5 Household Items to Help When Cleaning your Car

5 Household Items to Help When Cleaning your Car

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Five Household Items to Help When Cleaning your Car

 

Nowadays stores are full of hundreds (if not thousands) of “specialty” items to help you clean your car, often costing extortionate amounts! If you aren’t careful and listen to all the marketing promises, you could easily spend hundreds of dollars on one trip!

But not to worry, tuck that wallet back in your back pocket and take a walk around your home, there are numerous items that you already own that will help you in your maintenance mission. But if it all becomes too much, don’t be afraid to get the professionals in once in a while!

1. Toothbrush – My personal favourite! The trusted toothbrush is an extremely versatile aid when it comes to cleaning your car. We will start with the firm brush;
a. Firm Brush – Apply a small amount of upholstery cleaner to the head of the brush, place your thumb behind the head (to prevent it from snapping), and scrub any spot stains on your carpet or upholstery. We find this gets stains out 90% of the time! You may need to do 2 or 3 rounds on those tougher stains.
b. Soft Brush – The soft brush is great for running along small crevice sections such as around the edge of air-vents or gearboxes to get all those small dirt and grime particles. EXPERT TIP – run a microfiber along at the same time to catch whatever you dislodge.

2. Pocket Sized Compressed Air – Admittedly this may not be found in all households but remember that little air canister you picked up to clean your keyboard? It is PHENOMENAL at clearing those hard to get to spots of dust and grime. And for around $2.99 from office supply stores, you really can’t argue! You can also use this to blow off leaves and twigs which often tend to congregate in the boot jambs of your car. In fact, you can use it to remove pretty much anything (just don’t spray it on your bare skin, it can burn!).
3. Rubber Gloves – Apart from protecting yourself against any stronger chemicals you may use for stain removal, they have another secret use… Pet hair! Run the palm of your hand in one direction along the affected area a few times, the pet hair will begin to gather in a small lump, you can then pick up the lump easily. If you still can’t get those last few strands to come out, Sello-tape or (sticky tape as most countries other than the UK call it!) works a charm, just lay it flat over the strands and pull it off much like waxing and you will find it works like a charm!
4. Dish Cloths – Firstly, do not use dirty dishcloths on your paint! You should only use clean cloths when applying any kind of product to your paintwork, otherwise, you risk adding contaminants or even scratching your paintwork. However, old dishcloths are fantastic for cleaning your rims! Brake dust, although looking horrendous, is amazingly easy to remove, a small amount of either household multi-purpose cleaner or even just water is usually enough to loosen it up to be wiped off by one of your clothes. Recycling dish-cloths is a lot cheaper than buying 2 terry towels for $10 which seems to be the norm nowadays!
5. Air-freshener! – Last but not least is the mighty air-freshener, it seems so, so obvious yet I very rarely meet people who regularly use it to maintain their vehicle. If you deem it nice enough to fragrance your house, why not your car?! A little spray often will really make a difference.

Hopefully, these will help you keep your car nice and clean and delay (if not prevent) the need to get a professional car detailing company in!

6 reasons to get your car detailed today – Guest PostCar Maintenance for Dummies (A guest post by Tristan Lal)

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WHAT ARE SWIRL MARKS?

Swirl marks are microscopic scratches in the surface of paint that show up like cobwebs in bright light. They are caused by incorrecting washing and drying where dirt particles in the sponge and chamois leave microscopic scratches in the clear coat.

Solution – Single stage correction package will remove approximately 60-70% of swirl marks, dual stage 70-85% and triple stage 85-95%.

LACK OF COLOR DEPTH

Lack of Colour depth is where the colour has faded but isn’t classed as oxidised, typical on one stage paints that don’t have a clear coat.

Solution – Single stage correction will improve colour depth however dual stage correction is recommended if you want to remove swirls at same time.

ENTRY MARKS

Finger nails, rings and car keys scratch the paint around the door handle and leave unsightly marks.

Solution – Spot machine polishing, although these scratches are usually too deep for 100% correction our spot correction can make these marks almost invisible. Great add for people trying to sell their car. Price $ 20 per panel when added to a detail or $75 call out fee + per panel.

GHOSTING

Ghosting refers to the outline or visible stencil left on the paint after stickers/decals are removed. It is the contrast between the fresh paint that was protected under the vinyl sticker and the exposed paint that has faded and appears dull in comparison.

Solution – Spot dual stage machine polishing is the most affordable solution, $45 per panel and $75 call out fee. Depending on the colour of your car spot polishing may not be advised. The polished area will vastly contrast the unpolished paint. Lighter coloured cars can get away with single stage polishing at $20 per panel. Full dual stage paint correctionis recommended on darker coloured cars with these defects.

