The beach is a great summer getaway for everyone except your car. Salt air and sand are among your car’s worst enemies. Sand can find its way into every crevice of your car’s interior and scratch your paint job. The salty beach air can stick to your paint and cause rust. Whether you’re planning a vacation, going on a spontaneous day trip or live near the beach, make sure you protect your car from the beach elements.
Consider the following suggestions to help prepare your car for a beach trip and protect it from the sand.
What to Do Before the Beach
Protecting your car from sand begins before you even get to the beach. Take these preventative steps when preparing your car for a beach trip:
- Wax your car: If you’re a frequent beach visitor or live close to the ocean, wax your car often. Waxing your car is an effective way to protect it from the salty air and sand. The wax creates a barrier that makes it more difficult for salt and sand to rust and scratch your car’s paint. Be sure to reapply wax as needed so it remains effective.
- Apply sealant: Applying sealant after you wax your car is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to your paint. Many sealants come in a spray bottle and are quick and easy to apply. Depending on the sealant, how long the protection lasts will vary, so be sure to check the bottle. In general, it’s good practice to reapply sealant when you reapply wax.
- Install window and paint film: Window and paint films are effective ways to protect your car from the potential damage salt and sand can cause. High-quality paint film is self-healing, strong and resistant. The paint film can help reduce the risk of damage that may cost you time and money to repair. Get a step ahead of the damage with worthwhile protection when you have paint film installed.
Protecting the Inside of Your Car
A beach trip is all fun and games until the sand decides to come home with you. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to help keep sand out of your car.
Get All-Weather Floor Mats
All-weather floor mats are made of rubber and typically have high edges. These mats make it easier to dump out any sand that finds its way into your car. Sand can hide in the fibers of carpet floor mats. Cleaning sand out of carpet is time-consuming, and it’s often impossible to get all the sand out. All-weather floor mats are an effective, easy-to-clean solution.
As a more cost-effective alternative, lay a sheet down in your trunk or across the floor of your back seat. The sheet will catch any sand and keep it from getting caught in your carpet floor mats. Be careful not to move the sheet until you’re ready to clean your car, or sand will find its way into the carpet.
Use a Mesh or Straw Bag
You may think that backpacks and other bags with zippers will keep sand out. In reality, these bags trap more sand that you will end up dispersing in your car and around the house. Swap out your backpack with a mesh or straw bag. The holes in these bags allow for sand to fall right out, meaning you’ll bring less sand into the car.
Pack Baby Powder
Rinsing off before leaving the beach often results in leaving with more sand stuck to your legs and feet. Instead, try using baby powder to rub off any sand that may have stuck to you on your walk back to the car. Doing this right before getting in the car will help reduce the amount of sand you track into your vehicle.
Sit on Chairs
It’s a good idea to consider taking chairs to sit on rather than towels or a blanket. Chairs will collect less sand than towels or blankets. You can also rinse the sand off the chairs before loading them into the car to keep things even cleaner.
Protecting the Outside of Your Car
Sand is unavoidable at the beach. To protect your car on beach trips, take every precaution possible to reduce the damage to your paint. Here are a few more tips to help you protect your car’s exterior:
- Shake out sand away from your car: While you may think it makes sense to wait until you get to the car to shake the sand off all your towels and belongings, doing so can damage your paint. If you’re standing too close to your car when you send sand flying into the air, it can scratch your vehicle’s paint job. Instead, shake the sand out of your belongings away from your car and ensure you don’t have any on you before touching your car.
- Wash your car: Washing your vehicle frequently is an effective way to prevent rust in general. It’s imperative that you always wash your car after visiting the beach. If you leave the salt and sand sitting on the paint, it can corrode your car’s finish over time, leading to rust that can lower your car’s value and overall appearance.
- Rinse before washing: When you wash your car, remember to rinse it off thoroughly before scrubbing with a sponge. This step will help get off any sand particles that you’d otherwise smear into your car’s paint, creating abrasive damage. After you rinse, you’re good to give your car a sudsy bath.
- Use a car cover: If you’re living near the beach, you may want to get a car cover. If your car sits outside for extended periods of time, a cover can help protect your car from the consistently moist, salty air and sand. When you put a cover on your car, be sure to wash your car first. Otherwise, sand will be trapped under the cover and scratch the paint.
Protect Your Car With Madico® Paint Film
If you travel to the beach often or live along the coast, you should do what you can to protect your car’s paint. Madico paint film is strong and self-healing to protect your paint from sand and salty air at the beach. Our paint film resists stains, discoloration and residue to keep your vehicle looking new. With a discrete, clear design, Madico paint film offers your car protection without altering its appearance. For that additional layer of reliable protection, find a Madico dealer today.