Car cleaning is one of those tasks that we tend to neglect or delay for a tad too long. It can be a bit of a chore, and typically, the results just don’t last that long. Don’t you love it when all of your hard work is undone while driving to and from work all week?
However, all of that is different now, due to current events. Now that we’ve all got a little extra time on our hands, what better time to give your car a proper clean but now?
So, let’s get into it; today, Novus shows you how to get your car so clean that it looks like it’s just back from the shop. To help you get there, we break down the most important products you’ll need to purchase to get the best results.
The Best Car Cleaning Products
When embarking on a journey of washing your car, make sure you have all the right tools. While there are a lot of different brands and types of car cleaning products available – enough to give even the biggest car fanatic a headache – there are some that really do make an impact on the overall appearance of your car. A professional clean not only leaves your car squeaky clean and shiny, but it prolongs the durability of your car’s interior and exterior. That’s due to the products used – and that’s our aim for you today, getting that professional look and service.
So, let’s break it down. What do you need?
The Exterior Car Shampoo or Wash Soap
Car wash soap is a staple item in your car cleaning kit. After all, it’s the product that actually washes the dirt and grime away. So, which type of soap detergent is best?
When it comes to car shampoos or wash soaps, your regular hand soap, dishwashing detergent, or hair shampoo will absolutely not do. Some of these can be quite harsh and strip away at your car’s exterior, making your paint job deteriorate quicker. Car shampoos and wash soaps were specifically designed to clean your car – they are tough on grime with very little abrasion.
What you ideally need to look for is a wash that foams well, is as gentle on the environment as possible (many are biodegradable these days), and is pH balanced. A good way to decide on a product is to also look at its reviews.
Some top buys include Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax, which retails for $31.99 per 1.42L. This one meets the pH neutral requirement, and it has the added benefit of a wax component that adds a longer lasting shine to your car. If you’re looking for great value for money, then get yourself SCA Concentrate Wash & Wax which retails for $9.99 for a 1.25L bottle. Again, this product is highly reviewed, has the added ‘umph’ from the wax and the safety of its pH neutral formulation.
The next stage in the professional cleaning process is a polish. Car polish is great for removing surface scratches, swirls, oxidation, dirt, and other minor imperfections. Always use your polish before wax!
When choosing a polish, always aim for a gentle version. Polishes generally contain chemical or physical abrasive ingredients. These abrade a very fine layer of your car’s paint job to minimise scratches. When using a polish, you should always be gentle and work in circular motions.
For your car’s interior polishing needs, Novus has you covered. Novus plastic polish level 1, 2, and 3 is priced between $6.95 and $79.95, depending on the volume and level of polish you require. All levels provide different benefits.
Level 1: gives all plastic surfaces a shiny aesthetic.
Level 2: is more course than 1 and removes light scratches.
Level 3: is the most course of the polishes and removes heavier scratches.
Using the 3 levels in conjunction with each other provides the best results after stretching.
For the exterior, an excellent product is NuFinish once a year car polish ($18.99 for 473mL). This is a much more intense polish that requires no buffing or rubbing at all, and its effects last a whole year. Which means less cleaning for you overall!
Wax is an important step in the cleaning process that’s often overlooked. Professionals use wax to get that shiny look, remove water marks and smudges, and protect paintwork.
“You’re putting a barrier between the clearcoat and the outside world to protect it from nasty stuff in the air, UV rays, and water.” – Matt Robinson, Car Throttle.
Out of all waxes, spray waxes are the most convenient and easy to use. We recommend trying Turtle Wax Dry Wax Spray which will set you back $16.99 for 769mL. The best way to use this product is while it’s wet – spray the wax spray onto each panel, one at a time, and dry with a clean microfiber towel. The wax will make drying your car a breeze – and no more water marks!
Last but not least: glass cleaner. A step that should never be skipped. Now that you’ve got the exterior all spiffy, you want to get your glass as clean and see-through as possible. For the absolute best results, use glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth.
“When you clean your car, the glass should be the last thing you do, so make sure you do all your washing, waxing and polishing beforehand.” – Supercheap Auto.
A great quality glass cleaner that is also amazing value for money is Bar’s Bug Windscreen Cleaner which retails for $6.69 for 500mL. However, there are many excellent glass cleaners on the market. At the end of the day, if you already have home glass cleaner, you can definitely just use that. It works a treat!
If you’re going for the professionally-cleaned look, you’re going to want to spruce up those tyres. After all, a shiny car and dull, lacklustre tyres don’t go together. While tyre gel makes your tyres shine like new, it also helps with other things such as preventing build up from debris, keeping your car cleaner for longer.
For this, try Meguiars Endurance Tyre Shine Gel, costing you $27.99 for 473mL, a more expensive but quality product.
The Interior Cleaner
Before polishing down interior surfaces, give them an easy clean with Armor All Cleaning Wipes with cost $11.99 for a pack of 25 wipes. These are super handy and make a quick job out of cleaning the interior – you can even keep them in your glove box for a quick touch up!
For seats and flooring, Meguiar’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is ideal for cleaning carpet and fabric seats ($23.99 for 539g). According to The Vehicle Lab, it leaves no residue, removes stains, and has a pleasant smell.
A Guide to Cleaning Your Car
Giving your car a really good clean has many benefits. Firstly, its aesthetic is greatly improved. Dirt, dust, mud, leaves that gather from the outside world and road are removed. Secondly, it greatly improves your state of mind. There’s something about driving a fresh, clean car that just makes you feel better on the inside. Thirdly, cleaning and good maintenance prolongs the life and value of your car.
“Washing regularly can extend the life of your car’s paint job by removing splattered bugs, tree sap, bird droppings, and salt that could slowly but surely degrade the top layer of clear-coat.” – Duncan Bradey, Car and Driver.
So, what is the best way to clean your car?
First thing you want to do is have the right equipment.
- A bucket. Or two, ideally. One for the soapy water and the other for clean water to ring out your mit with.
- A hose. This is the easiest way to water down your car.
- A sponge or washing mitt. We highly recommend the washing mitt over a sponge – it just holds up better.
- A drying towel. Use a large microfibre towel for the best results while dying. In fact, if you come by a multiple pack of microfibre towels, buy them. They are handy for pretty much everything!
Step 1: Soak your car with water. In a bucket, mix up the car wash soap and water until it’s suddy.
Step 2: Start lathering up your car. Make sure you get into all the tight spots – particularly around your wheels and tyres.
Step 3: Wring out your dirty mitt into the clean water bucket before dipping back into the soapy bucket. This prevents dirt from sticking to your mitt and abrading the surface of your car.
Step 4: Hose down the entirety of your car to ensure no soapy water is left.
Step 5: If you’re trying to minimise scratches and scuff marks, polish your car using a polishing solution or cream and a microfibre cloth. Dry your car before you do this!
Step 6: If you’re skipping over the polish, get your wax spray ready for wiping down each panel. Dry your car using – can you guess? – yet another microfibre towel.
Step 7: If you want to get it all done at once – vacuum and wipe down the interior of your car. For tough stains on fabric, you might want to use a brush with sturdy bristles for scrubbing.
Step 8: Clean all of the glass – including windows and the front and rear windscreen.
Step 9: Enjoy your shiny new car!
For windscreens that simply won’t clean, it might be time for an upgrade. Novus Autoglass services all types of windscreens and provides a lifetime warranty on windscreen replacement. Call Novus today on 13 22 34.