Looking to get that squeaky clean new car look without going to a car wash? Check our top 4 tips for washing your car like a pro.
Make a Mental List Before Starting
Before getting your hands dirty, take a step back and evaluate the car’s condition. Will you have to add a quick polish or will you need an entire cleaning? Don’t make the job more complicated than it is and focus on which areas need the most work.
If it’s a new car and you just want to make it shine, skip rinsing it and simply apply car wax. If you can’t remember the last time cleaning your vehicle and it looks like you just went mudding, plan on putting some extra work in. Taking the first 5 minutes to make a mental check list will save you valuable time.
Rinse with Water and Remove Leftover Dirt
Once you’ve made that list, grab the hose and start rinsing. Washing your car with water will clean any dust, dirt or mud that’s stuck to the vehicle’s exterior. When washing, make sure you start from the top and move to the bottom – using gravity to help. DON’T SCRUB WITH A SPONGE OR SOAP YET. If anything is still stuck to the car you could end up scratching the paint.
Don’t forget to hit the tires with water. If you live in a colder region of the world with snow, make sure you wash out any salts or chemicals used for icy roads. Unwashed tire can result in the salts causing rust.
After the first rinse, walk around the vehicle and look for any leftover substances that are still stuck to the car. If you find any, make sure to scrub it off before proceeding. A piece of clay is a tool we recommend – it will remove the unwanted dirt and oils.
Apply “the Right” Car Soap
Next, take out the car soap and start washing. But be careful, use a known automobile product as dish soap will removing the protective sealant on the vehicle’s surface.
When you’ve got your suds, pay attention to the lower front part of the car – that’s where the majority of the grime will be. Once you’re finished, rinse off the suds and dry your car.
Ryan Morse, Founder of Thoroughlyreviewed.com, has this to say about car soaps: “With a top-quality car wash soap, you only need to wax your vehicle a few times a year with great success.”
The Finishing Touches: Polish and Wax
Almost done! The final touches to get that pro wash are to add polish, wax, and wash tires.
Although optional, adding a polish is will add a fresh gloss and bring out the colour of darker cars. You can apply this by hand or with an electric polishing tool.
Next, add a layer of wax. Along with making the vehicle’s colour pop, car wax protects the paint from harmful UV rays – similar to sunscreen. The 2 most common types of wax are Carnauba and Polymer. Polymer is more expensive but it is said to be easier to use and won’t haze if left to dry.