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Cleaning Your Car

May 6, 2008
If you just bought your first car, chances are that it means a great deal to you and you'll probably be obsessed (at least for the first few months or so) with keeping it clean. There's nothing wrong with this; it's perfectly normal (as the car doctor would say). However, when you go to clean your car, there are certain things you'll need to know. After all, certain vehicles require extra special attention to remain looking as nice as they do! This goes way beyond the realm of good old soap and water.

Driver Beware

We've all heard rumors about car washes. If you're thinking of taking your vehicle to one of those automatic car washes, you should exercise caution. While they may seem harmless, machines aren't perfect and can sometimes damage your vehicle. Don't get me wrong, cars are meant to be driven and therefore, they'll probably be on the receiving end of a nick or two from road debris flying up at high speeds and hitting your car. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about that type of damage. However, there are things you can do to prevent other types of unnecessary damage from occurring.

When you bring your car to an automatic car wash, which is usually located at a gas station, you can always feel free to go inside the station and ask the attendant how recently they had the automatic car wash inspected. There's a good chance that they won't have a clue; but hey, it's worth a shot. Sometimes the brushes and other machinery in these types of car washes can be a little rough on your vehicle, leaving unnecessary scratches. After all, there's a reason they only charge you like five bucks!

You've probably heard the saying, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." Well, it's true. The best way to most effectively get the results you want for your vehicle is to do it yourself. Now, if you're willing to spend a ton of money, your next best option would be to pay a dealership or other professional company to have your vehicle detailed. When your car is detailed, it is returned to you as if you had just bought it yesterday. It's typically that good. But if you're going to do it yourself, you should make sure that you're informed of the right way to clean your car. Some things that you'll need to get started include:

- Auto cleaning wipes (ex: Armor All wipes are great)
- Vacuum cleaner or portable vacuum
- Glass cleaner
- Auto microfiber cloths
- Garbage bag
- Stain remover
- Interior spray or wipes
- Bucket
- Soft sponge (specifically for cars)
- Car cleaning solution

Cleaning your car should be something you enjoy doing. It's also something that's great for your car to help maintain the exterior life of the vehicle. Depending on where you live, cleaning your vehicle might be an essential part of your life. For example, if you live near the ocean, you'll want to clean your vehicle fairly regularly to avoid having salt damage done to the paint.
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