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Video: How to Prevent Scratches, Swirls on a Black Car

Video: How to Prevent Scratches, Swirls on a Black Car

Vehicles come in all hues - but for my money, all the coolest cars are black. The Batmobile. James Dean's Mercury in "Rebel Without a Cause." KITT from "Knight Rider." But Hasselhoff would've looked considerably less cool if his talking Trans Am's paintjob was permanently marred by tiny scratches and swirls due to careless car washing.

Since black is the second most popular car color on the planet behind white, and the best part of owning a black car in the first place is catching your reflection in that deep, dark, mirrorlike shine, we thought we'd show you proper washing technique before you do something to your brand-new ride that you'll regret — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your ... loan.

Black paint doesn't scratch any easier than any other color, it just shows up more due to the white appearance of the clear coat when scratched — usually the result of careless washing, as even tiny dirt particles can cause damage as you grind them into the paint.

Similarly, avoid at any cost the spinning brushes of doom at an automatic car wash, or even a professional hand wash where you don't know their rep. Better to go touch-free — and best to just do it yourself.

  • First, remove as much grime as possible before scrubbing, with a high-pressure hose-down.
  • Use two buckets to keep the dirty rinse water and clean soapy water separate, which prevents fragments from contaminating your scrubbing water.
  • Don't use dish soap to clean your car! It could strip away your wax or sealant. Instead, buy a car-wash solution intended for the job, which minimizes friction.
  • Use a high-quality microfiber chenille mitt starting at the top of the car, working your way down, and rinsing the mitt in your plain-water bucket to dislodge debris as you go.
  • You might even spring for a Grit Guard to trap crud in your rinse bucket so it doesn't end up back on your mitt.
  • For drying, use a scratch-free microfiber towel, but don't just drag it across the surface.
  • Lay the cloth over a wet spot and pat it, or at least use nice, slow, soft motions.

Or, if ain't nobody got time for that, use a leaf blower.

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