THAT SUMMER SHINE: Five-Step Guide to a Summer Wash

Credit: Original article published by Barrett-Jackson.

Blue skies, open roads – time to get your vehicle out for a cruise and looking as good as this 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible (Lot #786.1) that is headed to the 2021 Las Vegas Auction!

 

It’s time for that blue-sky action! Pull off the car cover, hit the open road – and, of course, look good doing it.

With spring in full swing and the heat of summer on the horizon, caring for our cars is as important as ever. Washing your car may sound like a mindless task, but the pros at Adam’s Polishes know it’s more than just rinse and wipe.

As the official on-site detailer for Barrett-Jackson auctions, the Adam’s team has taken care of the detailing on thousands of vehicles before they cross the auction block – and the all-important task of getting them ready for live TV and examination by our discerning bidders is done with great care. They often go above and beyond the call of duty at the auctions, especially when inclement weather is in the mix. Barrett-Jackson always appreciates their efforts, and trusts them and their products to bring out the best in your car’s finish.

You can also trust the Adam’s pros when it comes to advice on taking care of your car at home. Follow these easy steps below for a look that will wow the onlookers at the next car show or turn some heads when you take your next weekend scenic drive.

STEP 1: WHERE TO START

It may seem obvious, but an essential part of detailing your car is knowing where to begin. Before gathering supplies, be sure to give your car a walk-around. Examine the paint for swirls, water spots and any other type of grime it may have picked up from the road.

Then, prepare your materials:

  • Grab two buckets, one for clean soapy water and one for rinsing
  • Make sure your cleaning materials are easily accessible and at the ready
  • Avoid direct sunlight; try and keep as much of the car in the shade so the water doesn’t dry too quickly and leave those pesky water spots

STEP 2: A GOOD RINSE

Grab your hose or power washer and start spraying from top to bottom – keep in mind that it is best to work with gravity rather than against it. A thorough rinse at the start will help loosen all the dust, dirt and debris your pride and joy will have accumulated while on the road.

STEP 3: TIME FOR SUDS

With the car wet, it’s time for a thick lather of suds. Use a microfiber mitt or sponge and dip into a bucket of water mixed with a cleaner formulated not to harm the finish. Avoid anything with harsh detergents or chemicals.

For a good, clean feeling:

  • Use a side-to-side motion; start from the roof and work your way down
  • Focus on working on separate areas as you wash the car
  • Rinse the mitt or sponge often, taking extra care to remove any dirt or debris, as it may scratch the paint.
  • Keep a gentle touch and let the soapy solution do the work for you
  • Let the soap and water soak for a minute or two. Elbow grease is not your friend when it comes to your car’s clear coat
  • Rinse each panel as you go, keeping the surfaces wet to prevent water and soap spots from drying

STEP 4: WHEELS THAT SHINE

Your wheels take a beating, and keeping that chic finish is important to keeping your ride looking sublime. If you have one, grab a wheel brush and set to work removing all the brake dust and dirt that clings to the face of the wheel. Be sure to scrub inside the wheel and behind the spokes, too – and don’t forget to rinse the brush off before cleaning the next wheel.

STEP 5: THE DRY LIFE

Time is of the essence! Preventing streaks from forming on the paint is an important part of drying your car quickly and efficiently. Start from top to bottom once again and go over each surface with a fluffy microfiber towel. Take the time to remove any excess soap or water from the seams and panel gaps. If you notice any spots when you’re finished, treat them with a quick shot of detail spray and a dry towel.

 

With the summer months fast approaching, adventure is right around the corner. Keeping your car clean, pristine and ready to shine is a great way to welcome that summer fun.