person washing a car

Best Way to Wash a Car: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Do you enjoy the sense of satisfaction you get when you drive a clean car? How do you feel pulling out of a car wash and heading out? Great right?

What if you learned that there might be a lot of grit and dirt the machines at the carwash missed? Or that the brushes they say are the softest in the world may have left scratches on your paintwork? 

One of the most important things you can possibly do is to find the best way to wash a car regularly. This will keep it looking great and running efficiently. Dirt, grime, tree sap, bird droppings, dead bugs, and other contaminants will eventually harm your car if left on too long. 

As a result, you’ll either bet left with ugly blemishes, or costly repairs, both of which you’d like to avoid. In this post, we present you with a step-by-step guide on the best way to wash a car.

Best Way to Wash a Car: Choose the Perfect Day for the Job

Washing a car can be an extremely satisfying DIY job, and even though some experts may recommend cleaning it every week, it highly depends on your conditions. You should strive to avoid a layer of crud from building up and wash off obvious dirt, such as bird droppings and dead bugs as soon as they happen. 

Once you decide to wash your car, it’s advisable to choose a cloudy day or under a shade. You may also do it in the morning or evenings when it’s not hot outside. Most people may feel like washing the car in the sun is a good thing. 

On the contrary, the heat tends to dry out the car too fast in between washes, which leaves soapy watermarks on the body. Additionally, heat reduces the effectiveness of most washing products. 

Inspect the Car to Analyze Its Condition

Assessing the car is highly important because you want to know exactly what you are dealing with. You may need to wash, wax, and polish depending on its condition. 

Gather all the necessary supplies and ensure you read all the labels of your cleaning products to ascertain that they are safe to use on your car. This step is crucial as some products could easily mess up the surface of the vehicle.

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Rinse-Off the Dirt First

Dirt and grime should be rinsed off the car before any cleaning commences. If you have a pressure washer, it does a better job at removing all the excess dirt from the entire vehicle and leaves you with less to work with. Take care while using a pressure washer because too much pressure could damage your paintwork and seals. 

To make this even more effective, it would help if you have traffic film remover or snow foam. Snow foam works very well in loosening all the dirt and grime on a car. Leave it on for a few minutes then blast it off using your pressure washer working from the roof down. 

Ensure you get the undersides, bumpers, and sills as well. It’s much better, however, to use a sponge or cloth to wipe the dirt away from the sills as using the sprayer may wet the car interior. If you are dealing with stubborn stains, such as tree sap or dried bugs, use a bug removing spray to loosen off the dirt. 

Wash the Wheels

Once the pressure wash is done, and the loose dirt is off, it’s time to wash the wheels. Wheels accumulate dirt almost more than any other part of the car, and it could build up pretty fast. You may use snow foam on the wheels, but a dedicated alloy wheel cleaner is recommended. Once you finish washing the car, you can come back to the wheels and wax them to prevent brake dust collection or spray tire shine if you want to.

Shampooing the Car

Use two buckets and fill both with water. Add soap to one bucket and grit guard in the other and alternate between the two while washing the car. Grit guard allows you to rinse off your sponge or mitt to remove any bits of dirt that may scratch the car.

Avoid washing detergents or soaps that are not specifically formulated for cars as they may strip paintwork protection, making it deteriorate faster. A dedicated car shampoo mixed with warm water is recommended. The best way to wash a car is by working panel by panel from top to bottom to avoid spreading dirt.

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Drying Your Car

Drying your car is one of the most important steps of car cleaning. Microfibre cloths are some of the best drying towels in this regard, but you still need to be careful because they may scratch the car if contaminated with dirt. 

Chamois leather is a better choice, especially the natural version. Ensure you get the hidden places, such as door handles, as they may leave droplet lines of forgotten. 

Detailing the Car

You may be looking at how to wash a car, but detailing is a major part of it. Once the body is dry, use a clay bar to pick up the fine dirt embedded on the surface. This leaves the car with a smoother surface and prepares it for polishing if needed. If polishing sounds too complicated, you may use professional car cleaning services for it. 

Once this is done, you may wax the car if you need to. Use a fine sponge to spread the wax, allow it to dry, then use a soft cloth to buff. If you can be careful enough, you may purchase the polishing brushes that attach to a drill and use them to buff the car to shine. 

Cleaning the Windows

With the bodywork clean and detailed, you need to get the windows. You may use a domestic glass cleaner that is steak-free and vinegar-based, but if possible, get a dedicated car window cleaner instead. Use a lint-free cloth to clean windows and remember to clean your mirrors while you’re at it.  Feel free to use an anti-fog coating or a rain-repellent liquid as well.

Cleaning the Interior

Once the exterior is all clean and shiny, it’s time to clean the interior. You’ll need a handheld vacuum cleaner if you are to get to all the nooks and crannies. Slide back and flip back seats to get the dirt underneath. Take care of the boot as well as the dashboard.

Ready to Drive!

This step-by-step guide shows you the best way to wash a car, and now that it’s clean, you may enjoy it. 

For the best execution of these car cleaning techniques, it is advisable to seek the services of professional car cleaners.

To read more informative car blogs, explore our site further.