Return to the Blog Home Page

Decorating the Car without Damage

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

Fall is upon us and time to show team spirit. It’s time to start decorating the car to support your team on game day! Yet, not at the expense of a vehicle’s paint. Here are a few ways to keep a car safe from damage, but still be decked out for the home team.

The first thing is to make sure that the car is squeaky clean. A great wash can reduce the residue that can cause scratches when temporary decorative materials are applied to your car. Microscopic dirt on the painted services can cause scratching when a magnetic decoration is applied over the dirt. The dirt can get caught in a paint pen causing scratches when used on painted surfaces. We suggest only using a temporary paint pen or window chalk designed decorate your cars glasses surfaces.

Then after the big win, make sure to remove all of the paint and applied decorations as not to set the material into the paint job. Immediate, or close to it, removal provides the least possible damage to the vehicle.

Other things to think about when it comes to a car’s paint and game day, are logo stickers. While displaying a team’s brand is a must, sticky adhesives that clings to paint can be a problem if not applied and removed properly. Try putting magnets on the back of the sticker instead for easy removal, so the cleanup is easy and damage free. Adhesives can be bad news when it comes to damage. They can be difficult to remove, and can stay on a car for long periods of time before they come completely off. Having a clean car to apply the logo is the best option to prevent scratching the paint.

Some ‘damage free’ alternatives are a window flag, license plate frames and even state issued personalized license plates with your team logo (when available).

Other ways that a die hard fan can show support with their vehicle without the damage is music. By playing a fight song or other musical representation of the team is an alternative to adding decor. Window cling decals can be a cleaner option to window paint because they can be used over and over again.

After the game, no matter the outcome, get the car ready for the next one with $5 off a Signature Shine for a limited time.

Mr. Clean Car Wash: Common Terms Glossary

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

We at Mr. Clean Car Wash, wanted to make sure that when you hear us say one of these common car terms, you understand what we are talking about.

  1. Detailing– A detail is a specific procedure that deep cleans a specific area. There are usually two main types of detailing, internal and external. External detailing generally includes washing, waxing, and polishing the vehicle. It also includes headlight restoration, clay bar to remove paint contaminants or External Vinyl Conditioning that dresses the black vinyl trim many vehicles have today. Internal detailing includes when a technician shampoos carpets or cloth seats, cleans and conditions leather seats or interior plastic and vinyl surfaces. Both of these types of detailing are important because deep cleaning helps to keep a vehicle in top shape and reduces the effects of weather and other elements that keeps up its appearance and helps to maintain value for resale.
  2. Oil Change The replacement of dirty oil and oil filter to clean oil and a new oil filter in a vehicle’s engine. It is recommended for a vehicle to get its oil changed every 3 months or 3,000-5,000 miles depending on the make and model as specified by the manufacturer’s recommendation. Oil changes are important for the longevity of a vehicle. The key to a great car is a great engine, and an oil change helps maintain a great engine.
  3. Clay Bar– A compound used to smooth the painted surfaces on a vehicle and remove any contaminants. Can be used on multiple surfaces, such as glass, metal and paint. This detailing process is important to clean microscopic contamination from painted surfaces to give a smooth cleaning to paint before waxing.
  4. Express Wash An express car wash is great for a quick run through when a customer is short on time and wants a quick exterior cleaning. It is an exterior only tunnel only wash that does not include a technician drying the vehicle or doing any other finishing process. In many cases, customers that get an express wash will dry and vacuum their car themselves in the self service vacuum area of the carwash.
  5. Full Service Wash Best described as wash that includes interior and exterior cleaning. A full service wash includes interior cleaning such as vacuuming, windows, wiping dash and console by a carwash associate after being washed by the carwash tunnel. Mr. Clean Carwash has several levels of full service washes that add additional tunnel applied features to the wash without adding any time.
  6. Throttle plate A valve that controls the amount of air flow allowed in the engine of a vehicle. It is important to keep a throttle plate clean in order to keep a vehicle from breaking down and running the way that it should.
  7. Emissions Test A test that is required by most states that checks the amount of exhaust waste that a vehicle transmits into the air. The test is usually required once a year and can include a check of other safety features including brakes. Without an emissions test a car owner will not be able to get their vehicle registration renewed as well as get insurance in some cases.

Read more in depth definitions of any unfamiliar terms on Mr. Clean Car Wash’s blog.

Make it a Summer of Unlimited Car Washes

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Ever wish a car would just clean itself? Unlimited car washes may be the next best thing. The freedom and flexibility combined with a superior shine can make it feel like a vehicle never gets dirty.

