Introduction: How to Wash Your Car Like a Pro

If you are a car fanatic like myself, you love your car, and with love, there is taking care of it. Washing your car may take a while but in the end it is worth it, whether you get noticed on the streets or by your hot date. The problem with the "Drive Through Car Washes" is that they always leave spots and do not get into areas that are more dirty and harder to wash. Another problem is you do not know how dirty the car was before you that used the car wash so the dirt and other materials may scrape onto your car and scratch it. So I have created a guide for all you car fanatics on how to properly and productively wash your car correctly, spot-free, and safely not scratching your car.

Let's Get started!

Tools/Materials:

-Car

-Hose + Nozzle

-2 Buckets (one with soap and one to wash sponge off of; for dirt)

-Any Brand Car Wash Soap

- 3 different sponges (hard, medium, and soft)

-The hard sponge is for the rims, the medium sponge is for the lower body, and the soft sponge is for the top of the car and the windows.

- Soft Bristle Brush (for rims)

- Correct Kind of Rim cleaner (based on type of rim)

- 2 towels

Pro Tip :Do not use Dish soap, it may damage the paint and strip off the protected layer of wax on a cars body.

Step 1: Wet the Entire Car With Just the Hose

Materials:

-Hose

You want to wet the car before soaping up the mobile in order to get a deeper clean without spots. Just like washing your hands: you get them wet first, then apply soap, and finally clean them. This also helps get rid of really dirty areas as well as small rocks and chunks of dirt that could later damage your car by scratching it.

Pro-Tip: When your car has salt on it from the roads (after plows came by) this is the only step you should take towards washing your car, because other steps are too dangerous and risky.

Step 2: Start With the Top of the Car (Windows, Mirrors, and Roof)

Materials:

-Soft Sponge

-Soap

-2 Buckets (1 with soap, and other to clean sponge out when needed)

You want to start with the windows first and then the roof, and finally the mirrors. This is considered the top of the car. This way the soap will run down and slowly clean the other parts of the car below it, before we even get to it! You start with the windows first because they are the most delicate so this will additionally prevent an even better chance of left over residue on the soft sponge that can scratch the car.

Pro-Tip: Wash the car in a circular motion (rather than all in one direction; up down or side to side) to eliminate spotting and streak marks.

Wash Off Car

Rinse and Clean Sponge

Step 3: Front Hood and Back Trunk

Materials:

-Soft Sponge

-Soap

-2 Buckets (1 with soap, and other to clean sponge out when needed)

We now move onto the upper parts of the body. Make sure to only do the top of the trunk (the entire part that pops up when the trunk is open) and the hood (the piece in the front that pops up). We do not want to work lower because that is where the mass amounts of dirt will be waiting (possibly not due to the fallen soap and water from previous steps, AKA light wash).

Pro-Tip: Wash the license plate as well, after all, it is technically part of the car.

Wash Off Car

Rinse and Clean sponge

Step 4: Side Upper Door Panels

Materials:

-Soft Sponge

-Soap

-2 Buckets (1 with soap, and other to clean sponge out when needed)

Now on my car there is a line that divides the car from top to bottom, but simply look at your door, divide it in half and wash the upper part of the new designated area. This step includes passenger and Driver sides of the car. This goes all the way back and all the way up to the previously washed hood and trunk, making the whole upper car completely clean.

Pro-Tip: Notice in this picture how my windshield wipers are up, this allows for a more thorough clean and dry with the front window.

Wash Off Car

Rinse and Clean Sponge

Step 5: Lower Grill and Rear Bumper

Materials:

-Medium Sponge

-Soap

-2 Buckets (1 with soap, and other to clean sponge out when needed)

Now we are getting to the really dirty parts of the car so feel free if needed to take more time cleaning out the sponge in between the grill and the bumper. When washing the grill and the lower grill make sure to get all bugs off your car (if not you may buy "Bug and Tar Remover" to make it easier) but also give the headlights extra attention to prevent them from fogging in the future. With the rear bumper make sure also to wash the tail lights.

Pro-Tip: When washing try not to get to much water in the exhaust because if you get an excessive exhaust it could block the exhuast air from coming out, acting like a potato stuck in the tailpipe. Little amounts will burn and vaporize. (do not panic you need a ton of water to do this).

Wash Off Car

Rinse and clean sponge

Step 6: Lower Side Pannel's of Car

Materials:

-Medium Sponge

-Soap

-2 Buckets (1 with soap, and other to clean sponge out when needed)

Now we wash the second half of our doors, below our line instead of above it. When washing make sure to scrub well near the wheelwell because this is where the most dirt will be.

Pro-Tip: This step may be repeated twice if you go off roading and have dirt all down the side of your car (or if just really dirty).

Wash Off Car

Rinse and clean Sponge

Step 7: Body Under Sweep

Materials:

-Hard Sponge

-Soap

-2 Buckets (1 with soap, and other to clean sponge out when needed)

Simply take your hard/rim cleaning sponge and wash the underneath parts of the body that extend below the car all the way around. Not that anyone will notice but it is just something you should do.

Pro-Tip: This step shows true love for your car

Wash Off Car

Rinse and Clean off Sponge

Step 8: Rim Cleaning

Materials:

-Preferred/recommended Rim Cleaner

-Brush

-Hard Sponge

Now that you have selected the right type of rim cleaner for your wheels (chrome, alloy, Carbon Fiber, etc..) on the back will tell you instructions on how to apply it (varies from company and type). Since they will tell you how to clean the rims, I will give you additional suggestions and hints. I start off by taking my brush and go over all of the spokes (lines inside of rim to outside of rim) first. I then go to the tires and go around 1-2 times to clean those off (only the part that people can see). I then grab my rim cleaning sponge and go over the spokes again, but then go inside the rim (behind the spokes and near the brake disc) to get all of the brake dust. You can take the rim off the car and wash it but that takes time and the tools. I then rinse and repeat for all the other tires. I do my rims in two's. Spray - Spray, Wash - Wash x 2.

Pro-Tip: For if brake dust is not cleaned often (2-3 weeks) it will get really hard to get off the rim. So try and do it every 2-3 weeks.

Wash Off Rim(s)

Rinse and Clean Brush and Sponge

Step 9: Dry

There are many ways to dry a car that is correct, but I use 2 towels, 1 for the top of the car and detailed sections (inside door panel, trunk seems, door step etc..) and 1 for the lower body and rims (I also use this for the exhaust). Now just like we washed our car you want to do the same as drying. Start with the top and move down.

1.Windows

2.Roof

3.Mirrors

4. Hood/trunk

5.Upper door Panels

6. Lower Grill/rear bumper

7. Lower door Panels

8. Under Car Sweep

9. Rims

10. Exhaust and Detailed Optional Clean/Dries

Pro-Tip: dry in shade so that the water does not dry to car and create spotting.

Comments

author
Mjtrinihobby (author)2017-01-02

It's such a chore.

author
17nleclerc (author)2016-12-09

My truck is spotless now;)

author
Swansong (author)2016-12-08

This was my responsibility as a kid :) It's fun when the weather's nice!

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