Under the harsh weather conditions our cars are subject to, our car body paintwork needs the most care for us to maintain it as bright and shiny, and near to its original state. Strong UV light from the sun’s rays, acid rain, bird droppings, dust and dirt from the streets and the surroundings our cars travel in, all can contribute to the fading and contamination of our car’s original paintwork. Thankfully, most modern cars manufactured today are protected with clear coat over the paintwork to prevent rapid deterioration from long exposure to the elements. However, to maintain them at near original state, some maintenance on our part as car owners can be carried out without having to spend too much effort and money to restore them.

Decontaminating car paint

After a good car wash, there can be times when we feel some roughness due to stubborn contaminants still stuck on our car surface. These are contaminants picked up from exposure to the surroundings especially with our cars travelling at speed against dirt in the atmosphere which get embedded into the clear-coat of our car’s paint surface. Polishing and waxing may sometimes remove them but if not done effectively can cause scratches to our car body. The best way to remove them is by using a good clay bar kit which can be used to literally pluck out the contaminants from the car surface.

A good clay kit would include a lubricating spray and several pieces of synthetic clay. To begin decontaminating our car paintwork, we have to get our car washed off superficial dirt and wiped dry. We tear off a small chunk of clay and flatten it into a small pancake in the palm of our hand. We then squirt the lubricating liquid or spray wax on one section of our car body and on the paint clay. Using straight-line strokes, we move the clay with a back-and-forth motion over the car surface and continue until the surface feels smooth. We can fold the clay again, knead it and re-flatten to rub on the car surface until the clay turns gray. When that happens we use a fresh piece until the rough surfaces are removed and we get a glass-like finish.

Car glass cleaning

Acid rain mixed with dust and dirt in the atmosphere or when it acts on rubber and vinyl on our car windows can cause streaks of stain to remain on the glass windows of our cars. Washing with normal car washing liquids seldom remove these stains. This is where good glass cleaners come in. It is essential that we find specially formulated glass cleaners that do not have ammonia, which most household glass cleaners contain. Ammonia causes damage to vinyl upholstery and the instrument panel.

Using a clean microfibre cloth, we spray 2 or 3 squirts of glass cleaner and rub the insides of windshield and windows using straight-line strokes (not circular). This is very effective in removing dirt, grease and other residue on tinted windows and mirrors without damaging them. We then repeat the same for the glass windows and windshield on the exterior of our car and use a clean microfibre cloth to remove any remaining streaks.

For more DIY Car Care Tips, read our posts on DIY Car Cleaning Tips for the Interior, more DIY Car Cleaning Tips for the Exterior and DIY Car Care Tips for Body Paintwork.