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Most car owners know the hassle of having to clean their car, especially if it’s a chore they have been putting off for a while. However, according to experts, you should try choosing a time to take on the task when the weather is just right.
Naturally, if rain is forecast, it’s best to leave washing your car until another day.
However, that doesn’t mean that clouds are a bad sign – just as long as they aren’t rain clouds.
According to experts from Family Handyman, the best weather for washing your car “is not when it’s super hot”.
They explain: “On a scorching hot summer’s day, dousing your car with water beneath direct sunlight can ruin the vehicle’s finish.
“The hot metal on your car will only steam off the water you douse it with, while the soap simply builds up and combines with the grime.
“Meanwhile, the remaining moisture only attracts the sun’s heat.
“If you have a new car with base or clear-coat paint, the very thin topcoat can lose its shine for good.”
Duncan McClure-Fisher, CEO at MotorEasy, added: “Cleaning the exterior of your car after a particularly long drive when the engine is hot, or when the sun is at its highest point, can affect the outcome of your final washed look.
“This is because the heat will quickly dry any soap and water applied, causing pesky water spots, making the job of washing your car difficult.
“Remedy this by washing your car after the engine has cooled, and in the shade where possible, or keep the surface of the vehicle cool by applying cool water regularly whilst washing.”
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Instead, motorists should try and find a “happy medium”.
This means when it is warm enough to dry your car, but there is no direct sunlight beaming overhead.
The experts at Family Handyman recommend washing your car on a “cloudy, overcast morning”.
However, your “second-best option”, if the sun is shining, is to pull your vehicle into a shady spot away from direct sunlight.
This is even better in the “late afternoon”, as it provides optimal temperatures for your car to drive off.
In all instances, though, you should check the weather forecast for a sudden downpour, before putting in elbow grease.
What should you use to wash your car?
According to Duncan McClure-Fisher, CEO at MotorEasy, drivers should always go with specific car shampoo when cleaning their car.
He adds that people should never substitute this for washing-up liquid, even in a pinch.
Mr McClure-Fisher explained: “If you have don’t have any car shampoo to hand, many people think that it is fine to substitute it for simple washing up liquid from the kitchen.
“However great dishwashing liquid is at removing grime and food particles from dishes, it’s not a great idea to use on car paintwork.
“This is because it risks stripping the wax and oils that protect the paintwork itself and can even cause premature fading due to the removal of sun protection.
“Car shampoo is designed to wash off stubborn dirt, without stripping important sun-protecting wax.”
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