Beat the Drought: Wash Your Car!

Washing a car

At last count, drought covered 56 percent of the continental United States. Crops are dying, people are sweating, and A/C units are chugging down freon like people are drinking water.

Intense heat pounds most of the country. Oftentimes, I’m shielded from triple-digit heat in my tucked-away Washington state location, but even my local weather girl has warned of hundred-degree misery come Monday. That panics me. But I have a way to deal with it.

I’m going to wash my car.

I came across a Popular Mechanics article about how to wash your car like a pro. Most of the tips were good, but I won’t repeat all of them here. I really can’t think of a better way, though, to beat the heat than turning on the hose and giving the family vehicles a thorough cleaning.

Or, while you’re at it, the entire family.

Washing the car, for me, is like the adult version of running through the sprinklers. When it’s hot out, the kids like to “help,” which means water sprays everywhere and no one goes inside completely dry. On hundred-degree days, it’s the perfect way to enjoy the sun while staying cool and getting something accomplished.

While having fun, though, it’s important the car gets washed right. In my family, I limit the kids’ help to the tires. Maybe the wheels. I don’t let them wash the sheet metal, because I don’t need them dropping my expensive wash mitt in the dirt, then using it like a wire brush on the car’s finish. I never use dish soap, because everyone knows it strips all protective coverings off the paint. I like to clean the paint with clay, I meticulously clean the windows, and I like to wax the car at least twice a year.

But waxing is a job that will have to wait until temps don’t reach any higher than a cool 70 degrees.

Do you have any car-washing tips or hints you’d like to share?


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