But why would a car owner need unlimited car washes in the summer?

First, rain storms. A common misconception for most car owners is that they will let the rain wash their car. The truth is that rain can make a car dirtier because of the acidity of the perception. When rain mixes with the dirt on a vehicle, it can cause damage to the exterior of the car. A car wash helps to protect the surface of a car from this toxic chemical mixture and keeps the car cleaner overall.

Another reason unlimited car washes are a great idea in the summer is because of the frequency of travel in the summer months. Traveling automatically exposes a vehicle to dust, dirt and other particles that should be removed as quickly as possible. Don’t wait for crud to accumulate on the surface of a vehicle and damage the paint.

In addition, the unlimited full-service plan cleans the inside of the car as well. Sand, dirt from the kids home from school, unexpected spills from traveling, and other mishaps are no match for a full detail. Why let the inside of a vehicle waste away when the problem can be remedied soon after it happens?

One of the best reasons to go to unlimited car washes is the cost effectiveness. After only three washes, the services are up to 25% cheaper than getting a standalone car wash in the same amount of time. That’s extra cash that can be used on the next vacation.

It also saves time. Unlimited car wash customers get a small RFID tag to put in the windshield to effortlessly pass through the usual ordering process.

Mr. Clean Car Wash has 6 unlimited car wash plans that can fit any car owner’s needs and can be used up to once every day. Plus, unlimited plans can be redeemed at any location making getting a car washed easy and convenient. Make every day a clean car day with unlimited car washes.

Why Detailing Is More Than Just A Car Wash

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

You probably have heard of people getting their cars detailed and wondered what that means. Is it just a fancy word for a car wash? No. Good detailing starts with a good car wash, but it goes far beyond that. It’s like the difference between dusting your home and doing a good spring cleaning. Both are important, but that spring cleaning goes a lot further. And so does detailing.

When you take your car in for detailing, a full-service car wash is followed up with deep cleanings such as a clay bar that can remove fading, scuffs and gunk from road tar and bird mess to tree sap. Polish removes old wax buildup and new wax gives your car a deep, long-lasting shine and protects your paint’s clear coat finish from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Your tires and wheels are cleaned, polished and dressed.

But that’s just the outside of your car. Detailing also makes the inside of your car, truck, SUV or minivan look its best, with cleaning and shampooing for the carpet. Your seats are given special attention with a solution for cloth and conditioners and tanners for leather. The hard surfaces like your dashboard and door panels are scrubbed to remove dirt and stains, then protected with a vinyl dressing.

Best of all, a good detailing makes your car look better longer. It’s not the same as a car wash or a replacement for your regularly scheduled car wash. It’s something you should add to your car care that enhances the value of your vehicle and your enjoyment of it. Learn more about the detail services available at Mr. Clean Car Wash and our detailing promotions here.

How a Full Service Car Wash Protects Against Rust

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

A full service car wash does more than just keep a vehicle dirt free.

It is true that a car wash can give a vehicle a quick facelift. However, a full service car wash can also help keep a car ‘healthy’ over time. Rust is a chemical compound that can cause corrosion to a vehicle if not properly handled. Rust occurs when three things are present: iron, oxygen and water. When water hits iron, it breaks the iron down into two parts: water and oxygen. The free formed oxygen then dissolves into the iron—causing what is known as rust. Rust is a substance that can be extremely harmful to a car, both internally and externally.

Anywhere iron and water are present, rust can be present. A vehicle’s paint is supposed to help protect it from UV damage, scratches, and other cosmetic issues. However, if a vehicle is dirty, the elements that combine with dirt can wear down the protective covering, making it vulnerable to rust. Rust is harmful because it can cause important functions of a vehicle to break down slowly. Rust can also make a car look old and worn. Finally, it can damage a vehicle’s frame and engine—and potentially cause costly repairs. That’s where the importance of applying a rust inhibitor becomes evident. Another dangerous component of rust is how fast it develops. If rust is not removed and the car is not taken care of, rust can rapidly increase across the vehicle. That’s where the importance of a car wash as well as the application of a rust inhibitor (both on and under your car) becomes evident.

A full service car wash can help to reduce the risk of rust on exterior surfaces as it can properly remove key elements that lead to rust. The car wash can also help renew the protective coating on the paint. As previously noted, the underbody of your car is not exempt of the threat of rust. It is equally susceptible to rust and needs protection as well. Having a professional apply an Under Body Rust inhibitor (a sealant applied to the clean underside of a vehicle) helps to reduce costly damage to the frame, drive train, engine and other important parts of a car’s mechanics.

