Nothing is more satisfying than having a freshly washed car. Sure, you can pay someone to wash it for you, but that will soon end up becoming an added expense. With the right equipment, decent car wash soap, and a few buckets of water you can achieve that perfect hand wash look every time.
Here’s how you can wash your car properly at home
Start with the wheels
The wheels will have the most dirt and debris in, so it makes sense to start cleaning them. Start by using a high-pressure hose to spray around the wheel wells and the undercarriage to remove the brake dust, dirt, and road salt- especially through the winter.
Using a cleaner formulated to clean tires, clean the wheels with water and let them air dry. Remember, you don’t want to use any cloth or chamois that you use on the wheels on the body of the car as this can end up scratching the paintwork if a bit of grit gets caught in the material.
Move onto the body
Spray your entire vehicle with water to rinse off any surface dirt. Have two buckets of water prepared- one with proper car washing soap and the other with plain water. Make sure you have the right amount of solution so as to protect the paintwork efficiently.
Use the soapy water to lather up your hand wash cloth or chamois with soap for the car and the clean bucket will be used to rinse off the cloth between cleaning each area.
Make sure to start with the roof and work downwards, cleaning in sections as you go. Make a single swipe, flip the cloth over before swiping again and rinsing. Rinse each area as you go so that soap doesn’t sit on the paintwork for too long. Make sure to wash the dirtiest part of the car last. This will typically be the back of the car closest to the exhaust pipe and where rain and dirt gather more easily.
Rinse and dry the vehicle
After each section of the car has been hand washed thoroughly, take the hose and rinse off the vehicle properly. Again, it is important to start from the top and work your way downwards, making sure not to leave any soap behind. Soap left on the paintwork for too long can end up leaving a sticky residue behind.
Use a dry chamois or microfiber cloth to gently dry and polish the car. Make sure to use a material cloth rather than paper towels to do this. You want to have a streak-free finish to your vehicle’s paintwork. When cleaning your car, make sure you pick a good location to clean. Avoid cleaning the car in direct sunlight or direct heat as this will make the soap dry into the paintwork quicker than you can rinse it off. Wash the car in the morning or in the late evening staying away from places where the car will easily get dirty again with dust, bugs, and natural debris.