9 mistakes you make while cleaning your car – including one that costs thousands

Erin Browne

Spring is the perfect time to give your car a big clean – but be careful, because failing to follow these top tips could lead to thousands of pounds worth of damage being caused to your wagon

It’s time to give your motor the clean it deserves

Spring is the perfect time to give your car a clean with no more grit on the roads and, hopefully, not too much rain.

The odd muddy wet day aside, this is just the moment to get your motor sparkling for long summer road trips and hazy BBQs.

For many of us, heading down to the local car wash isn’t preferable – it can be expensive and often leave you with the nasty feeling that the harsh rubber bristles have given your paintwork a slight scratch.

But before you launch in hose-first to a big clean at home, keep in mind these top tips that will stop you from falling into common traps that can damage your car and leave you coughing up thousands.

How to avoid costly mistakes when cleaning your car

Getting your car professionally cleaned is a luxury – but follow these top tips and you’ll be cleaning to the same standard in no time


Alamy Stock Photo)

If you’re cleaning your car yourself, the last thing you want is to make a costly error that could see you need to fork out shed-loads of cash.

Follow these top tips from Secure Tools to make sure you don’t slip up.

Using abrasive brushes

Keep kitchen brushes and kitchen scourers as far away from that paintwork as possible – they can cause permanent damage that can cost as much as £2,900 to fix.

Using Fairy washing up liquid

Using Fairy liquid can be equally as costly, as it strips away the essential oils in the car’s paint and in turn will lead to the colour fading over time.

Washing the car in hot weather

When the weather is hot or the engine is hot after a long drive, don’t try and clean your motor.

Washing in direct sunlight can cause substances to stick to the surface of your car and can be extremely difficult to remove.

Using household disinfectants

A pressure washer is a great investment for the home car cleaners out there



The chemicals in household disinfectants can cause damage to upholstery and interior surfaces.

Not removing bird poo straight away

Lots of bird poo has a high PH level that can be lethal for your car’s body job.

Not only this, but it is easy to damage your paint job further by using abrasive surfaces to try and get it off. Try using car shampoo instead to get the turd off in a risk-free way.

Using one bucket

That lovely microfibre mitt you just bought for the perfect buffed finish and scratch-free cleaning job is all but pointless if you don’t use different buckets.

After cleaning for some time your water will be full of grit and will lead to scratching on your bodywork.

Getting this fixed costs around £135 and is very easily avoided.

Leaving the car to dry naturally

Not wiping your wheels dry will leave watermarks that will make it look like you might as well have not bothered giving it that clean in the first place.

Give it a polish with a microfibre cloth instead.

Skipping cleaning the wheel arches

Salt and mud build up under your car over time from driving on the roads, and your wheel arches are one of the places that bear the brunt of this.

Get under there with a pressure washer every time you wash your wagon to prevent rust over time.

Getting the cleaning order wrong

Make sure your first step is to pre-rinse your car to remove any excess dirt and then spray wheel cleaner onto your wheels

Next, break out the car shampoo and start from the top so suds don’t drip down onto a part you’ve already cleaned.

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