Car Care Tips

The 7 biggest mistakes people make when washing their car

Posted: 28th July 2020

Nothing beats the glossy sparkle and shine of a professionally cleaned car. But you don’t have to head to your local car wash to get an expert finish. A humble home wash can yield excellent results if you avoid making a few common mistakes that could threaten to ruin the final look with streaks, smears and even scratches.

 Here is our list of the top seven crimes against car washing:

1. Thinking it’s okay to wash your car with dishwashing liquid

It’s not. Not even close. Dishwashing liquid is not PH neutral, so it can be damaging to your paintwork. If you’re serious about taking care of your car, you need to make some small investments to make sure you have the right products on hand and use a proper, good quality cleaner such as ARMOR ALL® Ultra Wash & Wax. If your car could speak, we promise it would say thank you.

2. Cleaning from the top and forgetting the wheels

The 7 biggest mistakes people make when washing their car

Make sure you start with the wheels first

 Always begin with the wheels and tyres, which are the dirtiest part of the car and need to be cleaned thoroughly with a product such as ARMOR ALL® Wheel Cleaner. Once the wheels and tyres are sparkling, you can go back to the top and work your way down, but make sure to change your water before you do. You don’t want that grit and rocks being wiped over your paintwork.


3. Using only one sponge for everything

Use a specialist wheel brush to get clean the bolts and rims

But before you plunge into cleaning the body and windows of your car, make sure you change sponges (and your water!). Trust us, it will make the world of difference. The grit and dirt on tyres and wheels are incredibly hard to remove from even the best sponges or mitts. Use one accessory for the tyres/wheels (like the ARMOR ALL® Wheel Cleaner Brush) and a different accessory for the rest of the car (such as the gentle but super effective ARMOR ALL® Wash Mitt), and you’ll be able to see the difference.

4. Drying your car with a dirty old beach towel

A chamois gives you a water spot-free finish

Would you dry yourself after a shower with a grubby rag? We certainly hope not.  Drying your car properly after a wash is surprisingly important, and using the right type of drying accessory can make a huge difference. Avoid a spotty or smeared finish by using an ARMOR ALL® Multi-Purpose Microfibre Drying Towel, or the ARMOR ALL® Chamois which are both super absorbent and will help you achieve a better result.

5. Pouring wax or polish directly onto your car

Come on, you know better than this. It’s great that you’re taking these extra steps, because using a quality product such as ARMOR ALL® High Performance Wax & Polish can make a huge difference to the final finish of your car. But anything worth doing is worth doing right. Apply it using a damp cotton cloth for a more even application and wipe it off with a clean, dry ARMOR ALL® Polishing Cloth. It’s as easy as that.

6. Using domestic glass cleaners on your windscreen

Windscreens attract everything from salt and dust to dirt and insects. A gentle household glass cleaner is never going to cut through grime like this and, as many contain ammonia, can be incredibly damaging for automotive glass (especially glass that has been tinted). Hit the grime hard, while protecting your pride and joy, with a specialised cleaner like ARMOR ALL® Glass Cleaner. It’s designed to clean the toughest dirt and give you a sparkling, streak-free finish.

7. Neglecting your leather interiors


Keep your leather interiors in pristine condition with a specially designed protectant

Forgetting to give your interiors some love can be a HUGE mistake, especially if your car is subjected to a lot of harsh sunshine, which can ruin leather interiors beyond repair. Prevent UV damage, and get ahead of any stains or spills by wiping on some ARMOR ALL® 2 in 1 Leather Protectant every time you wash your car. It will only take a few extra minutes, but it will help to give your car that professional polished look.

For a quick touch up

Posted: 10th September 2012

After washing and chamois your car. For that quick touch-up I use ARMOR ALL® Spray on Shine. It’s a great way to keep your car looking like new in between waxing.

How to make waxing easy

Posted: 10th September 2012

You don’t need to apply a thick coat when waxing. A thin and even coat will protect your car’s paintwork. To achieve this, apply ARMOR ALL® High Performance Wax & Polish using a damp cotton cloth and wipe off using a clean, dry, cotton cloth.

Take care when using wax products

Posted: 10th September 2012

When using ARMOR ALL® High Performance Wax & Polish, I avoid contact with glassed surfaces of the vehicle. Wax on glassed surfaces forms a coating, which can smear and consequently reduce visibility.

You must always remember to do this first

Posted: 10th September 2012

Regardless of the surface that you’re working with, it must be clean before you begin to protect or polish it. This applies to every surface of your vehicle – both inside and out.

How to achieve a great shine on your tyres

Posted: 10th September 2012

ARMOR ALL® Extreme Tyre Shine gives your tyres high-gloss, long-lasting shine that keeps them looking like new longer. To achieve maximum shine, let stand for 15 minutes after first application, then repeat.

The best way to protect your wheels from brake dust

Posted: 10th September 2012

Prevent brake dust from bonding to and damaging your wheel surfaces by regular use of ARMOR ALL® Wheel Cleaner. Once clean, you can further enhance their appearance by drying them with a soft cloth to prevent spotting.

You cannot afford not to protect your tyres & wheels

Posted: 10th September 2012

A new set of tyres can be very costly. To protect your investment and keep your tyres from fading and cracking, apply ARMOR ALL® Protectant and ARMOR ALL® Wheel Cleaner every time you wash your car.

Take care when using wax products

Posted: 10th September 2012

When using ARMOR ALL® High Performance Wax & Polish or other wax products, I avoid contact with glassed surfaces of the vehicle. Wax on glassed surfaces forms a coating, which can smear and consequently reduce visibility

Removing fingerprints from windows

Posted: 10th September 2012

The easiest way to remove those annoying fingerprints from your windows is to use ARMOR ALL® Glass Cleaner Wipes. One wipe does an entire window.