Keeping the exterior finish clean is the first step in maintaining a vehicle’s shine and endurance. If you brush up against a dirty vehicle you could scratch the finish. Do not wash a vehicle while it is hot. Park in the shade and hose off any loose dirt by rinsing the vehicle from the roof down. Don’t neglect the wipers, wheel wells, and wheels. As you are washing keep your mitt clean to avoid scratching the finish. Use only specifically formulated car wash soap. Car wash soap is designed to float away dirt and grime without harming the finish. Some car wash soaps are biodegradable, providing an environmentally-safer cleaner. Dish detergents are not chemically designed for vehicle finishes. They may strip the wax and dry out the finish, so don’t use them. After washing an area rinse the soap off before it dries. To avoid water spots keep the vehicle’s finish wet until you are ready to dry it.