We understand that your car is your pride and joy. A beloved member of the family that acts as the gateway to new adventures and possibilities. Keeping it sparkling is an important job, but with so many different products and techniques out there, what’s the best way to wash a car?
Before getting stuck into the washing, it’s important to have all the right equipment at the ready. These may vary slightly depending on how dirty your car is and how much car deep-cleaning you want to do. These basics though, are essential for a successful afternoon in the driveway:
- A pressure washer/garden hose
- Two buckets
- A wash mitt
- Car shampoo
- A microfibre drying towel
All you need is a little bit of equipment to provide your car with a quick but effective clean. We love the saving that this represents, compared with using an expensive valet service!
Hold your horses! I know you’re keen to get the hot soapy water out and start scrubbing but the first stage of car cleaning is the pre-rinse. An important step in the cycle, pre-rinsing helps to remove little bits of dirt that might be picked up by your wash mitt. Bits of dirt run the risk of damaging paintwork during the second stage of the clean. Pre-rinsing is best done with a powerful hose, so if you’re at a service station, then their pressure washers are perfect for this. A semi-powerful garden hose can also do the job well. Rinsing from top to bottom, be careful not to miss those pesky spots of built-up grit in areas like panel gaps and wheel arches. The more dirt you can get rid of during the first step, the less scrubbing you’ll have to do later. And who doesn’t have fun using a pressure washer anyway!
Once the car has been thoroughly rinsed from head to toe, it’s ready to be washed. Knowing exactly how to clean a car is key at this stage, but efforts will vary depending on whether you’re doing a quick clean or a heavier deep-clean of your car. For now, let’s focus on the former. Around 45 minutes is usually enough time to get the majority of the dirt off. Grab your two buckets of water – one for hot water and car shampoo, and the other for fresh hot water. Coat your wash mitt in hot water and car shampoo. A gentle sideways motion is all that’s needed here, but some annoying stains might need a few rinses and scrubs to be beaten. There’s a couple of things that we really want to avoid though. Firstly, watch out for re-contamination. This happens most often when a wash mitt is rinsed in dirty water. Your two-bucket system should stop this from happening. Secondly, and most importantly, be wary not to wash your car in a circular motion. This can cause swirl marks, damaging your pristine paintwork.
For the third and final stage, you’ll be pleased to know that we get to go back and use the fun pressure washer again! Hose your car down from top to bottom, getting rid of all the car shampoo that’s left. You’re almost there now, we promise! However, drying the car yourself, rather than leaving it to air dry, is an important stage in the car cleaning process. Air-drying leaves streaking and watermarks and undoes all of your hard work. This is where your microfibre cloth comes into play. A gentle sideways motion does the trick perfectly. We’re sure that you’ll love the end result and with the whole job only taking an hour, we highly recommend this as the best way to wash a car!