Tips to clean your classic car9th May 2017
Classic Car Cleaning
It doesn’t have to be massively time consuming or expensive keeping your motor in tip top condition, though if you have an obsession for detail indulging in a thorough day of polishing can also be very satisfying.
We are fortunate at Classic Classics to have several purpose-built cleaning bays to make sure we achieve the highest standard of clean when prepping our own collection. We have also learned a lot along the way and here are our best hacks to achieving showroom standard gleam in your own driveway.
Preparation is key. Get your kit together, get ready and pick the right spot.
- Essential kit. We have found using a pressure washer, a drying towel that’s soft and delicate, along with lamb’s wool mitt (go for better quality if you can) are a good start.
- Double bucket. Always use the double bucket technique. One bucket with the soapy water and the other with clean pure water. Always rinse your sponge in the clean water bucket before going back to the soapy water. The clean water will rinse away any impurities to keep your sponge clean and stop any scratching. You won’t go back once you’ve tried this method!
- Pressure washer and car specific blow dryer. For the gadget geeks amongst us the pressure washer simply makes such light work of the rinse and the car specific blow dryer gives that showroom finish. Damp nooks and crannies lead to a build-up of dust. It also greatly reduces the drip once finished. Nothing more irritating than finishing your polish for some drips to come from nowhere onto your masterpiece. They aren’t as expensive as you might think. We found one for £80 (and some if you’re serious!) on www.cardryers.co.uk
- Choose your environment carefully. Get out of the sun if possible. Think about where you are cleaning. If you are in direct sunlight it often reduces product effectiveness. It can dry out product before its done its job, so try if you can to at least get in the shade.
“The Clean” products and procedure
- Don’t use too much. It’s the main mistake made by most of us. We have found that two penny sized dots is ample to cover an MG bonnet. If you use too much, it ends up in the gaps then dries white and chalky, not a good look.
- Read the labels!!! It’s so simple, yet we all love saving time and often don’t! Every product will have its own instructions, whether it’s how to apply, how long to leave it on, what to use it on, follow it to get the most out of it. It can make all the difference.
- Don’t use household products. It’s tempting at times I know, but this really doesn’t work well for your car. Many household products have ammonia in them and this is damaging, especially to tinted windows, so go to the shop, not under the sink.
- Wheel treatments/sealant. They do take some hammering wheels, and although they probably won’t stay perfectly clean for long, there are treatments that can help reduce the build-up of break dust. If you apply wheel sealant regularly it does help stop the dirt bonding to the wheel.
- Of all the products over all the years, still the best finishes for us is to use one damp cloth to clean and one dry cloth to polish. We mark both cloths with a “G” so we know to only use these cloths on glass. If wax ever gets onto a glass cloth, it will never clean as well again.
- It’s all in the detail. For the showroom look, this is where we always spend time. Nooks and crannies, door hinges and sills. Obviously grease is an essential part of all cars, but it does attract and hold dust and dirt. Include these areas in your routine clean and you’ll notice the difference.
- It’s simple- get them off as quickly as possible. Bugs contain ammonia and they bond to paint quickly. You can use bug specific cleaners which help break them down, but generally speaking just wipe them off as and when you can. We find it quite useful to take a cloth on the road to help with this task.
We’re always happy to talk in person about any aspect of classic cars. Get in touch, view our stock, stay in touch.