When it comes to the exterior of the vehicle, let’s face it, there is very little time in the week for a parent to spend a few hours washing and cleaning the exterior of the vehicle. You may only have time to quickly run the car through a touchless car wash or a pay and spray self service car wash during the week to remove a majority of the dirt from the surface, but these can still leave water spots and areas that will need more care. The checklist below lists items for exterior maintenance that are easy and efficient, and small enough to fit into the 8 Bottle Bag with the other interior maintenance items discussed earlier:
If you take the vehicle through a touchless car wash, give it a quick once-over with Waterless Wash and a few Waterless Wash Towels when you arrive home. Just like our quick interior tasks, this should take around 5-10 minutes. Wipe up any areas on paint and glass that may have some light water spots from the drive home. You can also address areas where the touchless wash may have not removed all of the dirt, such as the lower parts of doors and rocker panels, the back of the trunk, tailgate, or liftgate, and the nooks and crannies of wheel spokes. Then you can re-up a nice dark satin finish and some protection on the tires with Graphene Tire Dressing and the Hex Grip Applicator.
Weekly Exterior Tasks
Throughout the week, you will want to address things like bird droppings, bug splatter, and tree sap so that they do not stain or compromise the clear coat of your car. Once you see any of these types of contamination appear on the vehicle, it is better to clean them off as soon as possible rather than wait several days. Not only will they be more difficult to remove the longer you wait, they are eating away at the clear coat, etching into the glass, or staining chrome more and more as the days go on. For bug guts, spray Waterless Wash generously on the front bumper, hood, headlights, windshield, side mirrors, and anywhere else that may have bug splatter. Allow it to soak for a few minutes to loosen the bugs, then carefully wipe them away with a Waterless Wash Towel.
For bird droppings, do not let these sit on the paint for days - remove them as quickly as possible. The acids in bird droppings can begin to damage finishes like paint, clear coat, chrome, plastic, and rubber in less than 48 hours. Set the Waterless Wash spray nozzle to the stream setting to try to blast as much of the bird bomb off of the paint without touching it with a towel - bird droppings can contain small pieces of rock and gravel that aid in their digestion of hard materials, which can then scratch the finish of your car. Alternatively, use a pressure washer or hose to safely blast the bird droppings off of the surface, then carefully wipe the area with Waterless Wash and a Waterless Wash Towel. Lastly, for tree sap, Waterless Wash can usually remove this as well if it is fresh. Allow the surface to cool down first, and then clean the area in the shade if possible. If the tree sap has been on the vehicle for several days, our Surface Prep can help to break it down more easily, due to the isopropyl alcohol content in the formula.
Bonus Topic: Safe Washing Plus Drying and Sealing Videos
When you do have some free time on a weekend or a day off, you should do a more thorough wash to safely remove dirt, bugs, road grime, brake dust, mud, and more that builds up from everyday driving. Adam explains the Two Bucket Wash and how to avoid scratching your vehicle during the wash process here:How To Wash Your Car Without Scratching Once you have finished washing, you can finish up the drying process by adding more shine and adding a month or more of protection onto the vehicle while drying with H2O Guard & Gloss, our water-activated spray sealant. You can walk through this process in a second video here:How To Dry And Seal Your Car At The Same Time