'Be careful how you clean your car.' Warning after Wigan vehicles are coated in sand by downpours

Car washes were doing a brisk business today after vehicles across Wigan were left filthy after downpours.
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Rain carrying uncommonly large amounts of Saharan sand left countless hitherto spotless vehicles looking like they had had been rally driving on the morning of Thursday September 7.

But the warning came today that owners should be very careful how they remove the muck otherwise they could damage the paintwork.

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Saharan sand coated vehicles across WiganSaharan sand coated vehicles across Wigan
Saharan sand coated vehicles across Wigan
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Paul Coley, technical director of valeting products company Autoglym, said: “If you woke to find your once clean car covered in a fine layer of red dust, you are not alone.

“The dust was carried in clouds from desert regions and ‘rained down’ during light showers.

"The dust will not harm your car when it rains down, but if you are too eager to remove it you may cause long term damage to your paintwork, which may be difficult to correct, especially if you have a matt or satin finish that cannot be polished.

“We have five top tips on how to correctly remove the dust and sand and ensure that your paintwork remains vibrant and scratch free.”

The tips are:

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1. Don’t write your name in it! Sand and other large particles are abrasive, so wiping with your finger or a cloth may cause fine scratches that will then require polishing later.

2. Fight sand with snow (foam). The safest way to wash a car is to remove as much of the dirt as possible before physically touching the panels with a wash mitt.

3. Use plenty of water. This ensures most of the dust is removed before the contact wash, minimising the chances of dust casing paintwork damage during the next step.

4. Wash with a good quality shampoo. Dust is then held in suspension and easily rinsed away with water at the end of the wash. Always use with a large capacity bucket, grit guard and high quality wash mitt to ensure dust is safely carried away and locked at the bottom of the bucket.

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5. Inspect for any paintwork damage. If any marks or light scratches are found they may have been caused before the car was washed. Resin polish can then be applied in overlapping circles, increasing the pressure used to polish the area as required.

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