How To Wash A Car At Home (10 Pro Tips For Beginners)
Photo by Jan Kopřiva
Despite owning a car by so many people, only a few of them take care of their vehicle. Like all other things in this universe, cars also require proper washing and maintenance.
It is very necessary to wash your car once a week as it protects your car from many harmful substances that car stays and eats up your car’s paint. It also gives a classy and new look to your car.
You can also impress your neighbors in this way. To wash a car, one should follow the right way such as the right tools and techniques. Most of the people get this task done from the car professionals but it is not necessary.
If you cannot afford any professional, you can wash it at your home. We are providing you the right way to wash your car at home and we are sharing some tips with you as well.
10 tips to wash a car:
- Tools of the trade
The most important thing while washing a car is to have right cleaning tools. These tools include hose, variable nozzle, a soft sponge or a wash mitt, car cleaner or liquid, microfiber towels or soft cloths and a large microfiber towel for drying purposes.
Do not use hand soap or dishwashing liquid as they are not good for car’s surface. You must have a car cleaner or any detergent that is specifically designed for this purpose. They help to provide ample lubrication and they do not remove existing wax.
- Always keep two buckets:
The biggest mistake people do is that they only have one bucket with them. They rinse their dirty sponge again in clean water. By doing this, dust does not remove because by rinsing dirty sponge in clean water, you unknowingly spread the same filth on the car’s surface again. So to avoid this blunder, always have two buckets, use one bucket for clean, sudsy water and use another bucket to rinse the grimy sponge thoroughly. After rinsing your sponge thoroughly, again dip it in soapy water and continue.
- Always use microfiber towels:
Do not use household towels because they are made up of cotton and polyester and it is not good for your car’s paint. Always use a microfiber towel as they are more soft and absorbent and they protect your finish as well.
- Location or parking of your car:
Do not wash your car on a warm, sunny day. Due to excessive warmth and sunny weather, you will dry it too quickly and there will be spots everywhere on the car’s surface. It is better to park to park your car under the shade of any tree to avoid direct sunlight. You can also park it in your shady garage but make sure that wherever you are parking it, you have enough room to open your doors as well.
- Clean the wheels:
While washing your car, always remember one thing; always begin by washing your wheels first because they are the dirtiest part of the car. You can use soapy water with a good scrubbing to wash your wheels. If they are still dirt and if you can afford, buy wheel cleaning products and then wash them. Non-corrosive wheel cleaners are best for every type of wheel. While scrubbing the outside tire, also wash around the wheel nuts.
- Remove loose dirt from the entire vehicle:
After washing your wheels, it is time to start washing your car’s exterior. Before starting proper washing, hose off your entire vehicle in order to remove any loose dirt from the surface. It is very important because dirt can cause scratches while scrubbing on the surface if not removed well. Make sure you have cleaned all the dirt, bird droppings and dead insects as they are very harmful for your car’s paint.
- Wash from top to bottom:
Wash your car section by section. Make sure that you have cleaned one section and then move to the next one. Do not jump on the next section without completing the previous one as it can cause a mess.
Always move from top to bottom. Wash the roof first then wash windows. After windows, wash the bonnet and upper panels, then middle of the door then the boot, then wash the front bumper, lower panels, and lower part of the door and then wash the back bumper. Use a separate bucket for each section separately.
- Cleaning windows and glass:
Clean mirrors, windscreen and windows ensure your safety as well as they also please aesthetically. Standard glass and tinted glass require washing in a different way. Cleaning untinted glass is somehow easier than the others. Take a microfiber towel and spray some amount of window cleaner on it. Then scrub the towel on the glass in order to get a clean and shiny glass. Do not spray window cleaner directly onto the glass as its dipping might affect other surfaces.
- Cleaning the interior:
Cleaning a car’s interior is as necessary as cleaning the car’s exterior. In order to clean your car’s interior; first remove all the items whether they are important or unnecessary from inside of the car. Now vacuum your carpets, floor mats and underneath the seats. With the help of detailing brushes, clean your air vents, pedals and dashboard. You can use soapy water liquid as well to remove any grime or stains from any surface.
- Keep your car clean:
Now you have cleaned your entire car and make sure that you are keeping it clean for some days. In order to keep it clean, try to avoid your parking under trees or any surface where you find birds because bird droppings are not easy to remove and it is a time consuming process. In order to keep the interior of your car clean, avoid messy food and drinks and while entering the car, remove loose dirt from your shoes. One important thing is to wash your car more frequently, wash it once in a week or once in a fortnight. If you drive it at a dirty place, then you must wash it once in a week.
How to wash a car by hand:
Materials that you require:
- A bucket
- A sponge
- Car wash detergents
- Wash mitts
- Microfiber towels
- Soft cloth
Prepare your car to wash
- Park a car under a shade:
Before washing your car, make sure that you have parked it under a shade. You can use any tree for a shade or you can park it in your garage. If you park it in direct sunlight, it will dry your surface and it will in turn produce stains on the surface. Second disadvantage of washing a car in sunlight is that it will evaporate water more quickly and your washing process can become more difficult. Make sure that you have closed all the windows and closed the antenna. In this way you will prevent water from entering into the car while washing.
