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Essential Car Wash Supplies

Updated on July 1, 2013

Washing Cars

A unique car wash sign in Seattle, Washington
A unique car wash sign in Seattle, Washington | Source

Clean Your Car

Washing your car is a task that most of us do not look forward to; we just have better things to do, but like any other chore around the house it still needs to be done.

Sure some people enjoy cleaning their vehicles; my brother is one of these people. He has an older muscle car that he takes enormous pride in keeping it looking the best that he possibly can. His baby lives in the garage while his truck resides behind a fence on the side of the house, even though he drives the truck more than the Nova.

Most of us don’t get as excited as he does about cleaning our vehicles we still bite the bullet and get it done.

For me it is all of the preparation, the type of vehicle to be washed is a factor too. Getting a bucket, the car wash solution, a washing mitt and a drying cloth is inconvenient to me. The actual washing part isn’t too bad but drying is one of my least favorite things to do. I will however take washing our car over our full size truck because the truck forces me to get out our ladder, just another thing to drag out of the garage.

In case you didn't know please make sure that you only use solutions that are specifically designed to wash vehicles; do not use your dish washing soap. Using soaps that are not designed for vehicles can actually damage the finish and the paint.

Detailing Cars

How much detailing do you do when you wash your vehicles?

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Car Wash Service

If you simply despise washing your vehicle, or your living complex prohibits cars being washed on the property, you can choose to take it to a car wash. These are available at some gas stations or specialty places where they only wash vehicles and sometimes sell gas.

There are more advantages than convenience if you go to a car wash. Many people feel that these facilities use less detergent and water to get the job done. The water is also treated before entering our public works systems under the street to remove any oils or sediment from your dirty vehicle before entering any waterways; obviously these measures are not occurring in your driveway at home.

Car Wash Sign

Certainly a one of a kind sign advertising car wash services by hand
Certainly a one of a kind sign advertising car wash services by hand | Source

Interior Cleaning

Cleaning your vehicle is not limited to the exterior; the inside needs some of your attention as well. Time to go back to the garage to get the shop vacuum and the Armor All to clean and protect the dashboard and upholstery, too bad we can’t do the washing in the garage since everything is already there.

For me cleaning the inside is kind of a pain because of my height. People over six feet tall aren’t exactly comfortable contorting their arms as required to vacuum that hard to reach spot under the seats or washing the inside of the windshield; I do not enjoy being on the verge of becoming a human pretzel.

Car Waxing

So you have cleaned the exterior, vacuumed and preserved the inside so it must be time to call it a day and prop your feet up right? Wrong. You might need to address detailing the exterior.

What is detailing? Detailing is the part that protects your paint and other exterior materials from the weather and harsh sun continuously beating down on it.

Fortunately many products on the market only need to be applied a couple of times a year, just read the directions on the back of the product to see what they want you to do. For me waxing a car is an extension of drying it so I have a great time doing it, just like I enjoy going to the dentist. My biggest issue is finding leftover product months after the waxing job. I might find it in the grooves around the trunk or around a door; I usually don’t have anything on me to wipe it off either.

Car Polishing

As much as I despise waxing our vehicles I know it has to be done, if I still want paint on them as they get older. We aren’t a family that trades in vehicles every few years; we just drive them until they go out and then get another used one that fills our needs at the time.

I bought an older car in high school with saved up paper route money. It wasn’t fancy but it got me from point A to point B and it was mine! When I went to school in Arizona I took it with me, it didn’t have air conditioning but I was eighteen and the heat was not going to bother me.

What I didn’t know about Arizona was the sand and dust storms Phoenix endured. I remember getting my first lesson one afternoon at work when you could see this massive thing coming off of the desert. Just imagine your vacuum blowing out all of the stuff you sucked up, but on a much larger scale.

I found out the hard way that the paint job on my car didn’t agree with the sand blasting from these storms; I had numerous spots where the paint failed under these conditions. That was the only lesson I needed from Mother Nature about what she was capable of doing to vehicles that weren’t properly protected from her wrath. Even though I did not enjoy waxing, I now understood completely the value in doing it.

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    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Marcy - It can be overwhelming to me too. Fortunately our son will be taking over these duties so I don't have to think about them anymore. Thanks for voting and commenting.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Excellent advice! Car care sometimes seems overwhelming to me; there's so much to remember, and even what seems simple (go to a car wash) can get lost in the shuffle of daily activities. I've been in one sandstorm (as a kid, with my dad driving the car). It was an amazing experience, and I know our poor car took a beating ( even though it was well-cared for). Voted up and up!

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      teaches12345 - I was looking at the truck yesterday thinking it needed to be washed but our temperature was over 100 so I passed on doing it, maybe next weekend. Thanks for commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Interesting and useful. I just washed my car the the other day, it was fun but took some time to complete. Thanks for making it so exciting.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Mmargie1966 - It is too detailed, maybe that is why I don't enjoy it? I know we have to do it but I can still complain about it right? Thanks for voting and commenting.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I never realized how detailed that task is (no pun intended). Cute hub idea!

      Voted up and interesting!