The Do’s and Don’ts of Car Detailing

There is much more than what meets the eye when it comes to car detailing. Most assume you can grab your resident dish detergent, a bucket, and a sponge, and then go to work. 

However, taking this path may cause more harm than good. Fortunately, Harv’s Auto Body Repair in Iowa City, IA specializes in high-quality car detailing services. 

Let’s explore a few do’s and don’ts of car detailing. And if you want the best car detailing services in Iowa City, IA and nearby areas, do contact Harv’s Auto Body Repair.

Car wash by hand, with soap suds, bubbles, and mitt. Concept image of “The Do's and Don'ts of Car Detailing” | Harv’s Auto Body Repair in Iowa City, IA.

Don't Use Household Detergents for Car Detailing.

If you’re looking for a DIY car wash, you should never, ever…ever use household detergents. Popular household detergents, like Dawn and Palmolive, are not designed for your vehicle’s paintwork. Instead, these detergents can remove the most stubborn grime and grease. 

While Dawn dish detergent may seem mild on your skin, it can wreak havoc on your paintwork, stripping it of oils and protective waxes. You may not see an immediate effect, but it will dull your trim and paint with every wash. 

Instead, only use a specially formulated car wash soap to remove the grime and dirt while protecting your paint.

Do Use a Mitt. Do Not Use a Sponge.

If you take a trip to the car wash section of your local grocery store, you will easily find piles upon piles of dense, cheap sponges. 

While picking up one of the cost-effective sponges may be tempting, you should never use a sponge on your car detailing. The porous material of sponges can absorb grit and scratch your paintwork. 

Instead, choose a microfibre, soft-wash mitt. Wash mitts are exclusively designed for car detailing—not scrubbing pots or tubs—and can lift dirt without rubbing it back in.

Do Always Use the Two-Bucket Method for Clean Water.

When you are washing with buckets, you should always use two buckets. One bucket will contain clean water, and the other should hold the soapy cleaning solution. The whole idea is to isolate dirt you’ve wiped from the surface of your car as much as possible. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Dip your mitt into the soap water,
  • Wash the vehicle with a soapy mitt,
  • Rinse the soapy mitt off in the clean water bucket
  • Place the mitt in soapy water and continue to wash your vehicle.

This practice can prevent you from scratching your vehicle with small dirt particles.

Don't Wash Your Car in Direct Sunlight.

When washing your car, avoid doing so in the direct sun. The intense heat from the sun can lead to stubborn water spots that are challenging to eliminate. Even worse, the spots may become permanent if the water contains a high mineral content. 

At the same time, wax and other sealants dry too rapidly under direct sunlight, making their removal a formidable task. 

Instead of direct sunlight, look for a shaded area to bathe your vehicle or wash it in the evening as the sun sets.

Do Invest in Quality Car Detailing Products.

We get it—it can be easy to grab the cheapest car wash products to save a buck. However, your car detailing products are just like everything else: you get what you pay for. Because of this, it’s imperative to choose good quality car cleaning products. Simply put, your car wash will only be good as the products you use.

Do Contact Harv's Auto Body Repair for Auto Detailing.

You don’t have to do this yourself, though. Harv’s Auto Body Repair can help when you need best-in-class car detailing services. Our highly-skilled car detailing experts use professional-grade, safe supplies to deliver exceptional results. We will restore your vehicle to its showroom glory. 

Contact us today at (319) 351-0680 or visit us at 423 Highland Ave., Iowa City, IA 52240.