A thorough car wash at home can easily yield professional results without the expense of taking your car to be washed at a car wash or detailing service. The car wash tips included here will not only help achieve professional results performing your car wash at home but can also lead to a very satisfying job well done. This article will help you learn how to wash your car and achieve professional results at home!
The items needed to perform a car wash at home are:
- Bucket for water and Car Wash Soap
- Car Wash Mitt or Sponge
- Towel or Absorber to dry the car
- Shady Location
- and Certainly not least. A Dirty Car!
Optional items needed to perform a car wash at home are:
- Second Bucket for water filled with fresh, clean, water
- California Water Blade or other squeegee product
- Wheel Detailing Brushes
- Air Compressor with an air nozzle
First, park the car in a shady location out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can affect the car wash as it will cause the soap and water to prematurely dry and leave spots on the paint.
If the wheels on the car are covered in dirt or brake dust, it is best to begin by scrubbing the wheels first. Please note, however, that if you recently drove your car it is advisable to not wash the wheels if the brakes are hot as the heat will cause the soap or wheel cleaner to evaporate very quickly and cause spotting or in severe cases warp a brake rotor.
Rinse the wheels and tires with the hose. Using a sponge, rag, or wheel detailing brushes scrub away the dirt and grime that are covering the wheels. DO NOT use the same sponge or rag that you will use to wash the rest of the car. If you were to use the same sponge, you may pick up contaminants from the wheels and those contaminants could easily scratch the paint on the body of the car.
Once the wheels initial scrub is complete, the main car wash can begin. You start by rinsing the car, beginning at the top of the car and working your way down. Be sure to pay special attention to spots where dirt or debris may accumulate. A good tip here is to pull all of the windshield wipers away from the glass into the propped position prior to rinsing or soaping the car.
Fill one bucket with water and the Car Wash Soap ensuring that you follow the directions on the car wash soap container. If you have a second bucket available fill that with fresh, clean, water. This second bucket will be used to clean the sponge or rag as to not contaminate the soapy water with dirt or grime.
Using the Car Wash Mitt or Sponge wash the car from the top working your way down. When you are washing the car it is advisable to wash it in sections. First wash the roof, then wash the hood, the trunk, one set of doors, and then move to the other side. In between each section rinse the soap off. By doing washing the car in sections it ensures that the soap won’t dry on the car and will allow you to see if any dirt was missed. As you move through the sections try to keep the entire car wet. This will prevent spotting.
Some good tips for the soaping process are:
- Don’t press too hard. By pressing hard you may inadvertently grind the dirt all over the paint and potentially scratch it.
- Don’t ignore crevices. These are the places where dirt collects and are often missed by other car wash methods (i.e. gas station car wash machines)
Once the entire car has been scrubbed and rinsed, it is time to dry the car. The primary focus of drying the car is to dry the car before the air is allowed to dry it naturally. A naturally dried car is a spotted car!
A California Water Blade or similar squeegee product is great for this getting the water off the car very efficiently. You start by taking the blade and running it across the paint removing a large amount of the water from the surface of the car. Then, using a chamois, Absorber, Microfiber Towel, or traditional towel you dry the remaining water from the car. If you have access to an air compressor and an air nozzle, it can be used to blow water out of tight crevices where a towel will not be able to reach. Be sure to open the hood, trunk, doors, to wipe out the jambs and other places where water has likely accumulated during the wash.
Now take a step back and look at your beautiful, clean, car!