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How to Remove Wildfire Ash from Your Car? A Step-By-Step Process

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Here's how to remove wildfire ash from your car:

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  1. Choose your working area
  2. Rinse your car with water
  3. Create a soap mixture
  4. Apply the soap mixture using a microfiber cloth
  5. Use a scrub brush to scrub the hubcaps and wheels
  6. Rinse your vehicle with water again
  7. Use diluted car degreaser to remove thick ash
  8. Give your vehicle a final water rinse

With the current issues with climate change, we started noticing some wildfires happening repeatedly. As a result, people are now leaving their homes and areas and dealing with air quality problems.

Wildfires not only impact people's lives but also impact every aspect of their life. For example, your vehicles are one of the most important and significant elements of your life that might get impacted by wildfires.

Wildfire ash can cause significant damage to your vehicle, and while it's extremely important to protect your car from wildfire ash, sometimes it happens, and you got to deal with it.

The good news is that automotive experts put together ways to eliminate the wildfire ash from your car. This article walks you through a step-by-step process on how to remove wildfire ash from your car.

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Why is it bad to keep wildfire ash on your car?

Before we dive into the details about how to remove wildfire ash from your car, you must understand why it's bad to leave this ash on your vehicle in the first place.

  1. Harmful chemicals

The worst part about wildfire ash is its burned chemicals that can easily harm your vehicle's paint and final finish. Unfortunately, you don't know exactly what chemicals can be extremely harmful to your vehicle.

  1. Not strong paint

The other thing to consider is that your vehicle's paint is not designed to withstand these harsh chemicals. Therefore, you can easily see that the ash can dig deeper into the exterior of your vehicle and cause damages that could probably get to the metal of your car.

  1. Potential rust consequences

When the ash impacts the outer cover of our vehicle paint, it causes further damage. For example, it increases the chances of forming rust around your vehicle's exterior. Trust is one of the worst enemies that could significantly kill your vehicle and reduce its value.

  1. Increased maintenance costs

The longer you wait on the ash on your vehicle, the higher the expected repair costs. That's why if you wash your vehicle with soap and remove the rust immediately, chances are that your vehicle will stay as is, and nothing harmful will happen.

However, if you decide to wait for a long time on the ash, it can easily start creating holes and forming rust around your vehicle because of the wet and dry conditions it might experience. As a result, you expected maintenance costs would be much higher.

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How to remove Wildfire ash from your car? A step-by-step process

Now that you understand why it's harmful to keep your vehicle exposed to ash in the first place, the next step is understanding how you can remove this ash from your car without needing an expensive professional service.

The good thing is that automotive experts were able to put together a process that helps you get rid of the ash without needing anyone to help you; therefore, you don't need to spend expensive repair costs to get rid of the problem.

Let's take a closer look below:

  1. Choose your working area

The first and most important thing you must do is choose your working area. Remember that you're working with chemicals, and there will be some chemicals draining out of the vehicle as you're washing it; therefore, you want to ensure that you're working in a suitable area that will not get harmed from the process.

For example, you might want to work in your vehicle garage inside your house or the driveway as long as you don't have any pets or kids who might mess up with ash and all these harmful components.

  1. Rinse your car with water

Before applying anything to the vehicle to clear the ash, you first want to give your vehicle a quick water wash using a powerful pressure water washer.

This process will be very helpful because it helps you eliminate anything that's not sticking to your car. This way, you don't have to worry about the massive ash on your vehicle and think it will take you forever to clean it up.

You want to be very careful when you're rinsing your vehicle and ensuring that your vehicle is completely closed so ash doesn't get inside the car making the process much harder to clean, especially if you have some upholstery, not leather.

  1. Create a soap mixture

Once you're done rinsing your vehicle with clean water, the next step is to create a mixture for cleaning the vehicle's exterior. This mixture will be so, but we want to ensure that it's not using harsh chemicals that could impact your vehicle's final paint finish.

Typically, automotive experts recommend using a mixture of ph-neutral carcel that is not expected to cause any problems to the vehicle's exterior. Therefore, no matter what's your vehicle's car paint finish is, you shouldn't have any worries, and there's not going to be a problem using this type of soap.

