Car being washed

Washing your car is one of those things that you’ll often find you need to do from time to time, whether it's because you’ve driven through some tough conditions recently, or because you want to get the car ready before driving it after buying it from one of our online car auctions here at RAW2K.

Whatever the case, it probably seems like it should be a fairly straightforward task. And for the most part, it is – especially once you get into the swing of it. However, it can sometimes be easy to make a mistake that ends up damaging your car – so here are the five biggest things to avoid!

Leaving dead insects and bird droppings too long on your car

Whenever you’re starting to wash your car, one of the most important things to do first is to make sure you give it a proper rinse. Not only does it make the job easier as a whole, but it minimises the risk from two of the most annoying common threats to your car – insects and bird droppings.

Bird droppings in particular are highly acidic, and they’ll eat into the paint when it dries. Dead insects are the same; as they decompose, they produce enzymes which will break down the carcass. In doing so though, they can end up damaging the paint, sometimes causing permanent etching. In both cases, make sure you properly lubricate the affected areas with water before attempting to clean them off, as this will minimise the risk of them damaging your car. 

Using the wrong cleaning materials

We really, really can’t stress this one enough – do not use household cleaning products. That includes kitchen soap, washing up liquid, home-based detergents… the lot. All of them are categorically not designed to be used on cars, and they can end up stripping the paint of its protective coating, leaving it vulnerable to the elements. 

The same goes for your cleaning implements. Don’t be tempted to use old towels or shirts for your car, or a household sponge, as all of them run the risk of scratching your car. Always play it safe with a proper wash mitt and dedicated car cleaning soap instead. The results always look much better!

Using only one bucket to wash and rinse the car

It does sound obvious, but it’s still worth repeating! Some people find it tempting to use a single bucket for both jobs, but it’s really important to have a separate bucket for washing and rinsing water, as it helps to prevent dust and grime from being transferred back onto the car. These will not only make it look dirty again, ruining all your hard work, but can also end up – you guessed it – damaging the finish. Using separate buckets, on the other hand, means that you can have complete peace of mind that the wash water stays clean, and the rinse water isn’t contaminated. 

Using too much cleaning product

Using too much cleaning product, or leaving it on for too long, or wiping it off too soon – it can all end up causing additional hassle for not much benefit, if any. That’s especially true when it comes to paint protection – using too much will only boost the protection of your car up to a certain point, and beyond that the only effect it has is to become a lot harder to remove. 

The same goes for using too much window cleaner, which can lead to visible streaks on your windscreen. In fact, there’s a strong school of thought that says the best way to clean your windows is simply with good old-fashioned water, and an appropriate kind of towel. That’s probably a good place to start – then you can see how you go from there!

That’s just a selection of our top tips – you may well be able to think of plenty of your own! That’s the cleaning side sorted, in any case. If your car needs any repairs rather than a clean though, or even if you’re in the market for a different car entirely, that’s exactly where we can help here at RAW2K. We’ve got a huge range of salvage cars to choose from in our online car auctions, including not just models from the likes of Ford and Vauxhall, but also other world-famous brands like MercedesHonda, and Peugeot. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always bargains to be found. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?