How To Wash Your Car Properly?

by John Smith   |   May 5, 2020
how to wash your car properly

Did you know that learning how to wash your car properly actually helps some people relax?  Yes, it’s true! Not only can this be a new way for you to unwind and relax, it will also help you save some cash.

Commercial car washing services use very abrasive materials that might scratch or even damage your car’s paint. In this case, washing your car by yourself will ensure that you will be able to keep the vehicle and the paint job in excellent condition.

This is not always possible at the local automatic car wash thanks to their tough-bristled brushes and one-size-fits-all approach. Sometimes, an automated foaming brush can also collect debris that will easily scratch the surface of your car.

This is why pulling out the garden hose and washing your car in your driveway is such a great idea. It will allow you to take your time to focus on the really dirty parts of your vehicle. Apart from that, taking the do it yourself (DIY) approach can also give you a great opportunity to clean your car as safely as possible, without causing any damage.

Many automobile service centers often use strong jets of water to clean the engine bay. If this water gets into the delicate electronic components of the car, it can cause a short circuit and a trip to the mechanic. However, this can easily be avoided if you wash your car on your own. Here are a few steps to ensure that you are able to do a really great job when you decide to wash your automobile:

Check the Condition of Your Vehicle

In order to determine how to clean your car properly you will need to evaluate its condition. It is a good idea to park in under direct sunlight and carefully check it to see just what needs to be done. But there is no need to get a heat stroke while working directly under the sun. Once you have figured out al the problem areas, it is time to head into the shade where you can get to work. Before commencing washing operations you will need to:

  • Check that all of your car’s windows are properly closed so that the water cannot get inside. You should also close the radio antenna so that it won’t get snapped off during a really vigorous cleaning exercise.
  • You should always pull the windshield wipers upwards from the windshield until you hear them click into place in their propped position. This way, the wipers won’t interfere with your windshield cleaning operations. This applies to both front and back windshield wipers (if applicable).

Get Your Supplies Ready

Your supplieswill include the following cleaning materials:

  • A good quality car wash detergent
  • An uninterrupted supply of water for the duration of the washing project
  • Three medium-sized buckets (two for washing purposes one for rinsing off the soap suds)
  • A small hose
  • Plenty of microfiber towels and other cloths to dry your car
  • At least three wash mitts
  • Acouple of large sponges
  • Rubber and wheel polishes and conditioners
  • A stiff brush for scrubbing your tires (Don’t ever use steel or iron wire brushes since they will scratch the allow rims, tires and the paint on your car)

You must be prepared to get wet and soapy so you should wear appropriate work clothes. The most suitable clothes and gear will include:

  • Overalls
  • Shoes
  • Shorts and rubber sandals for hot weather
  • Long pants and rubber boots in case it is very chilly outside

You can easily purchase any popular brand of car-specific detergent at your local car parts and accessories store. However, when you fill the two wash buckets with water and detergent, you should be very careful to follow the detergent manufacturer’s instructions concerning the suggested water and detergent ratio. If you put too much detergent it can act as an abrasive for the paint. Conversely too little of it won’t be able to get rid of the stains and dirt.

Washing Your Car

Now that everything is in place and you have prepped your car and identified all the trouble areas it is time to get to work.

First you should fill the rinsing bucket with water and thoroughly rinse the car. After that, you should  hose off the car in order to loosen the grit and grime. Don’t use very strong jets of water from a pressure hose as the water might rub the grit all over the paint and scratch it.

Rinsing the car beforehand with a few buckets of plain water will get rid of the loose particles of dirt but you will still need to hose your car properly to ensure maximum efficacy.

You should aim the jets of water downwards on all the exposed external surfaces of your car.  Aiming upwards all around the doors and window areas may cause the water to drip into the car in case the rubber seals don’t work properly.

Start With the Tires and Wheels First

The  tires and wheels of your vehicle are usually its dirtiest parts since they are in constant contact with the ground. This is why it is a very good idea to wash them first. This way all the dirt from the wheels won’t be able to land on a part of the car that you have already cleaned before. You should use a fine bristled andlong-handled wheel-brush for cleaning the rims and the spokes  of the wheels.

Once you have brushed them with soapy detergent water, you should use a sponge or a mitt to clean them so that they look glossy and clean.

If therubber tires are very gritty and have absorbed plenty of dirt and grime, it might not be possible to clean them properly with only a sponge or a wash mitt. You should consider using a dedicated tire cleaner and polish application to remove the dirt and dried mud from the rubber tires.

You should simply spray the foam all over the tires and wait for it to do its job. After that, you may rub it off with microfiber towel. Finally you can polish them with a rubber conditioner so that your tires look as good as new.

Use a Large Wash Mitt to Wash Your Car

Soak a large sponge or wash mitt in the soapy water and apply it all over the external surface of the car. After that, you should scrub it meticulously, making sure not to miss out any parts. However, it is very important that you wash out any residual dirt before you begin scrubbing so that you won’t have to work extra hard to scrub it off. Don’t use any sort of brush on the paint as it might leave little scratches on your car’s exterior body.

Wash Your Car Section by Section

You should divide your car into sections and start by washing the lower areas of each section. This way, you won’t have to worry about water droplets from the higher sections falling on the lower sections once  you have washed them.

If your vehicle is exceedingly dirty, you should step back for around 15 minutes and let the soapy water do the work.  Don’t be overzealous when it comes to scrubbing your car because extra hard scrubbing might damage the paint.

Rinse Each Section Thoroughly Once You Have Washed It

Once a section is perfectly clean you should rinse it with your  hose or your rinsing bucket before moving on to the next section. If you let the soapy water dry on your car, it will stain it and you will have to wash it all over again.

Spray Water Underneath Your Vehicle

You should use the spray from your garden hose to thoroughly wash the underside of your car, especially near the tire wells. It is important to cover the undercarriage so that it is completely clean. This is particularly important  If your car has been exposed to salty water since it can cause corrosion.

Use Fresh Towels to Thoroughly Dry Your Car

Use plenty of fresh towels to make sure that there are no water stains on the car.  You must be careful to thoroughly wipe down all those parts that you have washed to prevent rust build-ups.

Wax the Car After It Has Been Perfectly Cleaned

Using a good quality wax polish will ensure that your freshly cleaned vehicle is protected from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It will prevent the paint from fading and also protect the finish from any flying grit or dirt when you are traveling at high speed.

Finally, vacuum the insides of the car and use the same soapy water to wash the mats and other removable upholstery items in your car. You may put in some car perfume to make sure it always smells nice whenever you open the door of your vehicle.

Your newly washed car is now ready to hit the road!

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