Pre-wash cleaners are often talked about by detailers as a necessary step prior to the actual washing process.
But what are these so-called “pre-wash cleaners” anyway? And are they really effective, or just a waste of money.
IT’S ABOUT GETTING THE DIRT OUT
Pre-wash cleaners are designed to remove various kinds of dirt and contamination.
Insects and grime, for instance, are quite sticky. And when they’ve been “baked” by the sun, removing them without scratching your paintwork can be tricky.
Now, in most instances, using snow foam should probably be enough. But if you’re meticulous and particular, you’d need a pre-wash cleaner.
In my experience, something like Auto Finesse’s Citrus Power is very effective in softening road grime.
This pre-wash cleaner is easy to use as well. You just spray it on and let it sit for a minute or two before rinsing it off. You can also proceed to cover your car in snow foam.
NOT ALL GRIME IS EQUAL
Sometimes, the contamination is invisible to the naked eye. The surface might seem relatively clean.
But for the truly meticulous, you need a pre-wash cleaner that removes iron particles that are on your wheels and paint. These particles come from industrial fallout and are present in brake dust as well.
Fortunately, they tend to stick to the lower panels of your car. So you don’t have to spray your vehicle in iron particle remover.
Iron particles can potentially scratch your paintwork if they are present when you polish or wax your car.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PRE-WASH CLEANER…
If contamination or dirt is light, you can always try using your quick detailer to help remove some of it prior to washing.
Quick Detailers have a degree of lubricity that helps lift dirt without scratching the paint.
You can also use more car shampoo than usual to create a thicker lather. This will provide additional lubrication, making the process of dirt removal gentler.
Remember, it’s all about making car grooming easier and preventing your car from getting scratched.