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If your car is covered in so much grime, dust and dirt that it’s unrecognisable, it’s probably time for a car wash. Just think twice before you pull out the classic yellow sponge!

Did you know that conventional sponges can damage your car’s delicate paintwork and lead to unsightly scratches? In this short guide, we explain why a sponge is not an effective tool for washing your vehicle and offer some better alternatives.

The Problem with using Sponges to Clean your Car

It’s common to see people using a sponge to scrub their cars. Sponges are soft and porous, so many people mistakenly believe they couldn’t cause harm to their car.

The problem is that sponges have holes that absorb dirt and grime. When you wash your car with a sponge, all the trapped dirt and grime gets passed over your paintwork leading to hundreds of tiny scratches.

These scratches may not be visible in low light, but they will reduce your car’s shine and leave it with a dull appearance. This is because scratches to your car’s delicate paintwork affect the way light reflects off the surface.

Sponges are also far more abrasive than you might think. While this abrasiveness is great for washing dishes, a sponge can easily damage the delicate clear coat of your paint.

Other Products to Avoid When Washing Your Car

We know it can be tempting to use whatever you have conveniently lying at home to wash your car, but there are other products you should avoid as well.

Any type of brush or brush attachment should be avoided. Brushes are stiff and rigid and can easily damage your car’s clear coat. They can also hide deeply embedded dirt and grit that can cause deep scratches to your paintwork.

Even Granita sponges should be avoided. Granita sponges can trap dirt and grime in the same way as conventional sponges and cause hundreds of scratches every time you put the sponge on the paint.

In terms of liquids, bleach and dishwashing liquids are simply too abrasive to be used for washing vehicles. These products might remove grease by design, but they also take many car protectants with them.

What Should I Use to Wash My Car?

If you want to hand wash your car at home, we recommend using a microfiber mitt.

Microfibre mitts are softer than sponges, so they are far more gentle on your car. Microfibre mitts can also lift dirt and grime from your car’s paint. Since the strands of a microfiber mitt are long and porous, they can trap dirt and keep it isolated from your vehicle’s exterior.

Microfibre mitts can also easily be cleaned between scrubbing dirty panels. You can use a microfibre mitt with a bucket of soapy water or you can just add water and soap right to the mitt itself.

Another alternative to microfiber mitts is lamb’s wool wash mitts. They are an excellent product for gently washing your car, but they are more expensive than microfiber mitts.

Ready to Enjoy that ‘New Car’ Feeling?

Sponges should be avoided when washing your car. They are too abrasive and can trap dirt and grime that can damage your vehicle’s paintwork.

If you want to enjoy that ‘new car’ feeling without the risk and hard work of hand washing, we can help restore your car to its showroom look and feel once more.

Star Car Wash is Australia’s leading professional hand wash & detailing provider. We offer a variety of premium 100% hand wash and car detailing services that will fit your needs and your budget.

Unlike regular car washes that only surface clean your vehicle, our care experts will remove stains, swirl marks and blemishes, restore the shine to your paintwork and leave your car in its best possible condition.

We also offer a premium paint protection detailing service that will provide your car with unparalleled protection against the elements.

Your car deserves nothing but the best. If you would like your car professionally restored by our expert technicians, book online today or visit your nearest Star Car Wash branch.

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