Useful tips for washing your car with a pressure washer! For car lovers, regular cleaning of your vehicle is compulsory. A thorough cleaning should always be planned so that it fulfills its purpose and the car shines again afterward.
When cleaning, however, not only should dirt be thoroughly removed, but no damage to the vehicle or scratches in the paint should occur. To avoid scratches, many car enthusiasts tend to wash by hand and therefore do not allow the rough busts of a conventional car wash to touch the high-gloss finish of their car.
As an alternative ( or in addition) for a time-consuming hand wash, you can also wash the vehicle with a high-pressure cleaner. This is like a combination of hand washing and a washing machine. In this article, we’ll tell you how to best use the high-pressure cleaner.
Wash with a high pressure cleaner!
Stubborn dirt, like bird droppings or dried mud, is not a big deal for a high-quality pressure washer. The high-pressure cleaner works with a focused water jet that effortlessly removes even stubborn dirt. When washing by hand, you will have to apply much more pressure to remove such contamination. However, the increased pressure can damage the paint.
A tip: When using a high-pressure cleaner, always make sure there is a corresponding distance of approx. 20-30 centimeters from the vehicle, otherwise the water jet may also damage the vehicle. The best example is the license plate. If you get too close to the high-pressure cleaner, the stamp/tag will blow off.
Car washing with a high-pressure cleaner is explained in just a few steps!
We have put together step-by-step instructions for the perfect car wash with a high-pressure cleaner. Follow these steps and your car will shine like new again and you will not have to worry about damage to the car.
1. The pre-treatment
Before starting the high-pressure cleaning, you must remove coarse dirt such as leaves, small branches, or larger particles from the vehicle. For example, blades can break into many small pieces when the high-pressure jet hits them. This would hardly make cleaning easier.
Very dirty areas should be sanded with a special cleaner before cleaning, as extremely persistent dirt can not be removed without pretreatment, even with a high-pressure cleaner. On heavily soiled rims, you can first apply a rim cleaner suitable for your rim type (either steel or aluminum) and let it act before directing the water stream to the rims.
Even a very dirty windshield must be cleaned in advance. An insect cleaner is suitable for pre-cleaning. With this, however, other dirt particles can also be easily removed from the windshield. This way, the end result will be much better.
2. Flat jet vs. point jet
When washing your car with a high-pressure cleaner, you should always use a flat stream, as a pointed or rotating stream could cause scratches or peeling of the paint. Also, stone chips can crack when hitting a pointed stream and damage the tire rubber. The flat stream is much smoother and still removes stubborn dirt.
If the dirt does not disappear immediately, do not switch to a harder jet, clean the relevant areas with a special cleaning agent before spraying the affected areas again with the flat jet. Flat blast accessories are already included in the basic equipment of most high-pressure washers.
3. Water pressure
The water pressure should not be too high or too low, so the correct setting of the pressure washer is crucial. If the water pressure is too high, damage can occur; if it is too low, the dirt cannot be completely removed. A water pressure between 60 and 80 bar is ideal for a car wash. In many self-service car wash systems, the water pressure is already programmed at 60 bar. This means you don’t have to fear any harm in a self-service car wash.
4. Minimum distance between the vehicle and the high pressure cleaner
When cleaning, always keep a minimum distance of 30 cm between the nozzle of the high-pressure cleaner and the car, in order to avoid damage to the paint or the body of the car. With the wheels, 20 cm is also ok. Never aim at the ground in front of you, but rather at a small angle. In this way, the dirt can be removed more efficiently and the impact force of the water at the same time is somewhat weakened.
Cleaning is most effective if you are performing a type of water jet. Pre-cleaning is recommended for very persistent dirt. Light and normal dirt can be easily removed without pre-cleaning.
5. Pay special attention to tires and springs
Particular attention should be paid to soft parts of the vehicle, such as tires or springs when cleaning with a high-pressure cleaner. When cleaning the tires, the water temperature should not exceed 60 ° C. In addition, you should not direct the water jet frontally, but always at an angle to the tires. This way, the weak points in the tires can be avoided. The rims are a little less sensitive, but they also need to be cleaned with an angle jet. Also, you should never clean the seals on the windows directly with a water jet, otherwise, the seals may break. Either irradiate only indirectly or re-work with a sponge.
6. Set the water temperature to room temperature.
When cleaning with a high-pressure cleaner, you should adjust the water temperature to the outside temperature. In the case of higher temperature differences, the water jet could create microcracks when hitting the body. Therefore, the water temperature should not be too low in summer and not too warm in winter.
To avoid visually unattractive lime or water stains, it is best to dry the car with a car leather cloth or microfiber cloth after cleaning.
Think about the environment!
Cleaning agents make your car shine beautifully, but if you use them in the yard or garden, they can soak into the ground or groundwater. For this reason, in many municipalities, the use of cleaning agents in the garden is not allowed. It is best to find out in advance if you are allowed to use cleaning agents in your community or if you have to drive to a self-service car wash, where the water is separated from the cleaning agents again by special treatment systems.
Hand wash vs. high pressure cleaner
A car wash with a high-pressure cleaner is never as thorough as a hand wash, so you have to go back to work by hand after a high-pressure wash and apply various polishes or car wax. Because only through wax or enamel does the shine last and the next wash may be delayed a little.
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