A car is a significant investment, whose value can extend to tens, or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. Over time, wear and tear causes them to depreciate – and so it’s vital to protect the investment through regular cleaning and maintenance. This is so if you’ve just bought a new model, but it’s even more so if you’ve restored a classic car to its former glory, and you’re looking to keep it that way.
Let’s take a look the items you might use to keep your car as clean as possible, both inside and out.
The vacuum cleaner is an item that we’re all familiar with – but cleaning the inside of a car demands a slightly different device than cleaning the inside of a living room, as there are far more nooks and crannies into which stray crumbs and dust particles might nestle. A hand-held vacuum cleaner will prove a useful ally here, helping you to get rid of all of those stray bits of grime and dirt.
The exterior of your car will also need regular cleaning. In order to remove those caked-on bits of dirt around the wheels, you’ll need a pressure washer. These devices will blast water through a narrow pipe, helping to remove that unsightly dirt. Heads that come equipped with brushes help to do this all the more effectively, and they add relatively little to the price.
In order to get your car really gleaming, you’ll need to apply a coat of polish. Polish can be rubbed in by hand, or it can be applied using an electronic polisher. The main advantage of the latter, aside from making the job easier, is that they can achieve a random orbital polish – ensuring that the coat is truly even.
As for the polish itself, you’ve several different choices, with the most popular two being wax and polish. Wax is advantageous in that it’s almost impossible to dissolve in water, and has a very high melting point. This means that a layer of wax will be able to protect your car against the elements, as well as ensuring a smooth finish. Polish, by contrast, tends to act as an abrasive – flattening the very top layer of paint in order to ensure a glimmering, flawless look.
The two substances can work in conjunction with one another – so you might polish a car every so often, and then maintain the shine with regular coats of wax.
Sponges, Brushes and Cloths
In order to give your car the best possible protection, you’ll need sponges and foams that won’t damage the surface of the paintwork. Synthetic microfiber cloths can be purchase inexpensively, but chamois leather cloths are often preferred by enthusiasts.
If you find that you haven’t the time or inclination to regularly clean your car, you might instead opt to hire a professional to do it for you. Professional valet services don’t come cheap – but they’ll do a thorough job, and they’ll remove the need for you to worry about investing in the more sophisticated pieces of car-cleaning equipment. By supplementing regular maintenance cleans with occasional professional ones, you’ll be able to get the best of both worlds – keeping your car clean and shining with minimal expenditure of either money or time. Unless maintaining your car is a hobby from which you derive pleasure, a professional valet may be the way forward.
As with any problem, it’s better to prevent your car from getting dirty in the first place than it is to clean it after the damage has been inflicted. If you’re going to be using your car to transport dirty items like mountain bikes and dogs, then this problem becomes all the more pressing. That’s where a car boot cover come in. It’ll form a protective shell around your boot, ensuring that it’s protected against the dirt that might be inflicted on it.
Boot liners come in many different shapes and sizes, some of which are more expensive than others. A cheaper liner might consist of a piece of cloth which sits loosely within the compartment, while a more expensive one might be tailor-made to fit a given model of vehicle – with tailored BMW, Mercedes and Audi boot liners all being available. The liner can be removed and washed alongside the rest of your laundry when required.
Almost invariably, the latter sort prove the most economical in the long run, offering a far superior standard of protection for your vehicle, prolonging its lifespan and removing the need for constant cleaning.