Many of us remember the scene in the now classic original “Karate Kid” move. Danielsan learns to build his strength and skills by waxing Mr. Miagi’s classic cars. He has him use circles, which may be great for Karate, but are awful for your paint.
Let’s walk you through a little car paint education and then explain the best way to wash and dry your car.
Modern car paint is made-up of a very thin layer of primer, another very thin layer of color, and then a thicker layer of clear coat. To give you an idea of how thin, all three layers are just under the depth of two human hairs (60-80 microns). This approach is used on most cars post 1995.
Your car’s clear coat layer is porous – meaning it has tiny little holes in it (that we cannot see with our eyes).
Over time, little pieces of debris can get lodged in these holes. While there are techniques like clay bar and products like IronX that remove this debris, most paint surfaces still have some small debris that remains. For noting, this will even remain after washing.
Now, imagine a towel “grabbing” this debris and then scratching your paint with it. This is exactly what happens with circle motions are used when washing or drying. You’ll notice in bright light, at an angle, a pattern of circular scratches. Your paint overall will look duller, and water will appear to “stick” to it a bit more. Over time, this does damage this tiny layer of clear coat on your vehicle.
In fact, poor washing and drying techniques are known to be the cause for 90+% of scratches in your vehicles’ paint.
Want to know how to avoid this?
Here are seven pro tips to maintain a great paint finish:
If you apply this approach to your washing regimen, your paint will have less scratches and more shine.
If you need a new mantra or song, instead of “wax on wax off”, maybe change the lyrics of “blurred lines” to straight lines (hey, hey, hey, hey). It’s important to have fun.
Smile and enjoy your ride!
Interested in making your nearly-learned skill profitable as a side hustle? Check out our detail side hustle course. It's a proven path to generate $900-$2000 every month. Keep your full-time job and still have time for family and friends.
Chris has worked in tech for 30 years, and healthcare tech for 8 of those. He's on the advisory board of Harvard-Based Think:Kids, and runs Rad Dad Rules. He is the proud Dad of two awesome kids, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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