Top 10 Costly Misconceptions about Car Cleaning

Top 10 Costly Misconceptions about Car Cleaning

Misconception #1:    You don’t need to clean your car when it rains

Not true. Rain carries down pollutants from the air, and is oftentimes acidic. This corrosive mixture lands on your car and, if left unattended, it degrades and dulls the finish over time.

By slowly eating into your paint’s protection layer, also known as clear coat, it also creates a fertile ground for rust spots to appear.


Misconception #2:    New cars don’t need to be cleaned

Not true. When your car is new, it is the best time to start taking care of it by washing and cleaning it often. By doing this, you make sure the car looks good for years to come, and you and your family take pleasure in using it.

And secondly, all plastic and vinyl components inside a car are petroleum based. Are you familiar with the “new car smell”? that is in fact given by plastic releasing oil fumes into the air (a phenomenon known in the industry as “out-gassing”) and it’s most common during the first year of a car’s life.

In reality, these fumes are toxic and harmful for people, and removing their residue often through cleaning contributes to your better health.


Misconception #3:    Cleaning your car at home is as good as a professional car wash

Not true. This is not the case for several reasons:

  • Cleaning your car at home uses between 100 and 150 gallons of water per wash. This opposed to a professional car cleaning company which uses about 15 to 20 gallons of water when traditional methods are employed (or as little as 2 gallons of water per car with the Clean My Car proprietary method). With drinking water becoming such a precious and scarce resource in modern times, the savings are significant. By choosing a professional car cleaning company, you contribute to a future where your children and grandchildren will not have to endure the harsh consequences of water scarcity.


  • Car cleaning chemicals available over-the-counter for the public are considerably less effective than professional dedicated car cleaning chemicals. The reason is, professional dedicated car cleaning chemicals often require specialized knowledge and training in order to be used safely in your car. Therefore, to eliminate any risk and potential liability, generic car cleaning products available in stores have been “watered down” by the manufacturers. This ensures any person without training can use them after simply reading the label, and often even without that.


  • Cleaning your car at home generates important amounts of chemical run-off being sent to storm drains. From then on it goes to your local lakes, rivers, and even the ocean. That in turn contributes to polluting your close by environment, and causing health problems in your community. In contrast, professional car cleaning companies are required by law to capture and filter the run-off, keeping the pollutants away from your water sources. Some companies, such as ours, even use proprietary cleaning system that generates absolutely no water and chemical run-off whatsoever.


Misconception #4:    Dish washing soap is the best for cleaning your car

Not true. Dish washing soap contains powerful degreasers to ensure removal of food leftovers from kitchen dishes and utensils. When you use as a car cleaning soap replacement, it will strip the paint of protective oils, and make it look dull.

To keep the paint on your car looking shiny, stay away from dish washing soap, and use dedicated car cleaning soap instead.


Misconception #5:    “Road salt” does not damage the paint on the car

Not true. The de-icing mixture sprayed on public roads during winter (commonly referred to as “Road Salt”) is in fact a liquid version of either Sodium Chloride or Magnesium Chloride.

Both chemicals are highly corrosive and, if left sitting of your car for long periods of time, will degrade it and stimulate the appearance of rust.  


Misconception #6:    “Cut Polish” removes scratches off the car’s paint

Not true. And abrasive polish, commonly referred to as “Cut Polish”, will only remove a superficial layer of oxidation and embedded dirt, which will result in your car looking shinier.

Deep scratches can only be fixed in bodyshops, usually by repainting (re-spraying) the damaged area.


Misconception #7:    All car cleaning companies do the same thing, so you should hire the one with the lowest price

Not true. Low prices are usually an indicator that some corners are cut. It may be that the car cleaning company has low quality equipment, low quality chemicals, or perhaps unskilled staff.

Or it may even be a “bait and switch” tactic to lure unsuspecting customers in, and then pressure them into accepting a higher price.


Misconception #8:    Bug splatter and bird droppings will come off your car with a simple clean (even after a long time)

Not true. Both bug splatter and bird droppings are acidic by nature. When left unattended for long periods of time on the surface of your car, they will etch into the finish and create unsightly marks.

It is best to remove them as soon as possible, by yourself or by using the help of a professional car cleaning company.


Misconception #9:    A dirty car doesn’t affect your health and wellbeing

Not true. Remember how you first fell in love with your car, before buying it? It was all clean and shiny. You would have not considered it, had it been all dirty and dingy.

Just as looking at your dirty car may negatively impact your morale, spending time in it may affect your physical health.

Studies show that, besides plain dirt, there are many contaminants hiding in your car, such as: pollen, fungus, pet dandruff, dust mites and chemicals. Every time you step onto the carpet and relax on the seats, you release those contaminants back into the air.

The more time you, and your family, spend inside the car, the more you are exposed to these harmful contaminants, breathing them in.


Misconception #10:    Leather seats are best cleaned by scrubbing them hard

Not true. Your leather seats (and any leather surface in your car) are factory-coated with a thin vinyl film. Scrubbing hard to clean them can easily damage this thin coating, leading to costly repair.

Best way to clean leather is with a soft towel and a dedicated cleaning product.