Washing your car is pretty straight forward, but there are a few tips to help you get it right every time! Washing your car the right way will help to avoid damaging the paint surface, giving it a superior clean.
What you’ll need
Two sponges or wash mitts
Chamois or drying towel
Tips and warnings
Some people use dishwashing liquid – this is a mistake. It is meant to clean dishes and not cars, meaning it can strip wax and promote oxidation over time dulling the finish.
You should generally work from top to bottom on your car, avoiding washing the lower parts twice.
Only use a moderate amount of force to scrub the panels, as using too much pressure may scratch your paintwork.
Avoid dropping your sponge to the bottom of the bucket, there will be dirt and other contaminants there.
Refill your bucket with clean water and new car wash whenever necessary – dirty water doesn’t clean well and excess contaminants may damage the paint.
Re-wet the car’s surface regularly while you are cleaning the car to prevent any water stains as it dries.
Before you start
Park your car in the shade to wash it or, if you can’t, make sure that the car is cool to the touch.
Step 1 – Apply high pressure hosing to wheel arches
First, use a strong jet setting or a pressure washer to hose the grime and muck from the undersides and wheel arches of your car – it’s good to get rid of the nastiest stuff first.
Step 2 – Hose the entire car body down
Next hose the entire car down. Working from the top down, thoroughly wet the surface and remove any lose dirt. This reduces the chance of creating swirls when you wash the car.
Step 3 – Dilute car wash in bucket
Make sure you read the instructions on your car wash to determine the right ratio of car wash to water, and then add the recommended quantities to your bucket.
Step 4 – Apply wash to car with sponge or wash mitts
Apply the wash liberally over the paintwork working from the roof down, and rinsing each panel as you go.
When you reach the wheels and sills, use a second sponge to make sure the sponge you use for the body work stays as clean as possible.
Step 5 – Thoroughly rinse water off car
Rinse the entire vehicle with a steady stream of water. This allows the water to ‘sheet’ off the paintwork, making the drying process easier and quicker.
Step 6 – Dry off car with a chamois or drying towel
Finally, dry the vehicle with a chamois or drying towel. Start at the roof and move down to the tyres, ensuring you also wipe in and around door jambs.
Make sure you give any metal or chrome an extra rubdown to ensure all water spots are removed.