Once a repair has been carried out to your car, it essential to allow the paint to rest for a week before giving it a clean. This is due to the paint still being very delicate during its 'curing' stage.
It is best to leave waxing your car for a month or more but should you wish to add some form of protection to the paint, a glaze can be used.
Regularly maintaining your car not only keeps the car looking shiny but can also keep down the cost of having the bodywork paint corrected or resprayed.
Below is a short guide to help you maintain the paint on your vehicle whether it is original paintwork or if a repair has been carried out.
It might seem like a risk, but if you can choose a cloudy day to clean your car then that is much better than doing it in the sunshine. Washing a car in the sun might seem like the best thing to do, but the heat will dry out your car between washing and cleaning, which could leave water marks on the bodywork. The heat of the sun will also reduce the effectiveness of your cleaning products.
Of course, there's no point in washing a car in the rain (not even for a 'free' rinse after a shampoo), and if it's sunny and you must clean your car, then pick a shaded area to get to work, or choose either the early morning or late afternoon to do it. That's when the sun isn't quite as strong, and there's more natural shade to work in.
It is important to start with wheels first as these tend to become the dirtiest part of the car. Soak them in a acid free wheel cleaner and agitate with a brush to loosen and dirt and brake dust. A separate bucket solely for wheels is essential!
Spraying a good citrus cleaner on the bodywork will help remove any bugs and grime from the paint surface. Follow this by spraying the complete car with a Snow Foam, which will lift any loose dirt before it makes contact with the paints surface. Snow Foam lances can be found by searching the internet (ensure it fits your pressure washer). Spray down your car with the pressure washer removing the snowfoam.
It is now time to wash the car down with a wash mitt and a good shampoo. A wash mitt is far better than a traditional sponge as it is less likely to drag any dirt across the paint surface, reducing the risk of creating swirls or even worse, scratching the paint surface. Fill one bucket with shampoo and the other with plainwater. The reason for this is that you will first dip your mitt into the shampoo bucket and wash an area of the car from top down. Clean the mitt in the plain water bucket and then keep repeating this procedure. This way, you will always have a clean mitt and solution on the car.
This stage will remove any decontamination embedded on the paint surface. For this, an iron fallout remover and tar remover will be needed. It's not essential to spray the whole vehicle but pay close attention to the areas affected. The car will need to be rinsed off again.
We're almost there! Drying the vehicle thoroughly starting from the top and working down to the bottom of the car. Using a drying towel will help cover a larger area and less time will be spent wringing out any water, speeding up the process and reducing the chance of getting water spots.
Now that the car is dry, it is time to apply a nice coat of wax to seal the paint work. A mid-priced wax will be sufficient enough but if you prefer, you could splash out on a premium wax. Wax adds a layer of protection to the paint surface which helps prevent against the elements.
Finally to finish off by coating the tyre walls with tyre shine and clean the glass with glass cleaner. A tyre gel applicator helps put an even amount around the tyre preventing any excess getting on your freshly cleaned wheels.
Phew, the hard work has paid off!
Keeping up regular maintenance on your car makes the overall process less of a chore and prevents unnecessary scratches or marring to the paintwork.