Keep the Sparkle When Your Wash Bucket is Hours Away
You’ve washed and prepped the family cruiser for the summer road trip. Within hours mangled insects cake the windshield and layers of dust make your ride as filthy as a war rig from Mad Max.
How can you remove the dust, pollen, tar and bug goo when you’re miles from a hose and wash bucket?
“Instant detailers or waterless wash and waxes are becoming more readily available and are ideal for cleaning up trouble spots on the go,” said Jim Dvorak of Southern California-based Mothers Polish. “A bottle of waterless wash or an instant detailer with a microfiber towel lifts off debris and contaminants.”
Environmental contaminants damage paint. Bugs are particularly troublesome–their sticky film clings to painted surfaces. Dust settles on the exterior, seats and the dashboard, courses through vents and nestles in the fibers of the carpet.
A variety of automotive brushes keep your vehicle looking presentable inside and out. Dvorak recommends brushes with a longer handle for fenders to keep your hands free of grime, while soft, scratch-free bristles should be used for delicate areas like rims and the paint.
“Just be sure not to use an exterior brush on the interior,” Dvorak said. “You could transfer stains into the upholstery.”
Dvorak offered the following recommendations to improve your vehicle’s appearance on the fly this summer:
- Routinely clean your vehicle–even during road trips. Cleanliness keeps the cabin healthy for your passengers and prevents contaminants from harming the paint.
- Be sure to clean all surfaces including rugs, vinyl surfaces, glass, upholstery and vents. Pollen finds its way into everything. Use the coin-operated vacuum at the gas station to remove airborne contaminants from the seats, floor mats and carpet.
- Remove dust from the exterior. Use a clean, dry microfiber or terrycloth towel cloth. Or swipe the exterior with duster intended for vehicles.
- Keep a bottle of waterless wash and wax or instant detailer in your trunk. The products quickly and easily remove sap, bug entrails, dust and bird droppings.
- Keep your reservoir of windshield wiper fluid full of a cleaner designed for bugs and road film. The cleaners are more efficient than water alone and contain enzymes that feast on viscous residue.
- Carry handi-wipes specifically designed for automotive use. Look for wipes that treat leather, glass, vinyl and painted surfaces.