Whether you come to Windrush for modern, classic, supercar or EV car storage, we’ll start with the all-important first step of a professional wash. There’s a science to car washing correctly – read on for tips from our long term car storage specialists.
Before storing your vehicle, it’s always a good idea to hand wash it thoroughly to remove any deposits, dirt and fallout. While doing this, you’ll also get a good idea of the condition of the bodywork, so take this opportunity to make a note of any scuffs, scratches or blemishes that you might have missed before.
It’s estimated that up to 80% of surface scratching of vehicle paintwork is caused by a poor car washing method. This is usually a result of using one bucket of soap solution which becomes dirtier as the wash progresses. This dirty water contains thousands of dirt and grit particles in suspension, and when you place a sponge back into the bucket to replenish it with suds, you’ll also introduce grit back onto the bodywork, running the risk of scratches.
Fortunately, there’s a very simple and effective car washing method to help prevent damage. Recognised in the trade as ‘best practice’, but not widely known, this step-by-step technique is one of the first things we do when you bring us your vehicle for classic, modern, supercar or EV car storage – and we share it with you below.
Introducing the two bucket technique
Car washing needn’t be an expensive process, but we’d recommend investing in the following items.
2 x Good-sized buckets, ideally with grit guards (one for wash, the second for rinse). Grit guards are a mesh grid in the bucket raised off the bottom by a series of baffles. This guard allows any grit in suspension to fall beneath the grid. It is then prevented from being ‘lifted’ back into the upper sections of the water by the baffles.
2 x Lambswool wash mitts (one for upper body parts and the second for sills etc). This superior type of mitt has a deep pile so any grit is drawn away from paintwork – unlike a standard sponge, which typically traps the grit against the paintwork and causes scratching.
2 x Wheel brushes (one large, one small).
1 x Good-quality car shampoo (don’t use washing up liquid as these contain salts).
1 x Non-acid wheel cleaner. Invaluable if your wheels are particularly dirty with baked-on brake dust (experience has taught us that acid wheel cleaners are too aggressive and will damage the wheel surface over time).
1 x Drying towel. Effectively a deep pile microfibre towel, these are more absorbent and kinder to paintwork than a traditional chamois. The deep pile draws particles on the surface safely into the towel, instead of being dragged across the paint surface.
Before you start, ensure your car is in a shady area and the paintwork is cool to the touch. We’d also advise using appropriate protective eyewear and gloves. Now, you’re ready to clean.
Now move on to the bodywork
When you tackle the main body of the car, don’t rush it. At Windrush, we routinely take over two hours to clean a vehicle properly – even if it doesn’t look particularly dirty to the naked eye. We think you’ll agree it’s worth the effort when you collect your gleaming dream machine from our Cotswolds and London car storage.
- First step is to rinse the car from top to bottom. This will remove loose particles and therefore reduce the risk of scratching, while wetting the surfaces about to be washed, acting as a lubricant.
- Next, fill up two buckets with fresh water, adding a good-quality car shampoo into one of them.
- Dunk the lambswool wash-mitt in the rinse bucket to ensure it is free of grit. Then wring out and place into the soapy water bucket.
- Starting at the top of the car, wash each area in sections, applying a light pressure as you move the mitt over the panel in parallel lines (not circles).
- Before replenishing the mitt with soapy water, rinse well in the bucket of clean water, wringing out excess water then soaking with suds from the soapy bucket. This removes grit and dirt from your mitt between ‘topping up’ with suds. Note that the preferred order for Windrush’s car washing team is roof, bonnet, glass, upper doors, front bumper, lower section of the doors, and finally sills and rear bumper.
- Use a separate mitt or sponge to wash the lower section of doors, bumpers and sills so you don’t contaminate your ‘good’ mitt with damaging grit or grime.
- Starting at the top and working down the car methodically, rinse using a hose without a ‘jet’ attachment (this will result in the water ‘sheeting’ from the car, taking water and soap with it as it glides off).
- Dry the car with a drying towel instead of a traditional chamois, as this will give you an enviable smear-free finish.
- Finally, rinse all your wash equipment after use, then store in one bucket with a lid, ensuring that next time your car needs a clean, they are clean, dry and free of dirt. It’s also good practice to wash your drying towel after each session.
Choose Windrush for classic, modern, supercar & EV car storage
Giving your pride and joy the ultimate deep clean is only the start of our long term car storage solution. Whether you come to Windrush for classic, modern, EV or supercar storage, you’ll never hear the word ‘compromise’ at our state-of-the-art car storage in the Cotswolds and London car storage.
In fact, car washing is just one process in our famous twelve-step induction programme – and we don’t stop there, treating your vehicle to its own individual climate-controlled storage bay, guaranteeing 24/7 security and staying on top of any mechanical or administrative demands for the duration of your stay.
From tailored EV car storage to complete security for your supercar, get in touch with the Windrush team today on email@example.com