The 7 biggest mistakes people make when washing their car

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.