How to wash your car – A step by step guide

Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by

When it comes time to wash your vehicle there is a love/hate relation. You either love your car as a pastime and it’s your joy and pride or you dread the thought of

having to clean the floor mat, and believe that it will decay wherever it’s placed. Here are some suggestions for the car enthusiast who wants to keep your car’s exterior in a manner that is professional.

Are there any general guidelines I can follow?

Yes. If you’re in the realm of car enthusiasts and washing your vehicle is like chicken soup that soothes your soul then there are certain things to consider. The process of washing your car can be fun and easy, and frequent washing can help a fresh paint job retain its luster. However, as easy the task of washing your vehicle appear, there are things to be aware of so that you don’t damage or scratch the appearance of the paint. Below are some simple car-washing techniques.

  1. Shade will be your best friend. Your vehicle’s surface should be cool. If your car is heated the soap suds may dry too quickly, leaving stains on the car’s surface and needing another wash. Washing your car is fun to the point of doing it once during your day off.
  2. Pre-soak. Make sure your vehicle is pre-soaked to eliminate debris, bugs and other heavy pollutants like water bottles, rocks McDonald’s wrappers and even bunny remains.
  3. Douse mild liquid, the best car wash soap and an easy car wash mitt or a different towel that is specifically designed to protect the shine of your paint. Make sure to replenish your water frequently.
  4. Patience young Jedi. We usually just wash the entire vehicle and go to work. Negative ghost riders Wash a section at a stretch, and then wash it off. It is best to start by cleaning the roof of the car, and then work your way to the hood and rear. It is logical to work from top down instead of creating more work for yourself.Next take care to cleanse the upper quarter panel and then work your way down to the lower sections including the rocker panel. Lower areas of your vehicle is always stuffed with some extra “stuff” on it and the longer pre-soak you use as you move down will eliminate this clump. The top-to-bottom sequence is important as you risk tiny pieces of debris stick to your sponge or mitt, which could cause scratches to your car.
  5. Get rid of your mitt! This is the most difficult advice because it’s a diligence obligation. Everyone wants to place the mitt or the cloth back into the water, and then rinse it in order to soak up the soapy water. T his is bad! Always rinse your sponge or mitt prior to returning it to the bucket of wash to be re-soaped. Begin with clean water and finish with fresh water. Dodging your dirty glove into the bucket is a great way to help you rub the dirt on your car. If you’ve ever wondered why your car is streaking even when you’re washing it, this could be the answer.
  6. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Clean your car thoroughly and completely. When you’re happy and feel that you’ve finished rinsing, proceed and rinse it a second time.
  7. Rims as well as tires. Your car washing drawer should include a couple of different cloths and mitts inside it. We strongly suggest using a different one to wash your wheels and tires of your car , as opposed to the body. A separate mitt for your wheels reduces the possibility that you’ll scratch your car’s paint from brake dust and dirt that you collect from the wheels. It’s surprising that many people are using similar water, and mitts to wash and rinse everything. It’s a good idea to take a drive into the bodyshop for your car after you’re finished.
  8. Wheels. Ah, your greatest joy and pleasure. Be cautious when cleaning your wheels, particularly in the case of Spray-on cleaner for your wheels. Wheels can get extremely hot when the vehicle was just driven on or is sitting in the sunlight. If you spray cleaning chemicals onto metallic surfaces, chemical evaporate and you’ll likely breathe the fumes. It’s obvious that this isn’t good for your health and, dependent on the temperature and chemical, it could cause damage to certain products like Chrome and specific coatings.
  9. Don’t buy expensive auto cleaners. Instead, opt for an easy, liquid soap that has been dilute. This will do the job you needto do, like getting rid of grease, dirt, and film without harming plastics or other substances. There are many people who use household soaps , however you must be cautious to avoid using an aggressive detergent. Choose mild soaps, and, if you can, find one that is safe for vehicles. The major benefit is that it’ll cost less than the popular auto detailing products.
  10. The process of drying. Dry your vehicle quickly to avoid water spots. Chamois is extremely effective and will allow you to move swiftly through a car which may have sun shining on it.

What should I do after I clean my vehicle?

It is recommended to follow the wash procedure by applying wax and washing the windows inside and outside. Applying wax on your vehicle is like applying sunscreen to your skin. It offers protection against UV radiations, which can cause fade and also anything that could get on the paint.

It will allow you to keep your high-gloss finish for a longer period of time. There are waxes available in both a polymer and carnauba form. Both kinds of wax function exactly the same way, but polymer wax doesn’t be hazy when it is dried and is usually cleaned off shortly after application. The choice between either carnauba, or polymer wax the same as making the choice between regular or synthetic engine oil. Polymer wax is higher in cost, but is much simpler to apply and is more effective.

Glass The rules for glass are quite easy. Avoid the thing you’re most likely to do which is get Windex and other glass cleaners. They may contain ammonia, which could damage your car’s window tint. Choose one of the best car window cleaner to get the best results. Make sure you clean the window twice to ensure the stain is completely removed. In the event of a crisis it’s possible to apply a white vinegar dilute solution, as it’s a low-cost, natural and healthy household cleaner that is likely to be streak-free.

Tips and last thoughts…

Don’t… move your sponge or mitt in circles. This could result in light visible scratches, known as swirl marks. Instead, drag the sponge lengthwise over the body’s hood and other panels. If your sponge is dropped clean it well. Never apply a sponge that is on the ground or been soaked in dirty soapy water. Make sure to clean out your bucket.

Maintain your shine. If you’re about to fall asleep at night because of the thought taking your freshly waxed vehicle out for an errand, or (God forbid!) take it to work then you’ll need to have some items in your garage to keep up the shine. There are many sprays that are designed to eliminate everyday particles and help keep your wax looking great. Throw this along with a micro-fiber cloth in your trunk and you’re ready.

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