Experts recommend using around one fluid ounce of water to 1.5 fluid ounces of soap. Then, mix them up in a bucket and have them ready to wash your vehicle.

  1. Apply the soap mixture using a microfiber cloth

Although we mentioned that we're dealing with very harsh chemicals, you want to be very gentle on your vehicle and don't want to cause any damage as you're cleaning it.

That's why the way experts recommend cleaning your vehicle is just using a microfiber cloth. This type of cloth will not be very harsh and will not cause any scratch to the vehicle paint.

Dump the cloth in the water with soap and then apply it to the vehicle exterior. As you're driving through the car, try scrubbing the ash and removing it from the vehicle's exterior.

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  1. Use a scrub brush to scrub the hubcaps and wheels

The cloth will work perfectly for the vehicle's exterior, but it's not going to be the best for the wheels or the bottom of the car. Therefore, you might consider using a scrub brush that helps you remove these ashes from the hard locations.

You might want to apply some pressure on the wheels or areas that do not have the soft or weak pain that could get scratched as you're cleaning. However, you still want to be as gentle as possible and find a balance between how much you want to press versus how much you want to stay away.

  1. Rinse your vehicle with water again

What's applying the soap and water to the vehicle? The next step is to give you a car another quick grin. This way, you'll see which parts of the car are completely clean and which need further scrubbing.

  1. Use diluted car degreaser to remove thick ash

After you finish rinsing your vehicle, you'll notice that some areas could have very harsh and thick ash. Therefore, cleaning your car with soap and water will not help.

If that's the case, you might want to use some diluted card degrees and apply them to these thick ashes. Then, use another clean microfiber cloth to gently scrub the areas and remove the remaining ashes.

  1. Give your vehicle a final water rinse

After removing the thick ash, the final step is to give your vehicle another quick rinse of water to remove any residuals.

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How to remove ash from the vehicle's interior?

As you noticed before, the whole process indicated a focus on removing wildfire ash from your vehicle's exterior. Still, there are some instances where you might have some residuals or remain inside the car itself.

Typically, most of this dirt and debris will be dry, and a quick vacuum might help you eliminate the problem without needing a professional.

However, if what you're dealing with is more significant and caused some damage to your vehicle seats, you might want to consult a professional who should provide you with recommendations on whether these seats are repairable or how to replace them with something affordable.

Protect your exterior from wildfire ash

If you live in an area where you expect a lot of wildfires, it might be worth investing a little bit in protecting your vehicle from future wildfire ashes. There are some recommendations by automotive experts on how to do so. Let's take a closer look below:

1.    Invest in a car wax

Investing in high-quality car wax is the first and most successful thing you can do to protect your vehicle from wildfire ash. But, of course, when you're choosing the car wax, you want to make sure that it's designed in a specific way that withstands the harsh and harmful chemicals coming with the ash.

In other words, your investment might be a little bit expensive since the car waxes are not all designed in a way that withstands harmful chemicals.

You can purchase these wax products yourself and apply them to your vehicle. Still, if you're looking for extreme protection and are worried about what will happen the next time you are dealing with wildfire, you might want to hire a professional to take care of the process and protect your vehicle.

2.    Choose your parking area

The other thing you might apply is to choose parking your vehicle insights. For example, if you're lucky and have an interior garage, you want to make sure that you close the windows and prevent any particles that are carried with air from getting inside and reaching your car.

However, this might not be a good option for everybody because if you have only one garage and two vehicles, you still might need to deal with all these external weather conditions that could cause ash to pile up on your vehicle's exterior.

Final thoughts

Wildfires can cause significant damage to our vehicles. If you were lucky enough and your vehicle didn't get burned, you might see that there are some ash residuals on your vehicle's exterior. While this might not sound like a big problem, it can significantly impact down the road.

This article walked you through a step-by-step process on how to move wildfire ash from your vehicle. The process is simple, and you can apply it yourself without needing a professional and without investing a lot of money to eliminate the problem.

If you couldn't clean your vehicle and think that the impact of wildfire on your car is significant, too, it could be the perfect timing now to buy a better one.

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  • Describe your car's type and condition
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