Weathering the Storm: 9 tips for keeping your car clean during winter

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Wet weather can wreak havoc on your car, leaving behind a trail of mud, water spots, and grime. Whether it's a drizzle or a downpour, maintaining a clean vehicle during wet weather requires diligence and the right strategies. Here's some handy tips to help you keep your car looking spotless even when the skies are gray and the roads are wet.

1. Start with a protective coating

Before wet weather sets in, consider applying a protective coating to your car's exterior surfaces. Products such as ceramic coatings or sealants provide a durable barrier against water, dirt, and contaminants, making it easier to clean your car and maintain its shine. These coatings also offer UV protection, preventing paint damage and fading caused by prolonged sun exposure.

2. Regular washing is key

In wet weather, dirt and grime accumulate more quickly on your car's exterior, diminishing its appearance and potentially causing damage over time. Make it a habit to wash your car regularly, ideally once a week or more frequently if needed. Use a pH-balanced car wash and a soft microfibre wash mitt to gently remove dirt and debris without scratching the paint.

3. Rinse after rain

After a rainy day, take a few minutes to rinse off your car with clean water. This helps wash away road grime, mud, and other contaminants that can accumulate on the surface. Pay special attention to areas such as the wheel wells, undercarriage, and door jambs, where dirt tends to accumulate.

4. Dry thoroughly to prevent water spots

Water spots are a common issue during wet weather, especially if you allow water to air dry on your car's surface. To prevent water spots, use a clean, soft microfibre towel to dry your car immediately after washing or rinsing. Start from the top and work your way down, ensuring all surfaces are thoroughly dried to a streak-free finish.

5. Protect your interior from moisture

Wet weather doesn't just affect the exterior of your car; it can also lead to moisture buildup inside the cabin. To prevent mold, mildew, and musty odours, use weatherproof floor mats and seat covers to protect your interior from water and dirt. If your car gets wet inside, remove any excess moisture promptly and use a dehumidifier or moisture absorber to dry out the cabin.

6. Use a water-repellent windscreen treatment

Maintaining visibility is crucial for safe driving in wet weather. Improve your windscreen's water-repellent properties by applying a windscreen treatment or rain repellent product. These treatments help water bead off the glass, improving visibility and reducing the need for constant windscreen wiper use.

7. Clean and treat your wiper blades

Wiper blades play a vital role in maintaining clear visibility during wet weather, but they can also contribute to streaks and smudges if not properly maintained. Regularly clean your wiper blades with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris, and treat them with a silicone-based lubricant to keep them functioning smoothly.

8. Park strategically to minimise exposure

Where you park your car can significantly impact its cleanliness during wet weather. Whenever possible, park in a covered garage or sheltered area to protect your car from rain, snow, and other elements. If covered parking is not available, look for spots away from trees, which can drip sap and leaves onto your car, and avoid parking near puddles or areas prone to flooding.

9. Be proactive and adapt to changing conditions

Wet weather can be unpredictable, so it's essential to stay proactive and adapt your cleaning routine as conditions change. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and adjust your cleaning schedule accordingly. By staying ahead of the curve, you can ensure your car stays clean and protected even in the wettest of conditions.

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