How to clean your car properly is actually not as straight forward as one would think. There are many considerations that have to be made in order to remove all of the dirt on the car thoroughly but to also not induce further damage to the paint. The reality of it all is regardless of how careful you are in washing your car, over time you will induce scratching. This guide will help with minimizing scratching and also teach you the best method that I use for all my vehicles to ensure they look as good as possible between polishing and correction details.
The first step with any car wash is to gather up your supplies and tools that you will be using. Over the years, I have fine tuned my arsenal of supplies and through testing, determined what works best for me. We all have personal preferences with everything we do but I will say that the products listed below work well together to complete the job:
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Washer – https://goo.gl/j773TB
Grit Guard Inserts – https://goo.gl/7Cfaw3
Chemical Guys Foam Cannon – https://goo.gl/KimoZj
Chemical Guys Microfiber Wash Mitt – https://goo.gl/GQPHfG
The Guzzler Microfiber Drying Towels – https://goo.gl/9br7tT
Once all of your supplies are collected, it’s time to begin the wash. First wet the car with your pressure washer or hose. This will allow the largest of dirt, salt, bug juices or other debris to moisten and make easier to remove in the next steps. Now for my favorite step in the whole process (see awesome photo below), the FOAM CANNON! Feel free to use the one linked or a similar recommended brand as all are not created equal. Grab your foam cannon specific soap, add the recommended amount, fill with water and give a good shake! Once attached to your pressure washer, start at the top of the vehicle and work your wash down the car until covered completely with a thick layer of soapy foamy goodness. You will see this heavy layer fall down your car and in doing so pull surface particles with it and lessen the cleaning needed in a later step.
I probably spend more time on this step just because of how much fun it is to use a foam cannon. Busting out my IPhone to capture slow-mo shots at every angle is a good time no matter what the temperature is out!
Now, the next step is typically the starting point for most which is grabbing your bucket and wash mitt to begin your wash. The best way to ensure your paint stays in the best condition possible is to use the two bucket method with grit guards at the bottom of each bucket. One bucket with clean water and the other with your sudsy soapy solution. I recommend this method because every time you take your soapy wash mitt and wash a panel on your car, you are collecting dirt onto your wash mitt. By rinsing out your mitt in the clean water bucket, you keep the soapy water bucket clean of dirt. Also, between rinsing, the dirt will settle at the bottom and the grit guard will keep it off your mitt and from scratching your paint.
Key thing to remember as you wash your car is to start at the top and use one side of the mitt on each panel. As you get closer to the ground, rear bumper and bottom of the doors you will have more dirt and need more attention when washing and also rinsing of your mitt. Work your way around the car and when you get to your wheels/tires, I highly recommend picking up another car detailing tool since brake dust and dirt is always highest on your rims.
Once all surfaces have been scrubbed, use a hose (starting on the roof) to sheet the water and soap off the car. By using a higher volume of water a hose without nozzle provides, it allows more water to pull off the car and minimize drying needed especially if your car is coated with a beading top coat (wax, sealant, etc).
Now at this point you are on the home stretch. I am partial to the towels I listed above which The Guzzler microfiber towel is massive and 2 towels will easily dry your standard sedan and then some! Highly recommend them to make your cleaning up after easier as well. Once again, start at the top of your car and work your way down as your dry. Pay particular attention to the areas where water will collect like your mirrors, door trim, and panel seams because you’ll dry it once and come back later and find a water mark down a panel that needs dried again. A leaf blower dedicated or air compressor is ideal in this situation to help with removing it the first time and drying once after.
If you want to take it to another level the next areas mentioned will take your cleaning regimen to another level in terms of your satisfaction or if this is for your detailing business. Open the trunk, all doors, gas cap door, and hood of the car and go around each location and wipe all surfaces that are dirty, wet or exposed to the conditions. You have to look at this way, you fill up 1, 2, maybe 3 times a week and over time the gas cap area will get dirty and grimy if you don’t keep it clean. Instead now, every time you fill up the area looks just as good as the outside of the car and you don’t risk getting dirt in the fuel tank. This goes for the other areas mentioned (door sills and door frames!!!).
Check out the video below to watch the entire process described above for more details on the process and SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube Channel for more detailing videos!
My Other Auto Detailing and How To Videos:
HOW TO Deep CLEAN Cloth Car Seats – Car Interior Detailing – https://youtu.be/ktKkV4HsFEM
How To CLEAN & RESTORE Headlights Like A Pro! – Car Detailing – https://youtu.be/-Ulqr9Tw9fA
How To Clean Car Interior Detailing – The Mini Van… – https://youtu.be/0oOcLatly9c
How To Clean Car Interior Like A Pro – https://youtu.be/o19fle7LCpk
How To RESTORE Plastic Trim – https://youtu.be/OXiKDzOroms