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Caring for your car's finish

Updated: May 17, 2021

Whether you’ve recently had your vehicle painted or you like to keep your ride looking great, here are some tips we suggest when caring for the finish:

For a Newly Refinished Vehicle

- Do not hand wax your vehicle for 60 days

- Use only car wash soaps to clean your new paint finish

- Do not apply magnetic signs, protective bras, decals or stickers to the new paint finish for at least 60 days

- Only hand wash or use a touchless machine wash for the first 60 days

General Hand Cleaning for Vehicles

- Wash or rinse off dirt of any kind as soon as possible

- Rinse before you wash to remove any surface grit; then use a mild car soap and clean sponges

- Wash and rinse one section at a time so you do not have water drying on the body. Do not scrub. Use long, light strokes that run along the length of your car. Scratches created by circular wiping may leave marks that are more noticeable than straight ones. Rinse your sponge before dipping it back into the bucket to prevent grit from being reapplied to the car

- Dry by blotting with a chamois rather than wiping. Driving and drying is not a good idea because the water doesn't dry as quickly as new dirt gets on the wet car

Car Washes

- If you use an automated car wash, choose a no-touch car wash that only sprays water and soap


- Wax not only deepens the beauty of good paint, but also protects the finish from UV radiation and other harmful substances

- Wax, while expensive, is the best option. Nothing brings out paint's richness better, and it is easy to use. Just wipe it on and immediately wipe it off

- Look for a wax that has at least 20 percent carnauba in the can, preferably without any petroleum products mixed in. You will get better results with natural oils. Polymer-based waxes offer an acceptable alternative in terms of protection

- Once the surface of your vehicle stops beading up when water sits on it means it’s time for a good hand wax

Caring for the paint job on your vehicle is one of the best ways to keep it looking great. Consistent washing and cleaning, followed by drying, polishing, and waxing, adds a protective coating over your vehicle's paint to provide extra protection to its exterior.

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