What you will need
- Car shampoo
- A sponge or wash mitt
- A wheel brush
- 2 large buckets
- Large microfibre drying towel
Tips and warnings
- 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.
Try to park your car in the shade when you wash it, or if that’s not possible, then at least ensure that it’s cool to the touch to ensure the dirt doesn’t stick when it drys.
Pour the recommended amount of car wash into one of your buckets, and then fill both of them with water.
Working from the top down, you’ll need to hose or pressure wash your entire car off to thoroughly wet the surface, removing any loose dirt , grime and bird droppings. Make sure you include the wheel arches.
If you have the luxury of a pressure washer, consider a snow foam cannon for this step. Snow foam helps lift the dirt from the paint and blasts away to minimise the risk of scratching during the washing step.
Again, starting from the top and working your way down, dunk your sponge or wash mitt into your car wash and softly glide across the roof of your vehicle to collect the loose dirt and grime. Wash one panel at a time, rinsing each one off as you go.
Try not to scrub too hard as contaminants and grit can get caught in your cleaning product and might scratch your paint. As you wash each section, rinse your mitt or sponge off in the second bucket to ensure your soapy water stays free of any contaminants.
Make sure you keep your car wet as you wash it, and once you’ve cleaned the whole thing, give it a final rinse with a steady stream of water. This allows the water to sheet off the panels, making the drying process easier and quicker.
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.
Finally, using your chamois or sizeable microfibre drying towel, wipe down the all the panels from top to bottom to prevent water spots from forming as it all dries.
Make sure to remove the product label before use to ensure it doesn’t scratch your paint when in use. Wipe in and around your door jambs while you’re at it and finish up with the wheels.
And there you have it – you’ve cleaned your car.