I don’t about you, but I care about my car far too much to take it through a machine wash. Not only will you save time and money by washing your car at home, but it just gives you a sense of satisfaction when you see it all shiny and clean afterwards. Here are some tips on how to wash your car at home the right way:
Before getting started, inspect your car for any tar, bugs or overspray. You can find tar and bug removers at most auto parts store, or you can seek out an overspray removal specialist if it is really bad. You also want to avoid washing your car in direct sunlight, as the sun will cause the soap to dry up too fast, leaving behind water spots and streaks.
If you’ve got a garage, wash your car there. Otherwise, find a shady spot to wash your car in, or wait till near the end of the day when the sun isn’t as bright, making sure to keep the car wet at all times until you’re finally ready to dry it completely.
Make sure you’re using a quality car wash soap. I have been using Meguiars Car Wash for years now, and it foams away tough dirt, road grime and contaminants without compromising wax protection. You’ll also want some premium microfiber sponges, along with two buckets – one filled with plain water, the other with soapy water.
So now you’re ready to get started. Just make sure that the doors are shut, all windows closed, and double-check your sunroof if you’ve got one. Because the last thing you want to see when you open your car afterwards are puddles of water inside.
Before washing the car, rinse off the entire car to remove any loose dirt and debris before you apply any soap, so you’re not rubbing dirt into the paint. And remember, keep the body wet from here on out, and avoid spraying water under the hood.
Once your car has been completely rinsed off, soak your sponge in the soapy bucket, and start washing from the top of your vehicle, working your way down. You’ll want to soap up the car with the straight line technique for the best results. Don’t use circular motions because they will cause swirl marks. Also, don’t apply pressure while wiping the car.
When you are completely done washing the car, start rinsing off the soap from the top of the car down. Afterwards, dry off the car, using multiple towels for maximum efficiency. If it has been awhile since you last waxed/polished your car, now might be a good time to do so.
But if water is still beading up on the paint and the car is looking nice and shiny, call it a day and congratulate yourself on a job well done.