7 common mistakes when taking care of your car paint & ways to avoid them

Updated Sep 16, 2021 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Discover what NOT to do when preserving your car's exterior paint in order to keep your car look like new!

Admit it, humans were born to impress. You try to keep everything looking good and new so it’s not a bolt from the blue that you spend some real cash just to keep your ride looking at its best every day, too. In relation to this, thorough washing with water and soapy car soap while giving too much attention to its details is still the best way to maintain the good looks of your car.

preserve car paint

If you're searching for an article that may help you learn how to preserve the magnificence of your car paint, you are in the right place!

You might be searching for ways on how to maintain your car’s exterior paint squeaky clean and sleek, hence you are here reading this article. If you will Google it, there are lots of ways, indeed. Everything will tell you to do this and that but no one tells you what are the things that you should not do and what you should avoid.

In this article, Philkotse.com will list the points focusing on the things that you should NOT do or AVOID in maintaining your car’s exterior paint which is mostly overlooked or common mistakes when taking care of the car’s paint.

Mistakes in choosing products 

#Mistake 1: Don’t use dishwashing liquids, glass cleaners, and any household cleaning products as car soap. These products can actually strip off the wax that protects your car’s paint job because they are not dedicated to use in washing your car exteriors.

Car wash liquid

Use only those products that are specially made to maintain the quality of your car paint

Solution: You can use milder and specifically made carwash soap for your automotive paint and apply using big sponges. Stubborn dirt, road tar and grease deposits from the road can be removed with the use of a bug and tar remover with a non-abrasive cloth. Reminder, bug and tar remover can leave black stains on your cloth.

Mistakes in washing the auto

#Mistake 2: Don’t wash your car while wearing jewelry. The number 1 rule in maintaining the car paint is to avoid scratches and friction. So anything that can scrape off the paint such as a wedding ring, necklace, belt buckle, or jacket zipper should be removed.

car scratches

Avoid wearing anything that may scratch the surface of your car while you clean it, like a piece of jewelry

Solution: When washing your car, it is recommended that you wear comfortable clothes that are free from any metal, zippers, buckles or snaps that can scratch off the paint. Anyway, there’s an appropriate time for style and probably, that time is when your car is all clean.

#Mistake 3: Don’t use a circular motion in washing your auto. Washing your car in circles may cause obvious “swirl marks”.

swirl marks

Uneven wiping of your car may result to swirl marks that look very untidy

Solution: It is better to wash your auto with a large sponge through lengthwise motion. Make sure to use a sponge without traces or obvious dirt as this can leave scratches all over your auto’s body.

#Mistake 4: Don’t wash your auto when the body is still hot. Washing your auto immediately after driving or after paring it under scorching hot weather with direct sunlight on it. Warmth hustles the drying of water and soap, making washing more troublesome and expanding the odds that deposits or stops will surround the body of your car.

use a lage sponge in washing your car

A large sponge is the safest that you can use in washing your car because it will leave no scratches or any damage

Solution: Look for a shady place to park and wash your car. Make sure that space is wide enough so you can move around to do your job properly.

>>> More useful tips to wash your car properly: 

Mistakes in drying the car

#Mistake 5: Don’t let the soap or baby shampoo to dry overnight. I assume everybody knows the baby shampoo trick for washing the car. Baby shampoos are equally safe for babies and cars but are tough on nasty stains as well.

To make a solution, you need to dilute the baby shampoo (any brand will do) with equal parts of water; you can use this solution to remove effectively any nasty stuff like for example, a bird poop. However, leaving the shampoo for too long is not recommended.

wash you car immediately and let it dry

Never leave your car soaked in shampoo or other kinds of solutions for a long time, let along overnight

Solution: Shampooing your car must be divided into each side and then rinse it immediately. I haven’t experienced it yet, but others believe that even the mildest baby shampoo can still fade the car paint if left too long, especially if exposed under the sun.

#Mistake 6: Don’t drive your car immediately after a DIY carwash without drying its body first. Letting your car to air dry will leave watermarks all over its body triggered by the minerals present in the liquid.

newly washed car

Let your car dry by itself - avoid drying right away

Solution: You may use a non-abrasive towel to dry your car. Just a reminder, avoid using abrasive towels in drying that may cause hairline scratches all over your auto’s body.

Drying may speed up with the use of squeegee that can easily remove the water on your auto’s body, just make sure that it is bendable and does not pick-up the dirt that may leave marks on your car.

Remember that before changing the color of your car, you need to follow the requirements of LTO and pay the car change color LTO fee. 

Mistakes in applying wax to the auto

#Mistake 7: Don’t wax your auto directly under daylight. The warmth coming from the daylight will result in hardening of the wax making it hard to buff and remove.

applying car wax

It is best to apply car wax on shady weather or location; exposure to direct sunlight is not recommendable

Solution: So if you want to put wax to add more shine and protection to your auto, I strongly advise that you do it under a shady location. Application of protection wax can be tricky as well, but here’s a tip: apply wax periodically, putting it to one panel to another and buffing it to a high shine immediately after and then move on to the next panel.

Dealing with your auto's paintwork isn't simply a question of keeping it looking its sparkly showroom best; it's tied in with saving its bodywork, shielding it from rust spots, and boosting its value for resale should you need to offer it on. With proper supplies and helpful car maintenance tips, you can keep your auto looking new and fresh for a longer time.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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