A good wash is essential for enhancing the appearance of your car. Even if you do not intend to sell your used car, this is a crucial step for good maintenance so that you can enjoy it more. Additionally, it feels good to see a car looking like a brand new one.

Keeping your car clean may sound unpleasant, but for many (raises hand), it’s a remedial exercise and a way to express their obsession. No matter how much you like or dislike cleaning your car, getting up and doing it is the most challenging part.

You can benefit from cleaning the exterior of your vehicle in several ways, from increasing its resale value to extending its lifespan. Isn’t it nice to see your car happy?

The following steps can help you thoroughly clean, protect, and not scratch your vehicle’s paint while it’s being washed. There can be no comparison to an automated touch car wash. The paint might get scratched, whirled, and damaged by dirt on the brushes (mostly plastic) from previous car models.

Safety precautions


  • You should not taste or swallow cleaning products or soapy solutions.
  • Before you begin, remove all your jewelry. You should even remove your wedding ring—no matter what kind of ring you wear: no jewelry.
  • It’s not a good idea to wear belts with buckles unless your shirt covers the buckle. A situation like this is acceptable.

Here are the items you’ll need

In order to give your clothes a good wash, you need to follow a few steps. To accomplish extra steps, we need additional tools and products.

  • Simple water: Just use water straight from the pipe.
  • Cleaning soap: Auto soap works best. Do not use general washing detergent.
  • Cleaning buckets: It’s easier to clean if you have two or three separate buckets.
  • Cleaning gloves/towels: To wash off the car, you’ll need something that won’t leave stains behind.
  • Using a scrub brush: For dirt and debris that are more difficult to remove.

Getting ready


When you get started, make sure you have everything you need ready to go, from chemicals to towels to buckets and hoses. If you use hard water, you don’t want the water to dry on the vehicle and cause the paint to etch.

  1. Arrange your garage: Once you’ve arranged your garage and know exactly where everything is, you can reduce the organization steps to merely getting the buckets and hoses. Indeed, two buckets are needed.
  2. Make sure you have everything needed for cleaning before you start.
  3. Get two buckets: You will need two 5-gallon buckets, one for soapy water and another for dirty water with a grit guard on the bottom. This prevents dirt from returning to the paint.

Put your attention on the wheels


  • You should spray the car’s wheels with a hose equipped with a nozzle that offers good water pressure. Dirt and debris are most concentrated on the wheels, so you should begin cleaning them first.
  • To remove brake dust, dirt, and road salt residue from the wheel wells and undercarriage, spray around them with a product designed for that purpose.
  • You can usually find detailed information in your owner’s manual on which cleaners work best with your paint or type of aluminum. Clean the wheels with a cleaner made for tires. Be careful not to damage your wheels.
  • Put your glove and towel aside after you’ve cleaned your wheels – you don’t want to use them on the rest of your car, or you might scratch the paint.

Initial cleaning

Remember that whenever you touch your paint, you run the risk of scratching it since dirt is moved. Before connecting the paint, make sure all large pieces of dirt and debris are removed.

Use a foam gun or hand frother to foam the exterior of the vehicle. Soaking the dirt in water will help it loosen from the surface. Use hand dryers and hose less wash solutions if there is no running water, or the car is simply dusty. After removing the hose less wash with a clean microfiber towel, skip right to the protect-and-finish step.

A complete wash is required for most cars. The pressure washer is my preferred method. Use a 40-degree nozzle for a wide spray rather than a 0-degree tip to prevent damage to the paint. Remove mud, debris, grain, or dust from the paint by rinsing the foam and any loose, large dirt or debris.

Get the car washed


Now that the paint is wet, all major dirt and debris have been removed. The next step is to wash it. With a microfiber wash glove and warm soapy water, clean the vehicle from the roof, then the windshield, then the shade, working your way down, using a side-to-side motion. If a panel or half-panel is large (roofs are large, hoods are significant), move the mitt after each panel or half-panel using the scrubbing pad to get off all the remaining dirt.

Once you have the dirty water off the towel, squeeze all the water out, then dip it into the soapy, dirty bucket, so it has fresh water and suds. Wash the next panel in the same way. As the lower third of a vehicle is where dirt and debris are kicked up onto the paint, you should clean it from top to bottom, from the roof to the lower sides.

Make sure neither the water nor soap dries on the paint. In general, you shouldn’t wash it in the sun since it dries rapidly and leaves damaging spots on the paint. It is an American tradition to wash cars in the sun, so go ahead, do it well. Keeping the vehicle moist sometimes requires cleaning each panel as you go.

Also read our article about, how to clean the car interior at home

Time to rinse and air-dry

  • You can then rinse your car with the running water after you have washed up each section. Make sure you don’t leave any soap behind when you’re done.
  • In the final step, gently and thoroughly dry the vehicle with a towel or microfiber cloth. Rather than using household towels, cover the car with a cloth and apply slight pressure. Once you have reached every spot, squeeze water out of the fabric while continuing to dry until your finished product shines!
  • It happens every time you wash your car – once the birds have landed, their mark is left behind. Although it is difficult to prevent, it is essential to clean up afterward. As soon as possible, wipe off bird poop from your car since the droppings are highly acidic.

Ensure protection and safety


If you have a new car, be sure to check the owner’s manual for wax frequency recommendations before applying wax. Apply the wax with the recommended microfiber applicator and choose a quality brand. In addition, synthetic wax is more convenient to use than traditional carnauba wax.

Although an automatic car wash can save you some time, there is no guarantee that its rotating brushes are free from dirt and debris from the cars that went through before you. With a bit of effort, you can keep your car’s exterior cleaner longer and scratch-free.

Bonus Pro Tips

  • Wash your vehicle sooner rather than later to remove dead bugs, bird poop, and road grime. You can damage your car’s paint if they sit on it for too long.
  • You can also clean the windows with a good glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Avoid using traditional window cleaners.
  • Wash your car with dishwashing detergent instead of household cleaners. It may wash away the protective wax of the paint if they aren’t designed to interact with it. Use car wash products that are softer.
  • Remove loose dirt and other particles before applying soap to your vehicle. This will prevent scratches. First, wash the roof of your car, then the windows, then the rest.
  • Use two buckets of water, one with soapy water and one with clean water. A larger amount of suds will result in more effective lubrication of the paint. Wash each section of the car separately using the mitt and soapy water. Let the sponge dry completely before moving on to the next section.
  • Using a hose without a nozzle, rinse the soap off your car to prevent water spots. Flow the water from the top to the bottom of the vehicle. In this way, water pools are minimized.

I’d appreciate any additional tips you have related to washing your car at home, so drop a comment if you have any.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Could you tell me how to properly dry my car?

Answer: Drying your car with a car-specific towel is the best method. Microfiber towels are often used. Chamois towels are also practical. An electric air dryer is also an option.

Q2: What is the best way to get rid of water spots?

Answer: You can prevent water spots by using a drying cloth. In addition, you may want to rinse your car with distilled water, which is free from minerals and other contaminants.

Q3: How do I wash a hot car?

Answer: If you want a streak-free car, avoid washing it when it’s hot. Water will form faster on a car that’s warm to the touch. If your vehicle has recently been driven or in the sun, you may want to wait a while before washing it.


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