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How Do You Wash a Car that Has Paint Protection Film?

We all lead very busy lives, and that can mean cutting corners on certain household chores when we must. So, ask yourself, are you tempted to use an automatic car wash because you know you just won’t have time to do it over the weekend? Do you worry that the automatic wash might do some damage to your car, particularly if you have treated your car with paint protection film?

Well, in this article we will discuss the proper way to wash your car, whether it has paint protection film installed or not. Unfortunately, as tempting as it might be, an automatic car wash is not good for a vehicle that has been treated with paint protection film. I know that comes as bad news to some – but there is a silver lining. Paint protection film is such an amazing product that cleaning your car yourself is actually a little bit easier because your car has paint protection film installed.   

Of course, there is nothing better than talking to someone in person who knows all about these issues. Our Tint Tech tint pros in Calgary are the best people to talk to about what kind of paint protection film would be the way to go in your situation, and how to properly maintain it. After you read this blog, if you have some questions please give our tint pros a call at 1-403-968-8468. We are looking forward to working with you.  

Paint Protection Film Basics 

If are you reading this blog, then you likely have paint protection film already on your car, or you are considering getting it installed.  If that is the case, then you know that paint protection film is a thin urethane film that adheres to the painted surfaces on your vehicle.  

It cannot be seen by the naked eye once it is installed, and it is meant to protect your vehicle’s surface from all of the stuff that could scratch or scuff your car. In addition, it makes washing your favorite ride just that much easier to do.  

Now let’s consider the aspects of how to properly wash your vehicle. We will first consider the basics of washing any car, with or without paint protection film. 

Do’s and Don’ts When Washing any Vehicle 

1. Do It on a Regular Basis. Letting your car go too long without washing it is not a good thing.  In the salty, snowy winters it is sometimes hard to keep up, but you want to make sure that you do not wait too long because the built-up salt on your car could start to impact the clear coat paint on your car, or the longevity of the paint protection film.

2. Don’t Wash in the Hot Sun.  We’ve all seen the commercials, musical videos, and movies with the proverbial zany car washing scene – they are always washing their cars in the hot summer sun. It makes for great entertainment, but washing your car in direct sunlight could actually result in some problems. If the sun is directly on your car, then the water you are using to wash it will evaporate quickly. That means that you could end up with water spots on your car. Worse yet, the chemicals in the soap might not react favorably to the hot sun as well.  

3. Start with the Wheels.  Given that your wheels are often the dirtiest part of your car, that would be the place to start.  Why? Because it takes care of the biggest cleaning issue on your car, and then allows the residual soap as you wash the rest of your vehicle to rinse over the wheels a second time.

4. Try the Two-Tub Trick. You don’t want to rub dirty water on your car when you are cleaning it. That can easily happen when you constantly put the same sponge in one bucket as you wash your car. So instead, have two buckets. One with soapy water and the other with just water to rinse. After you soap up one part of the car, rinse the sponge in the rinse bucket, before getting more soap on the sponge. It really works.

Do’s and Don’ts When Washing Your Car That Has Been Treated with Paint Protection Film

There are really three major things you need to remember about washing a car with paint protection film.

1. 7-Day Rule.  You should not wash your car within seven days of getting your car treated with paint protection film.  When paint protection film is installed, the job is not actually done when the tint shop says that you can pick up your car. The protection film on the car needs to “cure” or set on your vehicle. That can take up to a week. So, make sure that you avoid washing your car during that first week.

2. Don’t Use a Powered Buffer. We all want our cars to be as shiny as possible. And many times, power buffers can do the trick. However, when they say “powered” buffer, they mean “powerful.”  A buffer can really dig into a car’s surface a little more than you want. Further, issues arise when there are particles or other debris that might get in the middle of the buffing process, which may end up in a scratch rather than a shine.  

3. Handle Bugs, Birds, and Tree Stuff Right Away. You don’t always need to do a full wash on your car. And it is important that any substance like bug splatter, bird droppings, or tree sap be removed as soon as possible so as not to harm your paint protection film. So, carry around a little kit to handle those spots in a jiffy. No need to go the full wash route for every bug splatter.

Consider Upgrading Your Style with Paint Protection Film with the Tint Pros at Tint Tech

With our knowledge of state-of-the-art protective film technology, we can protect your vehicle from sun and heat damage, and from chips and scuffs on your vehicle’s paint. We also increase the security of your glass and add privacy for car and home windows. And we can do it all for less money than you think.

Every tint pro at Tint Tech is a protective film specialist in Calgary who will see your project through from start to finish. With over 45 years of combined experience among our professionals, Tint Tech guarantees that our work will be of the highest quality, while ensuring your ultimate satisfaction. Call today to learn more at 1-403-968-8468, or be sure to fill out our online contact form.

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