Five key mistakes to avoid when giving your car a spring clean – including when NEVER to wash your motor

GIVING your car a spring clean is important to get at all that nasty dirt and grime that builds up over time – but there are certain ways to go about it.

And there are things you must avoid when setting about on a good old scrub of your motor – including when you should NEVER wash your car.

Now, car servicing experts MotorEasy have shared five key mistakes to avoid when cleaning your car – mistakes which could end up costing you hundreds of pounds in damage.


If you don’t have any car shampoo to hand, many people think it is fine to substitute it for washing up liquid from the kitchen.

But this could be a costly mistake, because cleaning your car with washing up liquid can cause paintwork fading.

Washing up liquid can strip the wax and oils that protect the paintwork itself.

It can cost you hundreds to get a respray and faded paint will see the value of your car plummet – stick to safer car shampoo which protects the paintwork.


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To remove dried dirt from the exterior of the car with something harsh like a brillo pad can be tempting, but it can be damaging to the paintwork.

Simply drying your car with a towel can even cause small scratches to appear.

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Instead, use a dry micro-fibre cloth to mop up residual water on your motor and avoid scratching that lovely finish on your car.


Never wash your car on a hot day, or with the engine on – this can affect the outcome of the final washed look.

Heat will quickly dry any soap and water applied, causing pesky water spots, making the job of washing your car difficult.

Prevent this by washing your car after the engine has cooled and in the shade where possible.


Cleaning your upholstery is important as dirt and grime can build up on both cloth and leather seats – that's not nice to sit on and it can look terrible.

When cleaning your upholstery – never use household disinfectant such as bleach as this will ruin the finish of most materials.

Instead follow these rules:

Cloth seats: Vacuum any debris and spray a solution of hot water, white vinegar and dash of washing up liquid to scrub into the upholstery with a soft brush for a refresh.

Leather seats: The above white vinegar solution can also be used to clean leather seats, but avoid soaking the seats completely, and leave to dry naturally. Finish off with a specialised leather conditioner.


When washing your car – start with the wheels and tyres which are the dirtiest part of the vehicle.

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Use a pressure washer to blast most of the dirt off before going at them with with a wet sponge to wipe clean.

Duncan McClure-Fisher, CEO at MotorEasy says: "Regular maintenance of the interior and exterior of your vehicle will help avoid paintwork issues such as rusting and staining on the seats which may require specialist attention."

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