The importance of keeping your car clean

We usually don’t realise how damaging it can be to our cars when we leave them dirty but regular cleaning is essential for the long-term preservation of our vehicles.
Dirt on cars very quickly damages the finish, and once the finish is damaged, scratching and rusting is much harder to protect against. This means that the metal of the car can also be at risk. Rusting can lead to bubbles in the paint, and before you know it, your brand new car can look like a vehicle that’s been on the road for years.

Safety in vehicles

Keeping your car clean is also important for your safety! Dirty windows reduce visibility, increasing your likelihood of getting in accidents. Dirt can work with blind spots to make it harder for you to keep your eyes on the road.
It’s also good for your health to keep the inside of your car clean. Think of how much time you spend in your car every day. If your car is messy, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria that could easily make you sick.

How to clean your car

  • If you’ve been on a road trip this summer, you would have seen the effect this had on your car. The windows are probably dirty; the paint might’ve lost its shine – that’s not the car you want to be driving around town!
  • Your first step should be cleaning the inside of your car (its way harder to do this while the outside of your car is still drying). Vacuum the seats and the mats and use a damp cloth to wipe dust from the dashboard.
  • If the screens in your car have gathered dust, wipe them with a cloth and then use a glass or screen cleaner to finish them off. Always remember to spray onto your cloth and then wipe (not directly on the surface!).
  • After you’ve cleaned the inside of your car, it’s time to clean the exterior. In terms of equipment, all you need is a few buckets, a sponge or cleaning mitt, a brush for your wheels, and a towel to get that finishing shine. For your cleaning product, make sure you’re not using dishwashing detergent – this will eat into the paintwork of your car. Automotive-specific cleaners aren’t expensive and are much safer for your cars.
  • Start by spraying your whole car with clean water, then fill up your buckets – one with soapy water and one with clean water to keep your sponge clean (this means you won’t be spreading dirt around). Clean your car from the top to the bottom, using straight lines instead of circles to avoid scratch marks.
  • If you accidentally drop your sponge, make sure you either clean it straight away or replace it with a clean sponge. A dirty sponge can lead to debris from the ground scratching against your paint which is a surefire way to ruin your paint job.
  • Once you’ve scrubbed your car, rinse the soap off with clean water and then use your towel to dry the car and make it shine. Once again, go top to bottom in straight lines to avoid streaking.

Where to clean your car

If your car is really dirty, it’s worth getting a professional clean and then maintaining the clean at home. We’ve listed some great places to go if you’re looking for that extra shine. *

In Auckland:

  • Carfé – Situated in Greenlane, Carfé has professionals on hand to hand wash your car while you relax in the café and grab a bite. The team at Carfé will make sure your car is as good as new as you leave. No bookings necessary.
  • Rub-A-Dub Valet Carwash – If Epsom is closer, Rub-A-Dub Valet Carwash is another great place to go. They provide many different levels of services to meet your needs, and also have a loyalty system which earns you Rewards Dollars every wash.

In Wellington:

  • Top-Notch Grooming – Top-Notch Grooming offers a variety of services depending on what you’re looking for from your car wash. The team at Top-Notch Grooming has years of experience in car grooming and will take good care of your vehicle!
  • ZEROnClean – ZEROnCLEAN is an eco friendly car wash company that also offers multiple services depending on your needs and your budget.

In Christchurch:

  • Espresso Carwash – Espresso Carwash Café provides you a hand wash service with a range of services available. They also provide interior cleaning services. Espresso Carwash has multiple locations across Christchurch.
  • Grooming Solutions – Grooming Solutions provides hand washes starting. If you book online, you also get a discount off your first grooming service. Alternatively you can also choose to drive in as bookings are not required.


*DISCLAIMER: AutoLife has no relationship with the companies listed. Autolife has made the utmost effort to make good recommendations; however, we make no warranties, express or implied, as to the quality of these companies. Reviews are based wholly on information from these third-party websites. We are not liable in any manner for any direct, indirect or consequential damages.