Inappropriate cleaning methods or quick fixes will often cause much more harm than good. Every vehicle is different and needs to be cleaned and detailed with the appropriate methods and tools. Too often the case, if dirt, dust, and grime are not properly removed from the car, the cleaning process will rub and grind harmful particles into the surface of the paint, causing noticeable damage also known as defects. Long before even touching your car, wash mitts collect dirt and grit from previous washes and other automobiles or just from environmental dust from lying around in unclean and dirty environments. This issue causes blemishes known as “swirl markings”, which can be seen in the image below.
Whether the wrong choice of products, dilution ratios, or washing techniques, there are plenty of ways you can inadvertently harm your vehicle's surface. For example, heavy concentrated products in the form of alkaline or acids used over an extended period of time can chemically burn plastics discolour gloss panels, and even cause surface rust seizing mechanical components and the perishing of rubbers.