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washing carMaintaining a clean car is very difficult in the snowy northern climate during this time of year. Many people opt to use drive-through car washes, but, over time, these washes can leave swirls in your car’s finish, strip off wax/sealant and damage rubber and plastic parts. Though it takes more effort, hand-washing is the safest way for car enthusiasts to wash the winter grime away without damaging your car along the way.

Because many homes have frozen outdoor water sprockets, it’s best to visit a local DIY car wash bay. However, to ensure the safety of the cleaning agents you use (many car washes add harmful agents to shampoos), it’s best to pack your own supplies in advance. Gather the following: two buckets with secure lids, car wash shampoo, a wash mitt, drying towels, spray wax/sealant and latex or rubber gloves (if desired for washing).

Before leaving, fill both buckets with very warm water, since warmer water breaks down grime more effectively. One bucket will remain filled with water only; dilute the shampoo into the second bucket. Secure the lids, pack everything into your car and head off to the car wash bay.

Start with a thorough rinse using the bay’s pressure washer set to the rinse cycle. Then use your wash mitt to scrub down your whole car, top to bottom. If it’s cold enough for ice buildup, stop scrubbing halfway through to rinse once more. If not, rinse after washing is complete. Quickly towel dry your car to prevent ice buildup. Moving quickly may not allow for the best wash, but it’s certainly better than waiting until spring for a wash.

Once dry, you can apply a spray wax or sealant product, if desired. Because these products are not designed for use in cold climates, they may work slower than they ordinarily would in warmer weather. This will not harm your car; rather, this information is to provide a warning so you don’t panic if you notice a difference in product performance. Add a coat over windows and lights once the body of your car is done. And that’s it…until the next snowstorm!

Get the protection your car needs. Call TCU Insurance Agency at (574) 307-7371 for more information on South Bend auto insurance.
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