How To Wash Your Car, Really

April 8th, 2016 by

car washing tips

Need an excuse to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather? Wash your car. Washing your car is a great activity for kids and adults. It uses all different types of the body, it’s rewarding and if you use the right products and tools, it will keep your car’s exterior in excellent condition for many years to come.

In fact, washing your car is pretty important for anyone who visits or lives on the beach because the salty air and intense sun can damage the paint.

Basic Tools

Just like you wouldn’t want to use dish soap on your hair, you don’t want to use the wrong type of soap on your car’s paint job.  Soap that is intended for cars won’t strip the car’s finish of wax coatings that help protect it against scratches and dirt.

Use a plush, soft sponge or washing mitt. A stiff flat sponge can trap debris and the debris can scratch the car’s finish while you are scrubbing it down. Many car professionals recommend a large soft natural sponge or a lamb’s-wool mitt.

The Washing Process

First give your car a good rinse getting off any extra debris and dirt. Then you should begin with your car’s rims and tires. It is recommended that you use a different sponge for your wheels because they are more likely to be covered in debris and sand, which can scratch your car. If you are really particular, you can use a toothbrush to get the harder to reach places where dirt may be trapped. Be sure to rinse each rim off after it has been cleaned with soap.

Then you can begin washing the body of your car.  It is best to wash it in sections (especially on a hot, sunny day) because this helps to prevent the soap from drying. It is best to wash your car in straight lines rather than in circles because circles can lead to swirl marks.

You should have two different buckets set up — one with clean soapy water and the other that you use to clean your sponge off before putting it back into the soapy bucket. Once you have finished washing that section of the car, rinse it off with clean water. Finish the remaining sections.

Once the whole car has been cleaned you can start drying it with the soft terry towel. Some people like to use a squeegee first because that can speed up the process.

Once your car has been fully cleaned and dried, you’ll want to wax it with a liquid or paste wax. Wax helps to protect the paint because it absorbs stains and small scratches before they can penetrate the paint below the wax. To be sure that you didn’t miss a spot, you may want to do a second coat.

Finally, the windows. Use a damp towel. Glass cleaners can damage the tint you might have on your windows and can also streak. For an extra benefit, apply a coat of Rain-X to your windshield. Rain-X is a very effective water-wicking product intended for windshields.


Posted in Car Tips