The Complete Guide To Washing Your Car

Most automotive owners find the process of washing their cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV's etc to be a highly therapeutic experience that improves both their cars appearance and their own state of mind. Washing it frequently also helps you retain the new-car look. Although washing your car might seem simple at first, automotive care such as car detailing and washing is more in-depth than you would think, there is a process to get the best results. You need to pay attention to some important factors so as not to accidentally degrade or scratch its finish. Here are some tips that’ll help you clean your car without any mishaps.

 

General Guidelines

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Washing your car while the body is still hot, due to having been parked under the sun or after a drive, is a big NO-NO. Heat causes water and soap to evaporate quickly, increasing the odds of spot formation on your car and makes the whole process of washer your car more difficult and frustrating.

 

 

Many people make the mistake of moving their sponge in a circular motion while washing their car. However, doing so may result in noticeable swirls and or scratches appearing all over your vehicle, which are also known as swirl marks. My recommendation is to move the sponge in a lengthwise motion while cleaning your car. Don’t forget to thoroughly rinse your sponge if it falls onto the ground as well and try not to let the sponge rag or cleaning tool to lay on the bottom of the bucket. The sponge and or tool may have dirt particles embedded in it, which could scratch the car’s paint detail. To help avoid this you can use a bucket debris filter.

 

What Products to Use?

Do not use common household cleaning agents such as glass cleaners, dishwashing detergents, or hand soaps. They may not react well with your car’s paint and might even strip the protective wax off.

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Only use dedicated car-wash products, which are mild and specifically made for usage on automotive paint. Use a wool mitt or a soft and large sponge for applying the suds.

 

 

 

 

 

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Road-tar, rubber, and grease deposits may often accumulate along the body’s lower edge and the wheel wells. Removing them may require stronger products, such as bug-and-tar removers. Use non-abrasive cloth such as microfiber for removing such deposits, as these deposits can blacken the sponge quickly.

 

 

How to Clean Your Car?

 

Take Proper Precautions

There’s always a risk of scratching your paint when you touch it. Take every step to minimize all possible risks.

Take off your jewelry before you start (including your wedding ring). Even belt buckles may be an issue unless you’re wearing a shirt that fully covers your buckle.

Preparation

Ensure everything’s ready and placed in the work area, from buckets and hoses to the towels and chemicals. Best not to run around, looking for something at the last minute. Ensure that the water doesn’t dry out on your vehicle, since hard water is known to etch the paint.

You will require 2 five-gallon buckets while washing, one as a dirty rinse bucket and another for soapy water.

 

Pre-cleaning

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To help make sure you don't damage or scratch your cars paint. It is crucial to remove debris and dirt before you wash it for minimizing the risk of car scratches happening. You can remove the dust with a car duster or lightly with a microfiber towel.

 

 

 

 

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Foam the vehicle’s entire exterior using a hand frother or foam gun, which will enable the dirt to become wet and dislodge from the car’s surface also make sure to get in the wheel wells and under the car. 

 

 

 

 

Time to Wash Your Car

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By now, you’ll have removed all major debris and dirt from your vehicle’s exterior. It’s time to get washing. Use sudsy water and a wash mitt or sponge for cleaning the car in a side-to-side motion (no circular motions, ever!)  start at the roof, followed by the windshield and the hood. Work your way down from the top to the bottom. The lower third area of the vehicle is where you need to concentrate the most since debris and dirt accumulation is likely to be the greatest in this zone.

Move efficiently and quickly, ensuring that the soap or water doesn’t have time to dry out before you’re done. Don’t wash in the sun – that will cause it to dry out quickly and will leave damaging spots on the car.

 

Clean The Wheels

Wash your car’s wheels first using a wheel cleaner. Use the wheel brush to clean the wheel’s barrel and its front face. Ensure that all debris, dirt, and brake dust have been cleaned and removed from the brush before you move on to the next one. Wet the brush again using soapy water and proceed to the next wheel. When you finish cleaning a wheel, rinse it immediately. Also give your tires a scrubbing while you do the rims. You can use a tire shine spray to give your tires a like new look, this can be applied with a curved tire sponge applicator.

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Rinse Thoroughly

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After washing the car from top to bottom, it’s time to give it a final thorough rinsing. Use the pressure washer  or hose to ensure that all soap has been rinsed off the car. Leave no spot untouched.

 

 

 Let the Car Dry

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The best way to dry your vehicle is by using a leaf blower,but you can also make use of clean, soft microfiber towels for this purpose. Large ‘guzzler’ towels that absorb lots of water can also be used.

After the water has dried off, you’ll now need to remove the water trapped in the cladding, spoilers, grilles, gaskets, door sills, and badging. A hand-held blower will help you remove water from all nooks and crannies around the car. This bit is important – neglecting this will cause water to drip out later, leaving damaging water spots on the paint.

 

 Protect & Finish

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We recommend giving both the interior and the exterior glass a dedicated cleaning session for ensuring a streak-free, crystal clear view. You can use clean microfiber towels or a sponge along with a no-ammonia glass cleaner during this cleaning session.

 

You can also wipe the vehicle down with wax or spray detailer (which we will get into in another article) and appropriate applicator such as a microfiber towel or sponge depending on the product you choose. This will protect your vehicle from adverse elements.

Auto care is important and should not be neglected. How often you’ll need to wash your car depends on a multitude of factors like lifestyle, weather, location, and usage. However, a monthly or bi-weekly cleaning is generally enough to keep your vehicle in pristine condition.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Now go ahead and clean your car – make it sparkle and shine just like it was on the day you first brought it home!

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