Make the right impression with a clean van

Do it yourself

If you want something done right, do it yourself. Whilst it may seem easier to just take your van down to the automatic car wash, cleaning it by hand is not only cheaper, but also more effective. You’ll often find dirty areas that have been missed by the machine brushes and spots and streaks can appear soon after going through the car wash. On top of this, those brushes can also scratch and damage your van. Finding the time to do it yourself ensures your vehicle gets the thorough clean it needs whilst saving you money in the process. On top of this, it also gives you a great opportunity to have a proper visual check of your van whilst you’re cleaning it rather than just assuming everything is fine after a car wash.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

It’s important to make sure you’ve got everything you need before you begin cleaning your van. You’ll require some good quality cloths, sponges and towels, a power hose and a couple of buckets, one for the soapy water and one for the clean water. You’ll also need an extendable soft brush and a step ladder so you can reach across and clean the roof.

Use the right cleaning products

When it comes to the soap that you use to wash your van, avoid washing up liquid as it can damage the paintwork. Instead, opt for car shampoo which not only gives you a lasting shine but also makes it easier to clean your van next time around. Household cleaners and detergents aren’t made for cleaning vans and will cause more harm than good. Car shampoo, added to a bucket of clean warm water will remove dirt and grime from your van easily whilst helping the water to flow off the bodywork so you can avoid smears and streaks when you dry it afterwards.

If you haven’t got any car shampoo, here are three decent options available on Amazon:

Stay out of the sun

Always make sure you wash your van in the shade; the sun will dry it too quickly, causing uneven streaks as some parts dry quicker than others. Once you’ve found a shaded spot, start by power hosing your vehicle to remove the surface dirt - do the wheels and tyres first as they usually pick up the majority of dirt and mud from the road. Once you’ve hosed your van, hand wash from top to bottom using the sponges and car shampoo.

Dry it thoroughly

When you’re all finished cleaning, use a towel or a chamois to dry the van quickly and evenly to avoid streaking. If possible, us a micro-fibre cloth for the windows, lights and mirrors. If you really want your van to look the business, give it a polish as well.

Don’t forget about the inside

Your customers aren’t likely to see the inside of your van so it doesn’t need to be quite as spotless as the outside. However, it’s important not to neglect the interior either. You might not notice the smell anymore but your workmates probably will. Get the vacuum cleaner out and give the inside of your van a spring clean while you’re at it.

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