Taking pride in the exterior appearance of your car is a must for any car guy/gal. In my opinion, the exterior and interior appearance of a car is a key indicator of how well a car is maintained under the hood. Nonetheless, keeping your car clean and shiny is not always possible.
One of the best tips I’ve learned after researching and speaking with a few experts on the subject is to use a grit guard when hand washing your car.
As shown above, a grit guard will trap the dirt being removed from the surface of the car at the bottom of the bucket. That way when your microfiber wash mitt goes back onto another portion of the car, dirt won’t scratch the paint. This will help prevent the dreaded swirl marks on your car.
Some enthusiasts will go a step further using the 2-bucket method. Each bucket has a grit guard. The first bucket has your car shampoo and water. You dunk the microfiber mitt into the first bucket and begin to wash your car. Then the mitt is dunked into the second bucket that only has clean water. It’s essentially a rinse bucket. Finally, you dunk the mitt into the first bucket and start the process all over again. This will keep you from transferring the dirt back onto your car and damaging the paint surface.
Why not just run your car through the local car wash? Because the damage from dirty equipment and harsh chemicals is extensive.
Pro-tip: Always wash from the top of the car down. The majority of the dirt is on the rocker panels and lower parts of your car and you don’t want to transfer that to the top surface of your car.
A basic and most budget-friendly car cleaning set-up: a bucket, grit guard, microfiber mitt and your favorite car shampoo (my favorite car cleaning products will be included in future posts).
* images from autogeek.net