocking material.
Water may freeze during winter so you’ll want to make sure your water hose isn’t exposed to freezing temperatures during use. You should also avoid spraying the hose directly at the windshield and front windows. Any water that gets inside the vehicle can trickle down under the pedals and damage the electronics.
A great winter tip for washing your car is to add a layer of car wax onto the paint before you clean it. The wax will protect your car from salt residue which can destroy matte finishes over time. When cleaning your car in the summer, just remember not to use wax at all because it will make your matte finish shiny.
3. Rinse off dirt and grime with a hose or pressure washer
Use a soft-bristled brush to get into any small nooks and crannies around the car’s exterior. This is especially important when washing cars that have been stored for extended periods of time, or you can use a pre-soak solution if there is heavy mud on your vehicle’s exterior at this stage in the cleaning process.
Wash off any loose dirt and debris from the car with a garden hose or pressure washer before going over it with soapy water. Rinse away all of the soap using hot water while carefully avoiding your windshields and front windows. If you have a pressure washer, you’ll probably want to go over the entire car again without using soap just to make sure all dirt has been removed.
You can use car wax to protect your car’s paint job from salt residue during winter. Just be sure to apply it before you start washing the car.
4. Dry your car thoroughly to avoid water spots on the paint job
Once you’ve rinsed off all of the soap and dirt, it’s important to dry your car thoroughly. This can be done with chamois cloth or a terry cloth towel. Don’t forget to dry the inside of the car as well, including the dashboard, steering wheel, and windows. If water spots are left on the paint job, they can be difficult to remove and may damage the finish over time.
5. Wax your vehicle for maximum protection against winter weather damage
If you applied a layer of wax before washing your car, wait until the paint is completely dry and then wipe off any excess wax with a clean, soft cloth. If you didn’t put on a coat of wax initially, do so now. In addition to protecting the car from salt residue during winter, this will help keep it protected from bugs and grime during the summer months as well.
6. Clean out any debris in between crevices of the body using an old toothbrush, dish detergent, and warm water
Once the car is completely clean and dry, it’s a good idea to go over any areas that may be difficult to reach with an old toothbrush and some dish detergent. This will help remove any built-up dirt or grime that may have been collected over time. Be sure to rinse off all of the soap and debris with hot water before moving on to the next step.
7. Apply tire dressing to keep the rubber from cracking in cold weather conditions
If your car spends a lot of time outdoors in winter weather conditions, you may want to apply a tire dressing to keep the rubber from cracking. This is a step that isn’t necessary for everyone, but it’s definitely something to consider if your car is exposed to below-freezing temperatures on a regular basis.
8. Remove bird droppings as soon as possible to avoid permanent etching on the paint job
In some areas, the winter weather is followed by a summer season of bird droppings. If you know that your car is going to be exposed to birds during spring/summer, then it’s important to remove any droppings as quickly as possible.
9. Use a year-round wax to help protect your vehicle against winter weather damage
Cars that spend a lot of time outdoors in winter weather conditions can benefit from using a year-round wax to protect the paint job and metal exterior against salt and other corrosive chemicals. This is especially true if you frequently go on long road trips or find yourself driving in very cold, snowy areas where salt is regularly spread across roads for deicing purposes.
10. Keep the windows free of ice, snow, and frost using a razor blade scraper or de-icer spray
In extremely cold weather conditions, it’s important to keep the windows free of ice, snow, and frost. This can be done using a razor blade scraper or a deicer spray. Just be sure to take care when removing any snow or ice from the windows, as it’s easy to accidentally scratch the glass with a sharp object or damage the paint job with a chemical deicer.
11. Wash salt stains off rims with dish detergent and warm water
If your car is frequently exposed to salt stains during winter, it’s a good idea to wash them off regularly with dish detergent and warm water. This will help keep the metal rims from corroding over time.
12. Repair any chipped paint before it spreads and becomes too noticeable
If you notice any chipped paint on your car, it’s important to repair it as soon as possible. Not only is it unsightly, but a chip in the paint can lead to further damage if not fixed in a timely manner. Use a touch-up kit or take the car to a professional for more extensive repairs.
13. Clean out leaves, dirt, and other grime from air intake vents to keep the engine running smoothly
It’s a good idea to clean out leaves, dirt, and other grime from air intake vents on a regular basis. This will help keep the engine running smoothly and prevent any build-up of dirt or debris that could potentially cause problems down the road.
14. Maintain your car’s exhaust system to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your vehicle by keeping tailpipes clean and free from obstructions
It’s important to maintain your car’s exhaust system to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your vehicle. This can be done by keeping tailpipes clean and free from obstructions.
15. Cut windows out of a rubber floor mat, spray it with aerosol glass cleaner, and stick it to the inside windshield for a makeshift ice scraper
In a pinch, you can cut windows out of a rubber floor mat, spray it with aerosol glass cleaner, and stick it to the inside windshield for a makeshift ice scraper. Just be aware that this will only work for one-time use or until the window is completely cleared of ice and snow.
16. Replacing worn windshield wipers will help you see better in bad weather conditions.
To see better in bad weather conditions, you should replace worn windshield wipers. If your car’s wipers are streaking or chattering across the windshield, it’s time to take action. Worn blades can lead to poor visibility and potential accidents on the road, so visit an auto parts store or mechanic to get new ones installed as soon as possible.
17. Cover your car’s upholstery and floor mats with leftover yard waste bags to keep it clean during the winter months
It’s a good idea to cover your car’s upholstery and floor mats with leftover yard waste bags or other clothes during the winter months. This will help keep the interior nice and clean as you travel from place to place, preventing any dirt, grime, water, or salt stains from accumulating. Just be sure to remove these bags before placing your vehicle in storage for the season.
18. Apply silicone or graphite lubricant to door hinges on older cars that tend to squeak in cold weather conditions
If your car is squeaking during the winter months, apply silicone or graphite lubricant to door hinges on older cars. This should quiet the hinges down so you don’t have to listen to them squeaking as you drive.
19. Keep spare tire covers from blowing off tires by using tape, strings, or bungee cords to secure them in place
If your car’s spare tire cover keeps blowing off while you’re driving, try using tape, strings, or bungee cords to secure it in place. You can find these materials at any hardware store, so pick some up and keep the spare tire protected.
20. If you’re going away on vacation, have someone check on your car regularly to remove snow, ice, or any other buildup that could potentially damage the vehicle.
If you’re going away on vacation for more than a couple of weeks, it’s important to have someone check on your car regularly to remove snow, ice, or any other buildup that could potentially damage the vehicle. Leaving snow or salt on your car can corrode metal rims and cause paint chips. Be sure to tell this person where you keep your emergency supplies so they can be used if needed.
When it comes to cleaning your car in winter, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. By following the tips above, you can help keep your vehicle in good condition throughout the season and prevent any long-term damage from occurring.