No matter how advanced motoring technology gets, vehicles and their components still attract grease, oil and grime requiring cleaning products that won’t jeopardise the final finish.
One of the many challenges for the automotive industry is the vast array of cleaning, preparation and maintenance tasks needed to deliver cars and vehicles to a high standard.
While there isn’t a single product able to handle them all, the growing range of specialist automotive wipes offer the versatility and consistent results demanded by many motoring sectors.
What Are Automotive Wipes?
Automotive wipes are a type of pre-saturated industrial wiping product formulated to clean various parts of a vehicle. They come in different varieties with specific purposes, from degreasing tough grime and oil build-up to restoring tired car interiors.
The Cost of Inefficient Vehicle and Workshop Cleaning
Poor cleaning processes during vehicle manufacture, maintenance or repair can lead to costly mistakes that require additional work and materials to fix.
Not only that, but dirty vehicles and staff can spread dirt, oil and grease, increasing hygiene risks and making the business look unprofessional to customers.
Investing in proper cleaning processes and equipment can not only prevent these issues, but also improve the overall efficiency, productivity and reputation of the business.
I have worked closely with numerous automotive customers over the last 30 years who relied on using loose solvents in various processes.
After advising on their replacement with pre-impregnated wipes, I have found them to be a more efficient option, reducing cleaning time and workers exposure to harmful chemicals.
How Automotive Wipes Help to Deliver Improved Cleaning and Productivity
- Durable enough to handle heavy-duty cleaning without tearing or falling apart.
- Can be used on a variety of surfaces including metal, plastic, and glass.
- Effective on oils, grease and grime with less wiping and no residues to interfere with lubricants or paint.
Automotive wipes are extremely versatile and can clean a wide range of vehicle and workshop surfaces. They can eliminate the need for separate cleaning tools or products, saving storage space, time and money.
Being disposable, they also reduce the risk of cross-contamination from dirt, grease or germs between staff and vehicles, minimising the need for multiple cleans.
The convenience of wipes being pre-saturated and ready to use straight out of handy resealable packages, reduces delays from having to step away from a job to hunt down a cloth and spray bottle. It also eliminates the risk of spillages, over spray or over-wetting surfaces.
By letting automotive wipes do more of the cleaning work, production workers, mechanics and detailers can complete their critical tasks faster and with greater precision, leading to increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
Additionally, wiping aids compliance with industry standards, such as ISO 9001, by ensuring proper cleaning processes are followed.
Best Types of Wet Wipes for Automotive Cleaning
The variety of surfaces, materials and processes involved in the preparation or maintenance of vehicles might require several different types of industrial wipe to ensure the best results.
While they might appear similar, each is formulated for specific applications, so matching the right product to the right surface is important.
Perhaps the most common wipe product used across the motor industry, degreasing wipes are pre-saturated with heavy-duty chemicals or solvents like Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetone or MEK.
These industrial strength solutions are able to dissolve stubborn grease and oils without leaving any residue.
Quality products are made with carefully engineered materials that support the removal of tough deposits using heavy weight, low linting fabrics that can absorb dissolved solutions and are resistant to snagging.
This includes applications such as automotive refinishing, aerospace painting, marine and industrial coatings.
Pre-saturated with powerful solutions like IPA alcohol that evaporate quickly with no residues, they are able to remove contaminants like adhesives, sealants, grease and fingerprints from metals, plastics and glass fibre which could affect the adhesion of undercoats or paint.
This can then be followed up with wiping using dry tack cloths to remove any final dust before paint is applied.
Interior Upholstery Wipes
Upholstery wipes are another specialist product with a specific purpose of cleaning and conditioning leather, vinyl or rubber during vehicle preparation or valets.
Ideal for cleaning seats, dashboards, steering wheels and head linings, they are formulated to remove ground-in dirt, dust, and grime while also restoring the original look and feel of the material.
Made from a fine, lint-free fabric, glass wipes come pre-saturated with a strong cleaning solution which evaporates quickly without leaving smears or residues.
They’re effective at removing grime, grease and debris from vehicle windscreens, windows or mirrors during general cleaning or prior to adhesion of tinting films.
A Better Way to Degrease, Detail and Prepare Surfaces
Thanks to a carefully engineered combination of fabrics and cleaning solutions, automotive wipes are able to achieve a balance between the effective removal of stubborn contaminants without damaging the underlying surface material.
This versatility makes them ideal for tackling the most common cleaning tasks in workshops and garages across the motor industry every day.
Degreasing Car Parts and Engines
- No need to prep or move vehicles to use cleaners and water
- No additional cleaning products or equipment required
- Waterless, so less risk of damage to electrical components
Degreasing vehicle parts and engines is a daily occurrence in the motor industry. For components that have low to medium levels of dirt, oil or grease, industrial wipes now offer an easier and faster alternative to the laborious process of using engine cleaner and water.
