A Practical Guide to Washing Your Car At Home

Whether you are a first-time car owner or you have had a car for ages, you understand that a clean car is a beautiful car. While some prefer to have their cars washed for them, it is necessary to know how to do it on your own. Washing a car is an elaborate but enjoyable process if properly done. Here are a few things you need to know about cleaning your car.

 

 

What You Will Need

Buckets

It is more convenient to use two buckets preferably 5 gallons each as this will carry sufficient water to get the job done. One bucket will hold the soapy solution while the other one will hold the rinse water.

Car Wash Mitts

These can be made of genuine or synthetic microfiber, sheepskin or sponge material. Choose one with long microfiber fingers as it is gentle to the most delicate of paints. Mitts are designed to pull the most dirt away from your car. Avoid using beach towels, old clothes, and shop rags.

Hose Nozzles

You will need a good hose nozzle that does not leak. Also, choose a nozzle with an open flow option for rinsing.

Watering can

If you do not have access to a hose, you will need a watering can. Ensure that the can has no rose.

Car Shampoo

Look out for factors such as concentration, foaming ability, gloss enhancing ability, lubrication, pH balance, and gentleness. This will ensure you get a glossy clean car. Avoid using dish soap which is bound to ruin your car’s wax and dry out its plastic moldings.

Drying Materials

Two towels are often enough for a spot-free finish. Choose towels that are soft enough to absorb a lot of water without scratching the surface.

A Step by-Step Car Washing Guide

Now that you have assembled all the materials you require, where do you start?

car washing guide

Pre Rinsing

If possible, start by parking your car in the shade to prevent soapy solution from drying on the car before rinsing. With your hose, start from the top towards the bottom. Rinse the panels extra carefully as these have gaps which often trap dirt. The idea is to remove as much of the dirt as possible so that it doesn’t stick to your mitt later as you wash. 15 minutes is sufficient for this step.

 Pre Washing

Though often skipped, this step is just as crucial as the rest. The pre-wash stage helps to remove bug splatter, road grime and road salts on the car’s paintwork. Focus on the lower half of the car’s body as this is where the above contaminants will be most present.

 

Pre Washing

This is because dirt and grime are flicked onto the vehicle’s lower halves as the wheels move. Remember also to clean the door shuts, window rubbers, grills, and fuel filler cups. Rinse with clean water once the dirt is removed.

The Bucket Wash Stage

This is undeniably the most important step in the car washing process. Here, you use a wash mitt and a car shampoo solution to physically wash the paintwork. First, pour fresh water into one bucket which you will use for rinsing. Next, pour water into the second bucket until it is ¾ full. Add enough car shampoo into the second bucket and stir. Now add water to the second bucket to fill.

car washing guide

As in the first step, wash from the top going down. Soak your car wash mitt in the shampoo solution and then use minimal pressure to sweep away the dirt. Squeeze the water out of the mitt as you gently sweep it forward and backward on the car’s surface.

For areas with persistent stains, you may need more time; you need not exert more pressure. Each time you need more shampoo solution, rinse the mitt thoroughly in the rinse bucket first. Remember to release trapped dirt with your fingers as you do this. Do this consistently as you clean the entire car, leaving the dirtiest places like the rear bumper and the boot-lid for last.

Rinsing Your Car

You can do this systematically as you wash or after washing the whole car as per the weather. Set your hose to free flow and then rinse from top to bottom. Use a lot of fresh water. You may use a watering can without a rose for this stage. Note that this will require at least five full ones.

Rinsing Your Car

Final Drying

This is a delicate stage which must be done Carefully to prevent damage to the paintwork. Dry your car gently and systematically from the top going down. Using your microfiber towel, wipe the car surface dry, applying minimal pressure. Patting is more advisable as opposed to wiping, however, because it does not inflict marring. You may also use a detail spray to lubricate the rinsed surface before drying.

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