Mr. Clean Car Wash includes Underbody Rust Inhibitor in their Signature Shine Full Service Car Wash package. Don’t let rust impact the longevity of a vehicle. Come to Mr. Clean Car Wash for a full service wash and Under Body Rust inhibitor application. Right now get $5 off a Signature Shine and protect against further damage.

Why a Car Detail Should Include Clay Bar

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Most services surrounding a car detail are relatively well known. “Waxing”, “polishing”, and “car wash” are words most people know to associate with a car. However, there is phrase related to car detail that many don’t know: clay bar.

A clay bar for a car is made of a type of resin specifically designed to remove harmful particles and dirt from a vehicle’s paint. Essentially, clay bar takes off the containments that a wash leaves behind.

Some of the substances that clay bar removes in a car detail are metal or fiberglass. These elements can get stuck to the paint of a vehicle, and can cause major damage to the surface. Car clay bars are similar to clay a child may play with, but are more elastic. Foreign objects protruding from the clear coat surface of a vehicle stick to the clay. Thus, clay bar removes unwanted substances from the surface of the vehicle.

A simple test to help to determine if a vehicle needs a clay bar is to simply run your hand over the exterior. If any bumps or rough patches are felt, clay is a great option. You can also use a plastic bag to see if your car needs detail work. If anything catches on the plastic bag, it may be a good idea to bring the vehicle in for a full car detail with clay bar.

Another reason to detail your car with clay bar is rust. If a vehicle spends anytime outside— chances are there is some kind of oxidation on its exterior. Also, clay can help to remove sap and bug residue. If the substances on your car are sticky and hard to remove, clay is probably the way to go. The clay is hand applied and also helps to remove overspray, scuffs and other contaminants previously mentioned.

Mr. Clean Car Wash’s clay bar detail service helps to prepare the car’s surface for waxing. Always follow the clay bar service with a wax detail service because the clay bar will leave the paint unprotected.

Why leave glass and other objects stuck in a vehicle’s paint when a car owner can trust the surface to trained professionals? Come in today for a clay bar service followed by a Signature Shine Car Wash and additional car detail.

Waxing vs. Polishing: Car Detailing Explained

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

It might come as a surprise to you that one of the things many use purely to improve their cars’ visual aesthetics can actually protect it. While a wax may not seem like much, a wax followed by a polish can help protect your car’s value while also adding to its cosmetic finish.

People often assume that waxing and polishing are the same thing. However, they have completely different car detailing functions. Waxing is a process in which the exterior of a car is coated in order to protect the paint. Waxing is especially important during winter months. According to 5280 The Denver Magazine, a wax can protect a car’s paint from snow or slush.

Waxing also helps prevent scratches on the clear coat that resides over the actual paint job. When a car is waxed, the car is better protected from other elements (like the sun and dirt). Popularmechanics.com says that a car owner should wax his or her car at least twice a year, once before winter and once before spring.

Polishing, however, is what is done after a wax to ensure that the vehicle has that glossy shine. Think of polishing more as the cosmetic part of car detailing. Without polishing, it would be almost impossible to get that deep gloss or wet-look of a car. Polishing helps to mask imperfections on the surface so that scratches and small dents are less noticeable. Polishing also helps to reduce the appearance of water spots or weakened paint from the effects of acid rain.

Polish and wax have to work together in order to give a car a top of the line shine. Don’t trust just anyone to do necessary car detailing. Bring the vehicle to Mr. Clean Car Wash and let their experts give the car a pick-me-up with full car detailing, including a wax and polish.

How Acid Rain Damages Cars

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

How Acid Rain Damages Cars

What is acid rain?

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States defines acid rain as a “broad term referring to a mixture of wet and dry [deposited material] from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.”

Anything water-based that comes from the sky can be classified as acid rain. This includes dew, rain, and snow. Most, or all, of these weather elements settle on cars, and can cause major problems when it comes to a vehicle’s exterior. The acidity in the water can cause the paint and even the metal to weaken over time.

How does acid rain impact a vehicle?

According to the EPA, damage is caused when the acid material is left behind on a car’s surface after water evaporates. The acidic compound combined with other elements (such as sunlight) can be strong enough to eat away the paint.

The New York Times cites that vehicles with a clear coat are more vulnerable to the damage acid rain causes. The finish, used since the early 1990’s, is mirror-like and can highlight defects. According to research conducted by the EPA, there will be “irregularly shaped, permanently etched areas” on a car’s surface if it has been impacted by acid rain. The organization suggests that the best way to prevent this damage from happening is to make sure vehicles are washed frequently. Furthermore, hand drying the car or completely covering a vehicle when precipitation is in the forecast is also suggested.

