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CARING FOR YOUR CAR with Car-Fé

Why Using the Right Chemicals to Clean Your Car is So Important

Rob Bonnici is the Car Guy. Rob lives, eats and breathes car cleaning products and services. Having a background in chemicals, car cleaning products and now owning a 7 day a week car cleaning and grooming centre, he is without a doubt the most passionate and the most knowledgeable car guy in New Zealand. Rob, along with his wife Siobhan, owns Car-fé facing the motorway in Barry’s Point Road, Takapuna. Rob is more than happy to help you out with any car cleaning issues. Email: Carfe.takapuna@xtra.co.nz or Phone 488-7000.

With all the advancement of technology and raw materials used in manufacturing new cars these days, you have to be sure that you select the correct cleaners. Last week, one of our readers brought a problem to our attention that she was beside herself about and couldn’t fix…

Having cleaned the car which she owned from new, the lady noticed that the plastic window in front of her speedometer had turned slightly opaque. After reviewing this, it was identified that the cleaner was responsible for clouding the surface and that a replacement was going to cost hundred of dollars to fix. After using a plastic polish we were able to restore this back to its former glory. This made me want to help you, readers, in your choice of products!
In this instance, you should buy a non-ammoniated glass cleaner when using on plastics (read the conditions on the label before you apply to plastic surfaces to ensure the brand states that it is ok for plastics). Use the two cloths method (both cloths white cotton preferably): Wet one cloth with the cleaner and use the other one dry.
Always avoid any solvent-based cleaner on your internal hard surfaces; dash, door panels, centre console and glass.
Modern day paint technology has advanced to the point were no lead is used in the paint to aid in the hardening process. This is good for the environment. Using water-based products with resin to harden the new paint technologies, means they are not as hard as yesteryear, so you need to be careful on your choice of soap and your soaping applicators.
Firstly, all of the major brands of car wash shampoo have available PH neutral washes. These are great because they minimise those nasty streaks that can occur from not rinsing down fully. There is no right or wrong answer on whether to use a sponge, wash mitt or brush. It is in the housekeeping of your applicator - keeping it free of dirt and grime - that will stop those fine scratches.
When applying tyre shine to your wheels, brushing this on, rather than spraying, will eliminate the silicone floating through the air getting to where you do not want it to go. There are a number of new products available on the market today, which are water-based as opposed to the traditional solvent-based products. These aid in the clean-up of wheel throw out, should you not remove all the excess.

by Rob Bonnici

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