Whether you own a new or used car, having a pristine, scratch-free exterior is extremely satisfying. Unfortunately, there are some common ways that people inadvertently scratch their cars, including one particular action that can cause numerous hairline scratches without you even knowing it.

Washing Your Car
Washing cars at home is one of the most common ways to cause accidental scratches on a vehicle’s exterior. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to avoid this.

  1. Hose your car down before you even begin to wash it. This will remove loose dirt and debris that can cause fine scratches when rubbed against the surface repeatedly.

  2. Use two buckets – one with rinse water and one with soapy water. Always rinse your microfiber cloth before dunking it back in the soapy water. The reason? As you wipe your car down, the wash cloth collects debris, including very tiny rocks, which should be rinsed from the cloth as well as possible. If you rub that debris against the car over and over and over again, it may cause hairline scratches.

  3. Use grit guards. They help trap debris at the bottom of buckets, so that it’s less likely for the debris and small rocks to float up and reattach to your microfiber cloth.

  4. Don’t wash in a circular pattern. This may be effective when cleaning a casserole dish, but it’s not good on your car’s exterior. Instead, work lengthwise and in long moments across the hood and body panels.

  5. Use microfiber. You may have noticed our rather unsubtle mentions of “microfiber” a couple of times now. It’s because microfiber, as well as terry cloths for drying, will be the easiest on your car’s exterior. You should avoid purchasing low-quality wash cloths, which may not seem harsh to the touch, but are not nearly as delicate on your car’s paint job. Also get rid of your old sponge, which can easily grab and hold onto grit.

In addition to these tips, you should also be wary of using dish liquid to wash your car. This is a big no-no. Over time, it can actually break down the clear coat that protects your car’s paint, and therefore, make the vehicle exterior more prone to scratches.

If you want to have your vehicle professionally cleaned or if you need to have your car detailed, Cerritos Nissan is at your assistance. We even offer free car washes with every service!