April 1 marks the return of National Car Care Month (no joke!), so why not take your spring cleaning a step further and focus on your truck? The looming spring and summer months mean it may well soon be time for road trips and other excursions, so make sure your truck looks the part – and doesn’t accrue unnecessary damage – by attacking its exterior and following a few simple steps.
First, give it a deep-clean
When it comes to washing your truck’s exterior, it’s generally best to do the job by hand. And while all too many Americans rely on dish detergent for this purpose, the professionals typically advise utilizing a special car-wash solution instead. Dish detergent has the potential to strip away at wax coatings, which in turn expose your truck to damage in the form of nicks, dents and so on. Once you’re done with the wash itself, use a squeegee to remove any excess moisture or minerals left behind.
Pay extra attention to the paint
While it sure would be a nice if a simple wash would remove all contaminants from your truck’s exterior surface, bird droppings, man-made materials and other unsightly elements all too often remain. For the stuff that is harder to scrub out, consider relying on a paint cleaner, which is designed to remove environmental damage that has made its way into your truck’s paint. You may, too, want to go over damaged surfaces using a paint-cleaning clay used in conjunction with a liquid-cleaning wax.
Don’t wait on wax
Automotive wax is intended to help your car’s paint stand strong against the elements, but it isn’t permanent in nature, meaning it wears off over time. Professional auto detailers generally recommend using two coats of wax to ensure no exterior areas are skipped, and it is also wise to wax your truck every season, and particularly if you park outdoors.
At Last, the Glass
Washing your truck’s windows should be one of the last steps in the exterior-cleaning process, because grease, grime and dirt you remove from the rest of your vehicle has a tendency to settle on the windows. It’s best to rely on a non-ammonia-based glass-cleaning solvent to get the job done, so read the label before relying on a glass cleaner you already have around the home for this purpose.
It can be tempting to rely on goods and cleaning materials you already have to get your truck in premium condition for spring, but do your research first, as some money-saving efforts can end up costing you considerably more in the long run if they cause damage.