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Avoid These Common Car Washing Mistakes for a Sparkling Finish: Expert Advice from Casey's Car Wash and Detail Center, Ft. Collins, Colorado

Maintaining the sparkle and shine of your vehicle is not just about aesthetics; it's about preserving its value and integrity. However, in the quest for a clean car, many owners inadvertently commit mistakes that can compromise the vehicle's appearance and even its paint job. At Casey's Car Wash and Detail Center in Ft. Collins, Colorado, we've seen it all—and we're here to share our professional insights on the most common car washing mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Using the Wrong Cleaning Products (One of the Biggest Washing Mistakes)

One of the most frequent errors is reaching for household cleaning agents, such as dish soap, to wash the car. While they might be effective at cutting through grease on dishes, these products can strip the protective wax off your vehicle, leaving the paint exposed and vulnerable to damage.

Professional Advice: Always use automotive-specific cleaners designed to preserve the integrity of your car’s paint and finish. These products will effectively clean your vehicle without stripping away its protective layers. Casey's Car Wash has developed our own brand of car wash soap, Bentonite Bubbles, that is automotive specific and meets or exceeds all car wash soap requirements.

Container of Casey's car wash soap
Casey's Bentonite Bubbles

2. Washing in Direct Sunlight

It might seem like a bright, sunny day is perfect for a car wash, but washing your car in direct sunlight can lead to water spots and uneven drying, which can mar the finish. The heat causes the water and soap to evaporate too quickly, leaving behind residues and streaks.

Professional Advice: Opt to wash your vehicle in the shade or on a cloudy day when the surface isn't too hot. This allows for a more thorough wash and drying process, ensuring a streak-free finish.

canopy covering cars that are being dried.
Covered Car Drying Area

3. Neglecting Parts of the Car During the Cleaning Process

Often, areas like the undercarriage, wheel wells, and door jams are overlooked during a routine wash. However, these areas can accumulate a significant amount of dirt and grime, contributing to rust and corrosion over time.

Professional Advice: Make sure to address these often-neglected areas during your wash. A comprehensive clean not only contributes to the overall aesthetics of your car but also to its longevity.

spraying off mud from a wheel well
Cleaning muddy wheelwell

4. Improper Washing and Drying Techniques

Using a single bucket for soap and rinse can transfer dirt back onto the car, causing scratches. Similarly, drying with any readily available towel can introduce swirl marks and scratches.

Professional Advice: Employ the two-bucket method—one for your soapy water and another for rinsing your mitt or sponge. When drying, use a microfiber towel or a chamois to gently absorb water without damaging the paint.

guy drying a rear window of suv
Casey's team member hand drying a car

5. Using Too Much Pressure When Washing

High-pressure hoses can force water into sensitive areas, such as under the hood or the seals around windows, leading to potential electrical problems or leaks.

Professional Advice: Use a gentle stream of water for rinsing. If using a pressure washer, keep it on a lower setting and maintain a safe distance from the surface of the car to prevent any forceful water intrusion.


Avoiding these common mistakes can significantly extend the life and beauty of your vehicle. However, for those who prefer to ensure that their car receives the best care possible, Casey's Car Wash and Detail Center in Ft. Collins, Colorado, offers professional washing and detailing services that guarantee a flawless finish every time. Our experts are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to protect your investment, leaving your car looking its best without the worry of accidental damage. Visit us today and give your car the pampering it deserves!


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