There’s something so exciting and satisfying about getting your classic car out of winter storage and ready for warmer days and balmier nights cruising around town. Whether you take your ride to every classic car show in the state or just out for Sunday drives with the family, you always want your vintage vehicle to look pristine and in top condition.
When it comes to spring cleaning your classic car, you can’t rely on just any wash and wax from the local car wash. Vintage vehicles require special care and conditioning to stay looking beautiful and in working order. To help you get your car ready for spring, eBay Motors and the eBay Motors app has you covered with our list of must-have classic car detailing products.
We all know that classic cars require special care. That starts with washing. You can’t just run your classic car through the regular car wash… well, you can, but it’s not recommended. Hand washing is best for classic cars. For this, you want to ditch the sponges and use super soft and gentle chenille microfiber or sheepskin washing mitts. These types of mitts will be forgiving on vintage paint and will minimize surface scratches.
For car wash soaps, be sure to select a product that is abrasive-free and pH neutral. This will help prevent your classic paint from dulling or losing luster and looking even older. For stubborn dirt and debris, it’s also a good idea to use a prewash that’s designed for use with a pressure washer or jet nozzle. This can help to loosen dried-on dirt. Just be sure to use caution around windows and seals, as these can deteriorate and become damaged over time.
2. Wheel Cleaners and Brushes
The tires and rims on vintage cars also require special attention and care and should be addressed every time you wash your car. The wheels attract the most amount of road grime, dirt, tar, brake dust, and more. Certain vintage vehicles have complex wheel designs that attract debris.
Whether you need specially formulated whitewall tire cleaners or regular wheel and tire cleaners, be sure to get something that’s non-acidic, but tough enough to remove stubborn tar and brake dust. Uniquely designed wheel and rim brushes can get in those tough to reach areas and tight spaces that make cleaning with regular wash mitts almost impossible. Steer clear of wire brushes and use nylon or microfiber tools that are more forgiving to older wheels and rims.
If there’s ever a car you want to seal with a high-quality wax, it’s a classic car. If you drive your classic car on the regular, you don’t need to wax it with every wash, but you should plan to wax it every 6-8 weeks. It’s imperative to protect your car’s paint from rough UV damage and other environmental offenders with a good wax. Be sure to wax your car in the shade, out of direct sunlight. Just like with washing, you want to apply the wax by hand, using a gentle and forgiving microfiber cloth or other super soft wax applicator. Once the wax hazes up and provides a uniform film over your car’s paint, use a fresh and clean microfiber cloth to remove it and buff your car to a pristine shine.
If you’re considering using a polish on your vintage car, you really want to avoid polishing the paint. Vintage paint is delicate and can be easily damaged by modern orbital polishers. Classic chrome, however, loves to be polished with a top-notch chrome polish product.
These polishes can easily be applied by hand, like most other products designed for classic cars, or you can use a cleverly designed micro polisher, which is great at getting into tight spots and doing a precise job that won’t accidentally rub onto your delicate paint job. A good chrome polish is safe to use every single time you wash your ride.
As a final touch to your vintage car care, consider adding a heavy-duty and durable ceramic coating. Most ceramic coatings are put on by professionals, but there’s a solid contingency of DIY ceramic coatings that will provide an extra level of abrasion-, heat-, and UV-resistance.
Ceramic coatings are known to be twice as hydrophobic as wax alone and can protect your classic car’s delicate paint job from acidic bird droppings, road tar, grime, and acid rain. As an added bonus, ceramic coatings are safe for use on paint, chrome, glass, rubber, plastics, and more, providing a comprehensive and complete final layer of protection for your beloved classic car.