Lost In Translation: Car Wash

'Car Wash' 1976

‘Car Wash’ 1976

Always read the label. Properly. Translate if necessary. Relax, this isn’t a tale of having a drunk a glass of cherry cordial only to find out it was cleaning fluid.

Finally we moved the car...too late

Finally we moved the car…too late

See, that annoying day comes in everyone’s life when it’s time to get the car washed. Ours was spattered with dirt and dust from being parked outside the house while the render was being removed. Common sense would have made me park it further down the road. Enough said. We can’t go to an automatic car wash because we still have the roof top box on, I’ve not yet found a valet service, so it’s down to me.


Now I never really know what I’m doing when I clean a car and generally chuck some washing up liquid diluted in a bucket over it. Then wonder why it smears. Occasionally I’ve waxed it but generally I clean the car when we’re about to visit someone and this means time is limited and too limited for waxing. I even bought a chamois leather in England once to make a professional job of it but hey, we’re not in England any more. I have a big sponge though.

Richard Pryor in 'Car Wash' who knew what he was doing

Richard Pryor in ‘Car Wash’ who knew what he was doing

I splash some blue looking fluid into a washing up bowl out of a 5 litre plastic bottle and dilute it with water. I’d bought the stuff at a pop up shop in the Forum shopping mall. It had a picture of a car on the front. Something about ‘Limpa’. ‘Cleaning. That would do. Maybe I should have gone to ‘Mr Roady’, the Portuguese car chain which fixes our car and has a car accessories shop attached.  But we learn too late.

Someone had enough of cleaning this one. Still life in Castelo countryside.

Someone had enough of cleaning this one. Still life in Castelo countryside.

I scrub at the car a bit. Hmmm. Not very foamy. Not very good at getting off the marks. I scrub a bit harder. Well with a pop up shop you generally get what you pay for I suppose. I briefly wax lyrical about Halfords Auto Shop in the UK. Of course if I was in England I would probably be moaning that it was overpriced. Anyway, the stuff I’d bought wasn’t doing the job. At that point I look at the small print but there is none. Maybe don’t dilute it. I pour it directly onto the sponge. Still no difference.

Mr Indoors comes outdoors to look at my work. “Might be better if you didn’t use screen wash though”.


“Screenwash.  It says ‘Limpa Vidros’. You’re supposed to pour it into the screen wash container where the engine is. Not clean the car with it.”

Oh. Next time I’ll check the dictionary first. Back to the washing up liquid.

Next time I'll take it to the car wash.

Next time I’ll take it to the car wash.


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