Orange sky: this is how you clean sand dust from your car, without scratching it

Everything was covered with sand this Tuesday March 15 in Sarthe, especially vehicles. (© Maxime DAVOUST/Actu Le Mans)

Since Tuesday March 15, 2022 there are many photos with a orange-yellow sky in different regions of Francebe it in New Aquitaine, Occitanie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grand Est, Pays-de-la-Loire, Brittany and even in Île-de-France.

One weather phenomenon because of a powerful hot wind, the sirocco, which transports sand dust from the Sahara to Europe, as we have explained in this article.

This phenomenon will continue in a northerly direction this Wednesday and could last until at least Thursday, according to Météo France’s forecasts.

Admittedly, if the weather forecast delivers its share of incredible images, it could also pose a health risk due to the sand particles floating in the air. Sand particles that can also cause damage to the vehicle body, if not cleaned properly. Here are some precautions for: avoid scratching the bodywork

A car covered in sand on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in the metropolitan area of ​​Lyon.
A car covered in sand on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in the metropolitan area of ​​Lyon. (©Pierre Chemel/ News Lyon)

act fast

When these sand particles mix with the drops of rainwater, which was the case in places this week, the result is a mixture of yellowish spots, a kind of mudthat stick to the bodywork and windshield of vehicles and any object left outside.

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first reflex, don’t wait too long to act† As for cleaning up mosquito bites or bird droppings traces, the key is reactivity, advised us in previous articles, Dr. Detailing, a collective composed of professionals and amateurs of detailing (activity consisting of taking care of his car) and automotive aesthetics, bodybuilders, preparers and specialist in car upholstery…

In this case, until the episode is over, it might not be worth jumping on your cleaning supplies. This is what La Chaîne Météo recommends. On the other hand, once there is no more sand dust in the air, it is time to clean, which you can do at a car wash or at home.

A car covered in sand on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon.
A car covered in sand on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon. (©Nicolas Zaugra/Actu Lyon)

Lubricate before washing

“Beware of scratches,” however, warns a tutorial from the detailing chain Piston et Savon, explaining how to remove sand dust on your car during the phenomenon that occurred as early as February 2021.

“Sand, it is quartz, with a hardness of 7 on a scale ranging from 1 (talc) to 10 (diamond). It will scratch the glass and it will scratch the paint of the car,” explains specialist Daniel in this video.

You will have to be careful and the key word of this wash is lubrication, before washing.

DanielExpert in detailing the piston and soap chain
You can clearly see the sand dust.
Here in Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine) we can clearly see the sand dust. (©The country of Malouin)

“One must a good slide for the sand to fall before he does the laundry,” Daniel says right away, recommending using a foam cannon or hand pressure sprayer to spray a mixture of products to create a smear layer.

The expert recommends using a snow foam (a pre-wash foam) combined with a car shampoo, or even a waxing shampoo. Thereafter wait for the foam to run down the car before rinsing.

Then rinse, renew if necessary

First, a first rinse with water with a pressure washer to remove the particles on which the product has been sprayed, followed by manual lubrication with a wash mitt containing car shampoo.

Without waiting for the lubrication to dry, it is necessary then rinse quickly† Daniel recommends performing a gloss treatment afterwards if necessary, and then rubbing a microfibre cloth to polish.

You can find these tips in this video from Plunger and Soap:

Other advice can also be found from detailing specialists.

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