Snow and ice are not the only wintertime hazards capable of damaging your vehicle’s finish. Salt that is applied to the roads to help deal with the weather inevitably ends up on your vehicle. Salt will turn even black cars a dirty white. How you deal with this is important.
Don’t attempt to wipe the salt off your vehicle without properly washing it first. Salt is very abrasive and, when rubbed into the finish, it will leave behind significant scratching and marring. Salt can also corrode any exposed metal, so it's essential to remove it as quickly as possible to prevent any premature rusting.
Do use proper methods and techniques when washing your salt covered vehicle. If you're washing your car yourself, be sure to rinse the vehicle thoroughly before you begin washing.
You want to remove as much of the salt as possible to prevent it from being rubbed into the surface during the washing process. If you take your vehicle somewhere else to be cleaned, be sure to make note of their process as well.
When going to an automatic carwash, only the touchless kind should be used. If brushes or foam strips come into contact with your vehicle, they will carry all of the salt and grime from other vehicles.
If this information has reached you too late, and your vehicle already has some of the damaged that we have described, it can be repaired. Contact your local detailer for more information about what can be done.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story originally published on Nov. 4, 2013.
About this Expert's contributor: Rob Schruefer has been running On The Spot Mobile Detailing for almost 10 years. The company provides mobile detailing sevices in Columbia, Md., and its services include professionally washing the interior and exterior for cars, trucks and motorcycles. The company earned the Angie's List Super Service Award in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Follow this #ALExperts contributor on Google Plus.
As of September 22, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.