For best results, ensure you use wipes that have a lower evaporation rate so retain the degreasing solution for longer and are made from a large sized, durable but absorbent fabric.
- Applies a consistent amount of cleaning solution using fabrics engineered to be gentle on paint surfaces.
- IPA solution quickly cuts through excess polish, wax and other debris leaving a sterile surface ready for coatings.
Detailing car bodywork can be a time-consuming process with many stages involved. A few of those stages can be made quicker and easier with the help of specific wiping products.
Degreasing wipes can reduce the risk of over cleaning during the earlier stages of a detail. They’re great at removing in-ground grease, brake dust and oils without the need for harsh chemicals or scrubbing.
Panel wipes pre-saturated with IPA alcohol can be used to decontaminate paintwork as part of the correction process. They remove any excess polish, compounds, wax or other contaminants so that paint protection products like sealants or ceramic coatings can bond properly to a clean surface.
- Wipes can reduce rejections or paint re-runs caused by missed contaminants and poor adhesion.
- Being disposable, wipes support the pre-paint cleaning process using one wipe per panel.
Fifty percent of any good paint finish is down to preparation and a clean surface that goes beyond a thorough car wash.
Both degreasing and panel wipes are best suited to surface preparation applications, but it’s vital to use quality products that don’t leave behind any particles which could find their way into the base coat.
For a premium gloss finish that lasts, free or low-linting wipe fabrics pre-saturated with powerful yet surface sensitive cleaning solutions are essential.
Checklist for Choosing Automotive Wipes
Choosing the right wiper is crucial to ensure that you achieve the best results while minimising waste. Your primary considerations should be the surface you’ll be working with and the substances to be cleaned away.
- First and foremost, consider the surface to be cleaned, as some materials like paint or fabrics can only be wiped with specific types of cleaning agent.
- Look for wipes formulated specially for the purpose. Some are for general use, while others are designed to target particular surfaces like glass or substances like grease.
- Consider the compatibility of the cleaning solution with your working environment. Some come pre-saturated with potentially flammable solutions such as IPA alcohol which could pose a fire hazard in a workshop setting with welding torches and sparks.
- Check the wipe construction to avoid using abrasive fabrics on delicate surfaces and materials which could easily scratch, fade or stain.
- Confirm compliance with relevant testing standards such as EN29073-3 which evaluates the strength of wipe material, their ability to resist tearing, and absorbency.
Automotive Wipe Questions
Can I use alcohol wipes to clean my car?
Use alcohol wipes with caution as some types such as Isopropyl Alcohol wipes (IPA) are often pre-saturated with high levels of solvent that can dissolve protective layers on paintwork, leather and fabrics.
A better choice would be to use specialist wipes designed to clean the exterior and interior upholstery, dashboard, steering wheel and seats.
Can I use wipes to clean my engine?
Every day wet wipes won’t be suitable for cleaning the engine bay of a car as the solution they are saturated with isn’t strong enough to dissolve and remove stubborn substances like oil, grease or in-ground dirt.
Specially formulated degreasing versions with heavy-duty fabric and powerful solvents are capable of breaking down heavy engine soiling.
Can you use disinfecting wipes on a car’s interior?
Yes, you can use disinfecting wipes on car interior surfaces, such as the dashboard, door handles, steering wheel, and gear stick.
However, it is recommended to check the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so, as some may contain higher levels of chemicals that can damage or discolour surfaces over time. It’s also recommended to test a small section first before cleaning the entire area.
How do you clean greasy mechanics tools?
One option is to use wipers that are specifically designed for cleaning tools. These often contain grease-cutting solvents that can break down the grease and make it easier to wipe away.
Another option is to use a degreaser such as brake cleaner or parts cleaner. These can be sprayed or poured onto the tools and then wiped away with a rag.
However, it’s important to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using these products. For really tough grease, you may need to soak the tools in a degreaser overnight before wiping them clean.
What is the best hand cleaner for mechanics?
One of the most effective and convenient hand cleaners for mechanics are degreasing hand wipes which are pre-moistened active ingredients designed to break down tough grime and dirt.
They are portable and convenient, making them ideal for mechanics who need to clean their hands on the go. Most brands are also gentle on the skin, unlike harsh soaps that can strip the skin of moisture and cause irritation. Some even come with added moisturizers to keep skin hydrated.
Where to Buy Quality Automotive Wipes at a Discount
Hopefully, this article has made the benefits of automotive wipe cleaning clear, and you can now see the potential for saving time and money in your business.
If you’re ready to look at testing specific products or interested in placing a bulk order with significant discounts, you can browse our range of quality automotive cleaning wipes online.
Or, if you’d like free advice on matching the right product to your use case and working environment, please contact us on 0114 269 7107 or by email at email@example.com.