GUIDE: How to Wash Your Car in 3 Steps

Every car owner has a special relationship with his or her car. No wonder, in many cases you spend a lot of time in this four-wheel transportation helper. It is only fitting that you take care of your vehicle in a proper way.

Cleaning and washing it is the bare minimum you should do to keep your car fit and ready for future adventures. Moreover, cleanliness increases the value of your car not only in your eyes, but also in the eyes of others.

A nice shiny car is a treat worth watching. Be careful though, wrong cleaning practices can have a totally opposite effect on your car and even damage it. That is why you should always have the proper equipment and use it accordingly.

Don’t worry, I will show you a little guide on how to wash your car and hopefully this will help you take care of your favorite vehicle in a more effective way.

How to wash car

Firstly, let’s summarize what is necessary to prepare before the washing even begins. There are several essential things you need to have ready such as car wash soap, wash mid (preferably made from sheepskin) or a microfiber cloth, two buckets for water, drying cloth and shadowy place.

Direct sunlight dries the car faster; however, you will find water spots which are unwanted.

Step 1: Clean your car with wash soap

Once you are all set you can begin with the first step which is treating the harder-to-clean stains with car wash soap. A general soap used for dish washing can harm your car or even remove wax from its surface.

These tough stains are for examplebird excrements, bugs, dried dirt, sap. Next up are the wheels. Feel free to use the soap I have mentioned before, but a specialized product for wheels can make the job simpler.

How to wash car

After spraying the cleaner on the wheels try to get every inch and clean them with a brush and use an old toothbrush to get the tricky parts. If you don’t have one, use a mitt or sponge but be careful not to use the same on the rest of your car paint.

Now, when the lower part is cleaned, proceed to the top. Wash your car with water from the top to the bottom and don’t forget to check the windshield and wipers, since leaves tend to be stuck in precisely these areas. Check your hood and trunk to see if there is any leftover dirt or leaves as well.

The best solution is to clean these areas manually while wearing latex gloves.

The Two Bucket Wash Method

Now comes the time for those two buckets you have prepared beforehand. The biggest benefit that comes with this method is that you don’t make your car dirty. It may sound strange, but if you would use only one bucket all the dirt scrubbed with your mitt ends up in the same bucket you rinse your car with.

This means that all the effort you have put into the cleaning can get easily wasted. Ideally, one bucket filled with water and car wash soap, dosage per instructions, should be for your mitt to soak up the cleaning product and the second one should bejust clean water, where you will be able to clean the mitt from all residues.

Be gentle when scrubbing to your vehicle because a harder push can result in paint damage. This is a slow and detailed process which needs its time, so don’t rush it, even seemingly small stains, sap and dirt can cause permanent consequences to the paintwork.

Don’t forget about less accessible parts such as cracks and curves which can be cleaned by fingers or a brush.

Final rinse

One of the final steps is the final rinse. This suggests that you are almost finished with the cleaning. Splash every inch of your car with, preferably, a gentler stream of water to wash away all the washing products and possible remaining dirt.

However, don’t let the hose touch your paint!

Many of them can scratch the surface and leave marks. As far as drying is concerned, you need to do it as fast as possible to prevent water spots. Use an ordinary microfiber towel or something that soaks water pretty quickly to achieve this goal.

For any left-over water accumulated in the trunk, doors and hood use a microfiber towel as well. Don’t underestimate these areas since exposure to water can affect their functioning as well.

Step 2: Use Clay Bar to Remove Contaminants

Another great tip for the detailing of your car is to use clay bar.

What is a clay bar, you ask?

Well to sum it up, it is a special tool which can help you make your car even cleaner and remove all those contaminants which you cannot see or clean with water. All the elements such as industrial fallout, rail dust brake dust or acid rain can be swiped by clay because they stick to its surface.

Many of these includemetal particles which then pierce into the paint and slowly oxidize, thus creating rust. Moreover, clay can help you get rid of all the before mentioned car paint pollutants as well.

However, don’t forget to use a clay lubricant as this way you can be perfectly sure that you are giving your car the best protection it can get.

How to clay car

Generally, clay cleaning is needed twice per year and is very easy to do.

Once your car is dry, apply the clay lubricant on the area you want to clean and afterwards start with the process. Slowly move the clay on the sprayed part and if you feel that the movement isn’t smoothand there is a little bit of resistance, you are on the right track.

The initial difficulties are caused by the fact that you are removing the contaminants; it will get easier with time. After you are done, once again spray the area with the lubricant and wipe the rest with a microfiber towel.

Step 3: Wax Your Car for Amazing Shine and Protection

The crown jewel of your car is the wax. This is the moment to make your vehicle look shiny and cool, plus a quality car wax protects paint from all the above mentioned factors because it seals “pores”.

If you want to have your car in top condition, waxing is the right thing to do. A car wax should always be applied on a freshly washed car and with a cloth towel to spread it evenly on the entire surface of the body.

How to wax car

The best way to do this is to rub it in circles. When finished, use a softer cloth and rub in the opposite way to ensure shine. There are several car waxes you can choose from with different attributes. Firstly, you have liquid waxes which are easier to apply but generally last less than solid waxes. Nonetheless, they are a great solution for the between-wax period.

Soft waxes are a medium measure which can be easily spread by the pads that often come with the product itself.

And the third most commonly used type are hard, or paste waxes. These guarantee the most protection and should be applied for major wax jobs.

The key here is to go one part at a time, since you can work an area closely and avoid errors.

So there you have it. If you have followed these steps your car should be clean, protected and shiny. All the aspects an outstanding car owner should care for.

Martin Martens

I have graduated electronics and information systems at Ghent University. I like to learn new things in the field of technology and apply it in our household. I'm also a passionate traveler. Read more...

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