Scratches and swirl marks are an unsightly annoyance on any car, but especially troublesome on black vehicles.
There are ways to reduce the appearance of marks after they are on your car, but of course, it's best to avoid them altogether if possible.
Short of parking your pride and joy in the garage and never using it, following are preventative tips for next time you wash your car.
It likely goes without saying that you should never grab a soapy rag and just dive in. Before you begin scrubbing, rinse the car off with a hose to remove excess dirt. If the moveable dirt is left on while scrubbing, it will create scratches.
Prepare your soap bucket with water and a car wash solution made especially for vehicles. Experts warn against using dishwasher detergent; dish soap is a degreaser and cleaner that will strip wax or sealant from the clear coat. A car-wash solution will keep lubricity over the paint while washing and minimize friction that will cause scratching.
When your vehicle is thoroughly wet, use a cloth made of soft material such as microfiber to dip into your prepared soapy bucket. Have a clean water bucket ready for rinsing dirt off your rag as you go—not rinsing in clear water will bring the dirt from the soap bucket back onto your vehicle and cause scratches.
The last important step is to apply wax. It protects your car from harmful UV rays that will dull the shine of your paint over time. Pick the right time to wax, however—during dry weather is important unless you use a high-quality paste. Wax needs time to dry before it is fully able to protect your vehicle. If you use wax during summer, avoid any day above 80 degrees.
Waxing in the sun isn’t the problem. The problem is surface temperature. Waxing in the direct sun in Maine on a white car during December is different than waxing a black car in the direct sun in Arizona in August.
Just keep your car’s surface at a reasonable temperature to work on. If the sun beats down onto your vehicle as you wax, it will bake the wax onto it. This will make the wax difficult to remove and it do more harm than good to your coat of paint.
On the reverse, waxing during cold weather can be just as bad for your vehicle. If the weather is very cold, it will be difficult to get any movement out of the wax. Cold wax is available, but can only be so cold before it becomes unusable.
Paste and liquid waxes tend to work best in colder temperatures. If the temperature is just right, place a small amount of wax on your vehicle and wipe it off with your finger. If the wax comes off without residue, it should be fine.
All of our cars in our inventory at our buy-here pay-here locations in Lubbock have been serviced, washed, waxed and clean—ready and waiting for you. We’ll even arrange financing if you need it.