Cleaning (main) : Cleaning articles : Cleaning cars & caravans

Cleaning Cars and Caravans

Everyone thinks they know how to clean their car – but do they really? New cars in particular have different requirements from a second-hand model, or one you’ve owned for 10 years.

Because of concerns about VOC (volatile organic compounds) gassing, car duco formulas have changed over the past decade from lead based to water based. This new paint is not as hard as duco used to be.

Sealants are applied over the paint to protect it, but they can be damaged with microfiber cloths, or if the wrong wax is used. The paint is then vulnerable to rapid oxidation, rust and deterioration.

Use the right cleaning products for your car

What Age is Your Vehicle?

If your car is a 2002 model or prior to 2002, using 100% cotton, like a soft old cotton t-shirt, is safe and will clean without scratching.

If your vehicle is newer than 2002, then 100% lambswool, which is even softer and gentler than cotton, should be used.

Washing Your Car

Wash your vehicle in the morning or evening to avoid water spots. Once they form, it only takes a week or so for them to begin etching into the paint surface.

Use a gentle, biodegradable detergent with no phosphates in a bucket of warm water. Add 1/3 cup of white vinegar to improve cleaning and help prevent water spots.

Wash the top first, rinse and dry. Then wash and dry the rest one section at a time.

Clean the Windscreen First

Clean the windscreen before you wash the body of the vehicle, especially of there are bugs or insects stuck to the windscreen. Insects left on the car will damage the duco.

Get an old soft towel, soak it in your bucket of washing water, wring it out and lay it over the windscreen. Leave it there while you wash and dry the top of the car.

When you remove the towel, most of the insects should lift off with it. The rest should be easier to clean off with an old cotton rag or sponge.

Scrubbing the Tyres

Tyres need to be scrubbed four times a year to remove oxidation that makes the rubber look cracked. Use a proprietary tyre cleaner and sealer.

Inside the Car

Vacuum upholstery and carpets, then spray with Scotchgard or similar to protect them. Clean stains the same as for indoor carpets.

Use an old cotton t-shirt or pantihose to clean the windows and inside windscreen

Cleaning Caravans

Clean your van the same way as your car.

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