What looks better than a well-cleaned car? Not much so far as we’re concerned. That said, we have some good and bad news about getting your car so clean it shines like glass. The bad news: the machines and bristles at automatic car washes don’t get cars all that clean. So what’s the good news? Cleaning your car by hand can help it look it’s best, and DIY car washing is easy. If hand washing sounds right to you but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. Scroll down for more info on washing your car and related articles on specific car wash tips and tricks and techniques.
Make sure you use a cleaning agent that was made for use with cars. Household soaps like glass cleaner or dish soap are not made for cars and could strip off some of the protective wax. We have a wide selection of car wash soaps that are made to protect automotive exteriors.
As a general rule, you should probably wash your car every two weeks or so. But it really depends on where you live. Cars get dirty faster in some places than in others. For example if there’s a lot of tree sap near you, you’ll need to wash more often: it’s important to remove sticky substances from your car’s paint as soon as you possibly can. More than making your ride look fresh, regular washing protects your paint job and maintains visibility through your windows.
First park your car and make sure that the body is not hot from driving or sitting in direct sunlight. It might be worth parking out of direct sunlight, as heat speed up the rate at which soap and water dry. More heat = bigger chance of unsightly waterspots or deposits.
Rinse off the car before you break out your soapy sponge. Once you’ve rinsed any dirt off the body of the car, it’s time to lather the sponge in some car wash solution and get down to business on those body panels.
Move the sponge lengthwise across the hood and body panels. Clean and then rinse the car one body panel at a time to reduce the risk of the water drying and leaving spots. Don’t move the sponge in circles, as this can cause light scratches called swirls. Also, make sure the sponge is clean. If you drop it on the ground and continue rubbing the now-dirty sponge on your car, you’re kind of defeating the purpose of a car wash.
Don’t let the car air dry. It’ll leave spots. Some people drive around the block to try to get a faster air dry. Unfortunately, this will also likely leave spots. It’ll leave less spots, but if you’re gonna take the time to clean your car, you might as well do it right.
Use a chamois and blot the water up. A squeegee can speed things up too, but make sure there are no particles on the car that could scratch your paint from being dragged by the squeegee first.
If you want to learn more about keeping your car clean, check out the articles below.