How can a car owner prevent damage?

Getting a regular car wash can help reduce the amount of acidic material left on the vehicle. If the car is already clean, there will be nothing left behind to further damage the body of the vehicle when water evaporates. A professional car wash not only keeps a car clean and protected, but also helps to prevent damage acid rain can create.

Read more about how Mr. Clean Car Wash can protect a vehicle on the inside and out. Also, look for savings on the Mr. Clean Car Was Signature Shine.

Dirt Can Hurt More than a Clean Car

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

People Notice a Clean Car and Dirt

Everyone notices a clean car—and everyone notices a dirty one. Those cars that have “wash me” written on the side or back window always catch a driver or rider’s attention. No one wants to be the driver with the common saying in obvious neglect. However, what seems like a childish lark, can actually be harmful to those inside the vehicle and the car’s body on the outside.

Dirt is Tricky Inside and out

Dirt has many negative effects on paint. Not only does it make the car look old, but writing in dirt on the vehicle can cause scratches and other permanent damage. Also, dirt that mixes with rain can create an acidic compound that can weaken metal, and show noticeable damage on the surface. Keeping the outside of the vehicle clean can also help with the resale value if a car owner plans to sell the vehicle later.

However just because the outside is clean doesn’t mean that the harm to the vehicle (or its passengers) is gone. Dirt is a carrier of bacteria, meaning that there can be a silent danger right in the middle of a common necessity that people use every day. Car owners trust their vehicles with their families, and even the safest drivers cannot protect those they love from the diseases found in the dirt in their car.

Dirt Impacts More than Appearance

Some soil-related diseases include wound infections, gastroenteritis, and specific respiratory syndromes, according to Dennis J. Baumgardner, MD on Medscape.com. Many of these health related symptoms are acquired simply by ingesting dust, or dirt, containing the bacteria. When dirt settles in a vehicle, the likelihood of someone ingesting some harmful bacteria increases significantly.

Also, dirt inside the vehicle can affect the way that a driver feels in the long run. CarCar.com mentions that when the inside of a car is clean the driver and passengers feel better about themselves and the time they spend in the vehicle. Taking the extra step to get a vehicle detailed could be the thing that changes a bad mood into a great one.

Don’t let dirt impact the mood or the health of a car’s passengers. Let the trained technicians at Mr. Clean Car Wash remove the dirt from the inside and the outside with a full service Signature Shine. Right now customers can get $5 off any single detail service as well.

Auto Detail Waxing: Orbital Polishers Bring Results

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Hand waxing and orbital polisher waxing produce different results. They both have their merits, though– and the decision to use them will ultimately rest on personal preference. However, orbital polishers save time and produce more consistent results.

Orbital polishers have been around for several decades, but they are now easier to use and manipulate. The random motion orbital polisher, also known as a dual-action polisher or buffer, wards against the intense pressure of that rotary polisher may cause as pressure can result in scratches or swirls in the paint. While moving randomly, it generates friction to lift off residue or potential contaminants. In fact, random motion orbital polishers can be used for intensive buffing, moderate polishing, or end-process waxing. The key, apart from good technique, is cleanliness.

Before beginning the waxing process, owners should ensure their vehicles are clean and dry. The orbital polisher can also be used for prepping the surface for wax. Indeed, it should be used if the car has not been polished in quite some time or if it has surface damage. Wax (even high-quality wax) can only bring out the shine and protect the paint if the oxidation and grime underneath is gone.

Hand waxing has been known to leave residue and streaks on the paint. This is not always apparent until the vehicle travels out into bright sunshine and the unsightly results appear. A steady hand and patience can help you to avoid these issues. However, a random motion orbital polisher creates less work and a better finish.

Clean foam pads are also necessary for the best auto detail results. Orbital polisher foam pads should always be fresh and dry; a stack of these pads will ensure the process doesn’t turn ugly. Trusted (but not necessarily expensive) waxing products also bring out the sheen on a car body. The wax should be applied gently in small stages, working panel by panel to ensure that the wax has enough time to set yet doesn’t leave behind caked on residue. A pulsing motion for initial application is followed by steady random motion that generates the friction to seal in the wax. Wax removal is the final step to bring that shining ride to full fruition.

Don’t have the time or inclination to wax? Mr. Clean Car Wash can bring out the protection and shine with expert care and our auto detail services. Reveal the shine in your ride today.

Image Source: Flickr