- Set all the materials near you:
Arrange all the material that you require to wash a car. Set each and every product such as water bucket, sponge, wash mitts, car cleaners, microfiber towels and all the things that you require. Wear appropriate clothes while washing such as shoes, shorts and rubber sandals.
- Fill bucket with water:
Now take a bucket and fill it with water to begin the washing process. Then add a sufficient amount of car wash soap in it. If your car is very dirty or if you want to wash your wheels in a much better way, take a separate bucket and fill it with water and car wash soap. It will act as a washing bucket.
- Fill another bucket with plain water:
You also need to have a rinsing bucket as well. For this purpose, take another bucket and fill it with clean water. There is only a need for only one rinsing bucket.
Washing your car
- Hose off your car to remove loose dirt:
Hose your car off in order to remove any loose dirt for the car’s surface. If not removed well, it will cause scratches when you will rub the surface. Hose off your car from top to down otherwise you can make your water enter into the car.
- Wash your wheels:
Since the wheels of your cars are the dirtiest part of your car so you have to wash them first. In this way you can prevent the dirt from landing on the already cleaned part of the car. You can use wheel brushes to clean the openings of the wheels.
- Wash your car:
Take a sponge or a car wash mitt and soak it into the soapy water. Scrub that wash mitt on the car’s surface to clean the dirt. Do not use brushes on the car’s surface as they can cause scratches on the surface.
- Wash car section by section:
Wash your car section by section and in a downward direction. It will allow the soap to dip in a downward direction and you can wash it later. Scrub in a circular motion in each section. If you have dirt on the surface, do not scrub as it will cause scratches on the surface.
- Clean bird droppings and buds:
Removing bird droppings and buds from the car’s surface is very harmful for your paint and removing them is a challenging process. Scrub a damp rag over them in order to remove them from the surface. You should take extra care while removing them. You can also remove them by soaking a sponge in warm water. Do not use a hard brush to remove bugs as it will damage the finish.
- Keep wash mitt clean:
One important thing while washing a car is to keep your wash mitt cleans by rinsing it with clean or plain water. Use a rinse bucket for this purpose. When you note that water in the rinsing bucket has become gritty, throw away that water and re-fill the bucket with clean water again.
- Rinse each section after washing:
When you clean one section of the car, rinse it well before moving on to the next one. You can rinse it with a hose. Do not let the car surface dry in any way. While rinsing your car, also move from top to bottom.
- Keep entire surface wet:
While moving from one section to another, keep the entire car wet by using a hose. It will prevent water droplets from drying out and from causing stains on the surface. So it is important to keep the entire surface wet.
- Separate sponge for lower body:
It is a good idea to have a separate wash mitt or sponge for the lower part of the car as those areas are dirtier and grittier. It is also recommended to scrub that part at the last. Your sponge will get very gritty and dirty after scrubbing that area.
- Clean the tire sidewalls:
Sometimes your wheels are so dirty and grimy that it is very hard to wash them. As they have a direct contact with road, mud, dirt and grime, you may not be able to clean them with a sponge or a wash mitt. If you face this situation, you will need wheel brushes with stiff bristles in order to clean them in a good way. You can also use wheel cleaners for this purpose if you can afford them. Buy them from any automotive shop and scrub them on the surface of the wheels in order to remove dirt.
- Spray hose at the bottom of the car:
After washing the entire body of the car, rinse the bottom of your car as well. For this purpose, use the spray from the hose. It is important for your car as it prevents any damage and corrodes of your vehicle if exposed to any salt.
Drying and waxing the car:
- Use fresh towels:
It is time to wipe down all the surfaces you have washed away with microfiber towels. Do not leave a single drop on the surface as it can corrode the surface. It can also tannish your paint and affect the finish. You can also use soft cloth for this purpose but microfiber towels are best to dry out any surface. When you finish, toss these towels in a washing machine but do not use fabric softener on them.
- Wax the car:
It is important to wax your vehicle more than once. You must dry all the surfaces before applying wax on them. After washing your car, if you see water droplets in the form of beads on the car’s surface, it is a sign to wax your car. Wax helps to protect your car’s paint from the direct sunlight so that it cannot fade or deteriorate. You can also use any polymer product as an alternative to wax. Both of them can be purchased by an automotive store.
- Rust and paint damage:
Buy a rust converter and apply it on the surface to avoid any rust or any damage on the paint. You can also seal small scratches and scrapes on the paint and any rust spot. Allow some time for the rust converter to dry and cure the surface and do not apply wax on fresh paint finish.
- Water repellent treatment to windows:
In order to dry window glass well and to repel water in order to improve visibility, apply RainX treatment on the windows. It is recommended to apply it once in a month or whenever there is a need. It is better to clean windows with a window cleaner than the car wash cleaner and it is better to clean windows both from inside and outside.