Can I Scratch My Car When Washing?

Water. Cloths. Car wash. The three most needed ingredients when washing a car. Perhaps we should tip ina cup of patience too.


Most of the time, dirt is clearly visible. Rain itself can bring down great puddles of brown or red and these end up as widespread spots over the paintwork.

Day to day driving is a major cause of dirt finding its way onto the car, and if you’re a driver that likes to deliberately get dirty on the weekend, by hitting an off-road track, it’s all too obvious what’s on the metal.

 A key, critical, component of washing a car and minimizing scratching is the method of washing. It’s getting tougher to do it at home too, with water restrictions across the land. So what can we do?

Gravity is your friend here. Where possible, whether washing at home or at a DIY station, wash from the top down. There are companies that will wash your car and these are at places like shopping centres or near coffee shops. They follow the top down method.

Now it’s here where the cloths come into play. The first port of call should be to THOROUGHLY rinse out all of the cloths, including the chamois. The reason is simple: this will do as much as possible to remove dirt either left over from a previous use, or soften a new cloth’s fibres.

That hidden dirt and dry, harsh, fibres, can and do go a long way to causing those microscopic scratches on cars, and they’re the ones that show up in sunlight as those light scattering lines.

Another key contributor to these scratches are those bright and supposedly fluffy sponges that can be bought. They’re not “non-scratch friendly”. Microfibre cloths should always be the preferred choice.

Then the actual hands-on the car method. Have a look in the carpark and see how many have obviously circular marks? Use the cloths in a straight line, and where possible work from the roof down, in a straight line motion along the length of the car. Circular motions may seem efficient and quicker (hence that cup of patience) but sadly these motions add to the scratching. Nufinish Orange Power Car Wash will do a great job here.

Nufinish have a range of car care products that are specifically designed to help both wash, and minimise, the scarring dirt can cause. Our Nufinish Scratch Doctor should be applied gently, and in small amounts on a clean micro-fibre cloth.

Independently tested, it rates highly as one of the best to perform this micro-scratch removal process. Best used in cool and shaded conditions, buff gently into the area and allow to dry. Wait until it’s dried to a white haze, then a separate and clean micro-fibre cloth should be used to remove the residue.

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