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Car care warning as Sahara dust settles over UK

7 September 2023 415 view(s)
Car care warning as Sahara dust settles over UK
Abrasive red dust and sand has been brought over from the Sahara desert due to uncommon weather patterns and has been deposited on vehicles across the country.

You need to take care when you wash a car contaminated with Sahara dust, as the wrong approach could result in damage to the paintwork.

Autoglym’s Technical Director, Paul Coley, said: “If you woke to find your once clean car covered in a fine layer of red dust, you are not alone.

“The dust was carried in clouds from desert regions and ‘rained down’ during light showers. The dust will not harm your car when it rains down, but if you are too eager to remove it you may cause long term damage to your paintwork, which may be difficult to correct, especially if you have a matt or satin finish that cannot be polished.

“We have five top tips on how to correctly remove the dust and sand and ensure that your paintwork remains vibrant and scratch free.”

The tips are:

1. Don’t write your name in it! Sand and other large particles are abrasive, so wiping with your finger or a cloth may cause fine scratches that will then require polishing later.

2. Fight sand with snow (foam). The safest way to wash a car is to remove as much of the dirt as possible before physically touching the panels with a wash mitt. If you have a pressure washer, soak the dust covered cars with a thick layer of Polar Blast, leaving it to dwell for several minutes.

3. Use plenty of water. Rinse off the Polar Blast with plenty of water. This ensures most of the dust is removed before the contact wash, minimising the chances of dust casing paintwork damage during the next step.

4. Wash with a good quality shampoo. The cleaning chemicals in Autoglym shampoo's break the bond between the remaining dust and paintwork. Dust is then held in suspension and easily rinsed away with water at the end of the wash. Always use with a large capacity bucket, grit guard and high quality wash mitt (available from Autoglym if required) to ensure dust is safely carried away and locked at the bottom of the bucket. If you enjoyed the Polar Blast step, we recommend you use Polar Wash for this step.

5. Inspect for any paintwork damage. If any marks or light scratches are found they may have been caused before the car was washed. Ensure the paintwork is clean and dry, then apply Super Resin Polish in overlapping circles, increasing the pressure used to polish the area as required. for deeper scratches check out our Scratch Remover Kit or UHD Polishing Compound. Note: This step must not be followed if you have a satin or matte finish, as these surfaces cannot be polished!

Bonus Step - Go The Extra Mile: Add a layer of protection to make future washing easier. This won't stop the car from getting dirty if we get more dusty rain, but it will make removing it simpler. Rapid Ceramic Spray is very quick and easy to apply and provides 3 months of protection. If you want to stick with the Polar range, here is when to use Polar Seal.

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