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Common Car Washing Mistakes to Avoid

posted 05 January, 2018 by Julie Briggs
Car Care

Car washing may seem pretty easy and straightforward but there is more to it than you may realize. Besides getting off dirt and grime, washing and waxing your vehicle is one of the best ways to protect it year-round and preserve its long-term beauty and resell value.

Thunderbird car washing

While many drivers still choose to go through automatic car washes, experts agree that when it comes to getting the best result, washing and drying by hand is the only way to go. That’s why Spiffy’s professional techs do it that way -- to give your car the TLC it deserves and prevent scratches and other damage to your paint.

Want to know how it’s done? Here are some car washing mistakes we always avoid.


The words “scraping” and “car” should never even be uttered in the same sentence, but that doesn’t stop some car wash companies from aggressively scraping and scratching at dried-on gunk and other debris. When something gets stuck on your car’s surface, it can become tightly bonded to your paint, making the temptation to scrape at it understandable. However, it’s always better to approach this situation cautiously and use a clay detail bar instead. Or, better yet, call a professional.

Washing in Direct Sunlight

As moisture dries up and evaporates, pesky water spots can appear making for an unsightly finish to your hard work. Washing in the hot sun is a main reason this happens, as soap and water will start to dry before you can rinse and dry by hand. With this in mind, it’s better to wash and rinse in a shady spot and be at the ready with a microfiber cloth.

Hand car washing

Washing in Circles

It can be tempting to rub your sponge or rag in circles, but we don’t recommend it. Washing in circles can pick up dirt and debris, causing circular scratches and swirl marks. To prevent paint swirling, make sure to rinse your cleaning apparatus frequently and move it lengthwise.

Want to avoid costly mistakes and preserve the beauty of your car? Leave the washing to Spiffy and save $20 off your first booking.

Imagine your car feeling new again

Posted in Car Care

Written by Julie Briggs

Cat mom and skeeball enthusiast based in New York, NY.