Car care warning as Sahara dust settles over UK

Car owners are being warned to take care when they wash the Sahara dust that has caused havoc across the UK off their vehicles as it could cause damage to the paintwork.

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.

The dust ‘smog’ has already sparked health warnings, but now car experts are also flagging up their concerns.

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:

  • 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.
  • Use plenty of water. Flood the paintwork with water, the loose deposits of dust and sand will be safely carried away.
  • Wash with a good quality shampoo. The cleaning chemicals in Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner break the bond between the dust and paintwork. Dust is then held in suspension and easily rinsed away with water at the end of the wash.
  • Inspect the paintwork damage.
  • If any marks or light scratches are found they may have been caused by dust 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.

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