OXIDISED / CHALKY PAINT

Oxidised paint is where the paint appears chalky and dull, it’s caused by breakdown of the paint from exposure to sun,water and oxygen. More common on single stage paints and white, red, and black cars.

Solution – Single stage correction can be effective on white or lighter coloured cars with light oxidation. On heavily oxidised cars, dual stage correction is highly recommended. Spot polishing is not applicable and only full correction packages should be considered.

TRAIL MARKS

Caused by vegetation and scrub rubbing against sides of the vehicle that leaves visible scuffs. These marks range from swallow to quite deep scratches.

Solution – Dual stage polishing is recommended as the first stage orbital polishing is better suited at resurfacing the affected areas with its more effective cutting action. The second stage of polishing restores gloss and further rounds off the deeper scratches.

BIRD DROPPINGS

Bird droppings are very acidic and start eating into your paint the moment it hits, heat and dry weather will amplify the reaction, it’s important to clean any droppings off as soon as you see them. If you still see a ghosting outline after washing you have an etching mark where its has eaten slightly into your paint. If the mark looks like the one in the picture sourced from meguiars online you only have light etching and this can be corrected with machine polishing.

Solution – Spot dual stage machine polishing is the most affordable solution, $45 per panel and $75 call out fee. Depending on the colour of your car spot polishing may not be advised. The polished area will vastly contrast the unpolished paint. Full Dual stage paint correction is recommended on darker coloured cars with these defects.

PAINT TRANSFER

Paint transfer is occurs when a car panel comes into contact with another painted object with force and leaves a layer of paint behind. Common paint transfers are yellow paint marks left from bollards or garage door frames. The actual paint transfer can be polished off with great success, however there are usually a few deeper scratches that are left behind. The polishing stage will reduce the appearance of these scratches but if you can see the undercoat on your car, it’s time for respray.

Solution – Spot dual stage machine polishing is the most affordable solution, $45 per panel and $75 call out fee. Depending on the colour of your car spot polishing may not be advised. The polished area will vastly contrast the unpolished paint. Full Dual stage paint correction is recommended on darker coloured cars with these defects.

AGED BIRD DROPPINGS

Bird droppings that have been left too long can eat all the way through the clear coat. If the mark is crazed, or cracking as shown in the pictures this is unfortunately clear coat failure and can only be fully repaired by repainting. The clear coat has been penetrated and no amount of polishing will remove all traces of the defect.

Light crazing and cracking can be vastly improved and is much more cost effective than painting, many customers still opt for an improvement by our Dual Stage spot paint correction. Although we can not guarantee restoration we can make the marks less visable for a fraction of the cost of repainting. Is a popular option for clients trying to improve their cars for sale.

DEEP SCRATCHES

Random deeper scratches are very common and depending on the depth will determine if they can be polished out. The general rule of thumb gives you an instant idea if the scratch is correctable. Run your thumb nail over the scratch and if a indentation is felt then generally the scratch is too deep to successfully correct by polishing. Normal wear and tear will see your car pick up a few deeper scratches over time. If the scratch is a different colour and you can see bare metal or primer, only repainting is your option. Where deeper scratches have not penetrated all the way through the clear coat you have more options.

A popular choice is to get the area polished to reduce the appearance of the marks first and then determine if you can live with the result. Alternately if chasing 100% correction respraying is your next option, remember that respraying just one door panel can cost $350-600. Dual or even triple stage paint correction package may give you a great outcome and permanently reduce appearance of those scratches without the expense of repainting your car.

WATER SPOTS

There are actually three types of water spots but we will only focus on two of the most popular. The first is mineral deposits that sit on top of your paint and is usually a combination of magnesium and calcium. These minerals are soluble in your town water and when the water evaporates from the surface the minerals are left behind causing unsightly water spotting. This type of water spot can be removed with specific chemicals and light polishing.

See our single and dual stage paint correction packages to restore these spots. The other type of water spotting is where the same minerals have been left on the paint for some time and has started to eat into the paint. This causes deep etching and proves very difficult to remove. Due to the excessive time involved to polishing out these defects we do not offer this service in a mobile sense as it takes more than one days labour. Keep posted for our workshop location at the end of the year.

PAINT MISSING

If there is paint missing and the scratches show the undercoat or even the base metal then repainting is your only option.

CLEAR COAT FAILURE

Clear coat failure is caused by long term exposure to the elements. This comes in the form of bubbling, blistering and peeling. Nothing can be done to fix this apart from repainting. See your local body shop for a quote.

EGG DAMAGE

Throwing eggs may seem harmless but cause irreversible damage to car paintwork. The small hard shell fragments cut into the paint at the point of impact and can only be fixed from repainting. A premium quality paint protection like our Modesta Liquid Glass has been know to prevent damage in some circumstances.

KEY MARKS

It makes my blood boil when I see senseless vandalism. If your car is keyed unfortunately respraying those panels is your only solution.