You might be wondering why we have made a how-to guide on how to wash your car at home. Who doesn’t know how to wash a car right? Well there are actually quite a few mistakes most people make when it comes to washing their car that can cause all kinds of damage. Whether you’ve always washed your car yourself or are looking to maintain it between larger details. We’ve put together this guide to show your how to wash your car at home the right way. Keep your eye out for the infographic as well!
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the Brisbane area, we provide mobile car wash and detailing services all over Brisbane – So if you don’t have the equipment or time to keep your car clean don’t worry about queuing for hours down at your local car wash. We come to you.
Tips and Warnings
- Do not scrub the panels – If there is a spot or stain that won’t come off – You may need to use an iron remover or clay bar.
- When washing the car use only light pressure and move from top to bottom in straight lines – NOT circular motions.
- Unless you are using a grit- guard avoid dropping your wash mitt to the bottom of your bucket – Dirt and other contaminants will gather there.
- Re-wet the surface of the car as you wash to prevent water spots.
Now you have everything you need to do a basic maintenance wash from the comfort of your own driveway. Here’s a break down of the five step process you need to follow to make sure you clean your car the right way. Feel free to share it with your friends and family if you think they need a helping hand to keep their car clean! Keep reading to learn more about each step.
Infographic: How to Wash Your Car at Home Like a Pro
Step 1 - Prepare
Prepare to wash your car by organizing your buckets into wash, rinse and wheels. Place your wheel and tyre brush in your wheels bucket and your wash mit in your wash bucket. Fill your wash and wheels bucket with your car shampoo solution following the manufacturers instructions. Fill your rinse bucket with only clean water.
This is also known as the 2-bucket wash method. It’s known to be the safest method to wash your car without creating swirls or scratches. It’s great at keeping the most contaminants and dirt out of your wash mitt and off your paint, more on this later.
Step 2 - Wheels First!
Always start cleaning your wheels first. When washing your wheels it’s common to accidentally flick particles of dirt and grime up onto your paint. It’s a real pain when you have to do the work twice so instead of having to clean the car again we get the wheels out of the way first.
Spray your wheel cleaner onto your tyres, wheels and wheel wells and allow to dwell for approx. 30 seconds. Starting with the wheel wells, tyres and then rims – use your brushes to agitate the dirt and grime. Rinse with your hose and dry with a clean microfibre cloth.
Warning: Make sure to read the directions of your wheel cleaner. Some wheel cleaners can damage or stain certain types of rims if not used correctly. When cleaning your rims make sure you have a soft bristle brush so that you do not create scratches – especially on painted or polished chrome rims.
Step 3 - Wash Your Car
It’s time to get down to business and get rid of all that dirt and grime that’s hiding your cars great finish. You can cause some serious damage in the wash and drying step so take notes (or save our awesome infographic).
If your car is really dirty, it can be a good idea to give it a quick pre-rinse first with your hose or pressure washer.
Now you’re ready to begin the 2 bucket wash method. Your idea of washing your car might be to use a sponge laying around in your garage and use some dish soap in a bucket. The 2 bucket method is a much, much safer and more effective way to wash your car. Here’s how it’s done:
Get your wash mitt from your wash bucket with the car shampoo in it. Starting with the roof, use your wash mitt to glide over the surface of the paint. Your wash mitt will lift the dirt without you having to scrub so don’t risk creating scratches by scrubbing back and forth or applying any pressure.
Once you’ve finished one section, take your wash mitt and squeeze it out before rinsing it in the clean water in your rinse bucket. If you have a grit guard insert, scrub the wash mitt on the grit guard to release any dirt.
When your wash mitt is clean again, dunk it in your wash bucket and repeat the process washing your car one panel at a time before rinsing all the soapy shampoo off your car.
Step 4 - Drying
Now your car is clean but it’s still wet! Don’t just let it dry in the sun because you’ll create water spots.
Use your drying aid and microfibre towel to dry the car. Mist your drying aid before using your drying towel to dry the car. Start from the roof and work your way down the car. Do not apply any pressure or scrub back and forth. If the panel is not dry after the first pass, use a clean, dry area of the towel to make another pass.
Using a drying aid is not compulsory but is highly recommended. It creates extra lubrication and drying ability to make the drying process safer and more effective.
Step 5 - Apply Protection Product
You’ve cleaned your wheels, tyres and wheel wells, washed your cars paint using the 2 bucket wash method and dried your car safely using a drying aid and microfibre drying towel. After all this hard work you want to apply a protection product to add extra gloss and protect your finish from cracking and fading. If you’ve had your car detailed within the last 6 months, make sure to ask your detailer the best way to maintain your car. Depending on which protection product they used, it may be best to just top up with a carnauba wax. For more info on paint protection you can read our previous blog post: The Importance of Paint Protection
I hope this article has taught you how easy it is to wash your car properly. No more scrubbing and creating swirls, just save our infographic and refer back to this article when required and you can wash your car like a pro.