How to Properly Wash, Clean and Detail Your Car

by Andrew Guy | Last Updated: March 13, 2020

Your car is one of the most important investments you will ever make in life. Thus, it is important to be a responsible car owners and invest some time and money in car care to prolong the life of your vehicle and enjoy it for a long time to come. Well-maintained cars are not only a treat for the sight but also hold great resale value. If you are wondering about how to wash, clean and detail your car properly, this blog has all the information you need. Let’s read on, shall we?

How to properly Wash your Car?

The goal of car wash is to eliminate contaminants from the car surface and give it a brand-new look. Car wash holds an important place in the daily car care regimen of car owners. Car washing extends from rinsing the car with clear water to using car shampoo rinse followed by applying paint protection on the car surface. Just like most of the car care practices, car wash also depends upon multiple factors which range from the life of the car, the expertise of the car owner and the technique and materials needed to perform the car wash.

However, the most important thing to keep in mind is to adopt a proper method of car wash to clean the car without causing any damages to the car surface. Here is how you can perform proper car wash:

Things you need

Car wash requires a range of equipment which acts together to remove dust, dirt, grime and stains from the car surface without damaging the shine of the car paint. You will need the following things to wash your car properly:

Car Wash Shampoos

Gone are the days when you could simply grab a dish soap or detergent to clean the car. Now, the car washing regimen is far more explained and standardized with the introduction of car wash shampoos. You will need a good quality car wash shampoo which can not only get rid of grease, dirt and dust stains from the car surface but also does not cause any harm to the car paint or different exterior parts like the plastic moldings and rubber seals. A good car wash shampoo is friendly with car wax and car paint.

Our Favorite Car Shampoo

car wash best shampoo

Car Wash Mitts

how to wash a car

This is where the real magic begins. Much of the car owners make the mistake of using sub-standard car wash mitt to clean the car surface. Car wash mitts are used to create foam from the car wash shampoo which acts as a protective layer between the mitt fibers and car paint. In order to create good amount of shampoo lather, you will need soft, clean and fresh microfiber car cleaning mitts. Make sure that the mitts are cleaned during different rounds of gentle scrubbing of the car surface so as to prevent any damages to the car wax or car paint.

Wash Buckets

Generally, the two bucket method is used for car wash. To undergo this method, you will need two buckets of equal volumes but different colors. You can either choose 5 gallon buckets or 3.5 gallon buckets for big car washing jobs and small car washing jobs respectively. Fill one of the bucket with clean water and fill the other bucket with fresh car wash solution. A good car wash mixture is nothing but car wash shampoo mixed in clean water. You can also consider going for car wash buckets which have small compartments for keeping different equipment like the car wash shampoo, hoses and mitts.

Grit Guard Inserts

Grit guard inserts are more of a recommendation than a compulsion for car cleaners. This round, plastic equipment sits on the bottom of your bucket and acts as a filter to let in all the dirt from the cleaning water and cleaning mitts and retain it at the bottom of the car wash bucket. Since the grit and dust particles removed from the car surface can damage the car paint if your scrub them over the car surface, using grit guard inserts will save your car paint from repetitive scratches and rock chips while washing. Don’t believe us? Remove the grit guards and see the retained dust at the bottom of wash bucket as an evidence of the usefulness of grit guards during car wash jobs.

Hose Nozzle

While most of the people stick to splashing water on car surface by using small water containers, a great alternative for this purpose is to use a hose nozzle for car wash. Instead of compromising with unreliable and leaky hose nozzles, try to find a god quality hose nozzle to perform car wash easily. It is also a great idea to choose a hose nozzle with adjustable water pressure so that you can easily manage the water flow during car wash.

Waffle Weave / Microfiber Towels

Your car paint is very delicate and shall be handled with care. You will be surprised to know that most of the car owners cause damage to the car paint during the drying steps of a proper car wash. Instead of repeating the mistake of using any common drying towel, go for waffle weaves or microfiber towels for drying the car surface.

how to wash your car

You can start off with a waffle weave which has large pores to absorb loads of water from the car surface right after you are done with the final rinse. Once the water is removed from the major car areas, you can use a clean and dry microfiber towel to dry the delicate areas of the car surface. These towels ensure sleek paint finish as they are smooth and do not cause any abrasion.

Bonus tip: If you find using car weaves and microfiber towels for scrubbing water off the car surface, you can switch to an easier and more convenient air blower. Make sure that air blower has adjustments to manage the air pressure and it does not leave any water stains on car surface during drying process.

Great Value, Full Car Wash Kit:

Two Bucket Car Washing Method

When it comes to car washing, the two bucket car wash method is the most favorable for car owners and car detailers alike. It involves the use of clean water in one bucket and shampoo water in the other bucket along with clean cleaning equipment to impart and swirl-free finish on car paint once the washing is complete. You can rinse your mitts and towels in the clean water bucket. Use the shampoo water bucket to soak mitts in the washing mixture and clean the car from dirt, dust and grime stains.

Here is how you can perform the two bucket car cleaning

Tips to get best car wash

car wash basics

Wash car in shade

One of the biggest challenges car owners face during car wash is the direct sunlight followed by a breeze. Remember that your wet car surface acts as a magnet to attract smallest of dirt particles which come along with the breeze and may scratch the car surface while you are scrubbing the car. Take your car under shade and wash car on a calm day with no direct sunlight or breeze.

Apply UV-resistant Paint protection

UV car paint damages are one of the most gruesome nightmares of any car owner and car detailer. To avoid getting UV damage on the surface of your car paint, try waxing and buffing the car surface using UV-resistant paint protection coating or sealant.

Go for ceramic coating

For those of you who want to protect car paint from rock chips, rush, scratches or any other kind of car cleaning issues, you can go for applying a ceramic coating on your car. Ceramic coating creates a protective layer on your car paint to prevent any paint damages. It is by far the best paint protection and damage prevention you can getr for your cars’ paintwork. You can either have it done at a professional shop, or if you do not mind a little DIY elbow grease, you can do it yourself with this recommended kit:

car ceramic coating kit

Address corrosion issues

Rust and corrosion are two of the most common yet deadliest damages every happen to a car. Rust appears as a result of oxidation of car paint and it eventually penetrates deep into the bodywork to eat away the car bodywork. Protect your car from direct sunlight and avoid parking your car in wet places to prevent the rusting of the car. You will be happy to know that car rusting is reversible and you can minimize the damages by taking action on time.

More car detailing tips

The Bottom line

how to wash a car

Car care and the method of how to properly wash your car, comprises of different steps and you must follow the best rules to get the best results. Instead of relying on misinformation and testing different ways, choose the tested and popular methods of car detailing and cleaning to avoid any car damages. You can use the above-mentioned information to find the best car cleaning products and methods to perform the most amazing car detailing of your lifetime.