We all know that cleaning your car in Winter can be wet, cold and miserable. Summer cleaning is just way more fun right? This may be the case, however Winter cleaning is so important for you car as this is when the contaminants are the harshest that your vehicle will face. This blog is all about keeping your car clean in the winter!
Firstly, you want to cut down on the possibility of the water freezing whilst you are detailing so it is best to clean at the warmest part of the day where possible. Ideally this will be the lightest part of the day too, so hopefully you can see all the grubbiest areas! It is also worth noting that your hands are likely to be extremely cold so make sure you use warm water in your bucket!
Starting with the interior means you can brush off those dirty foot mats and clear out the rubbish without it ruining your freshly clean panels. Then you want to head to the engine bay to remove any leaves and to get rid of any dirt that has built up. A good de-greaser with a detailing brush and a microfibre will do the trick here! An all-purpose cleaner is a great shout to do a final clean of the engine bay too.
Wheels are up next, as with any detail you will want to give these a good scrubbing before starting on your paintwork. If you don't have the time or simply are not feeling like removing your wheels, then no worries. We would however suggest getting a barrel brush to reach in the area's that your hand can't get too! Rinse the wheels first to get rid of as much dirt as possible. Depending on your type of wheels you will want to think about your approach here, but an iron fallout remover and an acid-free wheel cleaner will do the trick for most wheels. For more information on which way to clean your wheels see our guide. Finishing off the cleaning of the wheels with a tyre brush and some wheel shampoo will help give that immaculate look that you will want at the end of every detailing session and a coat of Tyre Gel at the end will finish it off nicely.
Now you have cleaned the interior and your wheels, you will be ready to start on your paintwork! Knowing winter, your car will be filthy so a good pre-wash will be the best product here. A citrus pre-wash or a traffic film remover are the products to look for! Make sure you leave these on for the recommended time on their respective bottles.
Once you have rinsed off your pre-wash you will want to apply a snow foam and leave this to dwell. This will pick up a lot of the dirt and and grime left over from the pre-wash and will break this down allowing it to rinse away so you can move onto your contact wash.
A good two bucket wash method etiquette is essential here, especially with the amount of dirt and grime your car tends to pick up in the winter season. Simply use your favourite shampoo and a decent wash mitt and take care when washing. You can even double wash if you think you have not quite got it all after the first wash.
Next will be the decontamination phase. This stage is skippable if for example you have recently protected the car, have just done a major decontamination session or just are wanting a quick maintenance wash. If you do want to go the whole hog and decontaminate then our guide to using a clay bar may come in handy!
Finally you are going to want to protect your vehicles paintwork for the rest of the winter weather to come! Protection does come in many forms from a ceramic coating to a wax and of course this is up to you as to the level of protection you require. You can also finish with a variety of other products from quick detailers, tyre and trim dressings or a spray wax!
Our January subscription box is The Winter Warrior Edition and is a selection of products that are focused around the winter weather!
So there we have it, our complete guide to cleaning your car in winter! Make sure you check out our other blogs too!