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classic car in car wash

When you own a classic, you make an investment in both time and money.

Weekly washes are essential to eliminate all the dust, grime, or chemicals from the road that can ruin car shine. Hand washing your classic is the most recommended form of car washing, but what if you got invited to a last-minute car show? Is your classic car show ready?   

Many car owners refuse to let their classic run through a car wash and for good reason. However, you may not have time to hand-wash your car before a last-minute show. A self-service or touch-less car wash can be a temporary fix for a dirty car. Here are some tips to make the most of a quick wash.

Make sure it offers self-service

Find a self-service place that offers softer water and a foam spray machine. Using softer water will help prevent damage to the paint. Most car wash places have switched over to an eco-friendly soap to help prevent surface scratches. Try to find a self-service place that offers both. 

Take off jewelry

Accidents happen. When you’re on the move, you’re prone to making more mistakes. Limit your chances by taking off jewelry. Take off watches and wedding rings to ensure you don’t accidentally leave a scratch when washing the car.

Bring your own towels

Bring your own sheepskin or cotton chenille washing mitts when washing the car down. They’re very soft and won’t leave marks on the surface. Furthermore, we recommend always bringing your own microfiber wash towel to dry the car and getting any hard-to-reach spots.

You don’t know how the person before you washed. Plus, you don’t know how successfully staff cleans the towels offered. Bringing your own washing mitts and towels ensures you don’t dirty up the car again, or worse, scratch your own vehicle.

Remove the antenna

Always remove the antenna before washing the car. Most classic car owners know this but we’re here to remind you anyway. Taking off the antenna can help prevent it from bending or snapping. Broken antennas can cause additional scratches on the vehicle if it gets caught in the wash. Typically the older classic, the more fragile the antenna.

Avoid the foam scrub

Stay away from that foam scrub brush they offer in the car wash. This brush can cause scratches in your paint. Most people will throw it on the floor, collecting dirt and rocks in its bristles, which will not be a friend to your classic’s paint. 

Save the tires for last

The tires should be cleaned last because they are the dirtiest area of the car and will contain the most buildup. Scrub them and let the soap sit for a few minutes. If the foam brush doesn’t look too dirty, you can give the tires a quick scrub but be sure to stay away from the car’s body.  

Ensure it’s dry

Once the classic is washed, wait for it to dry. If you choose to immediately bring it back on the road, rough water spots will be very apparent under those show lights.  

Hand washing your car is always the best bet, but if you are in a time crunch, these seven tips will help keep that classic looking clean and show-ready.

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