Car cleaning made easy: Tips and tricks for a quicker and better wash
We understand that your car is your pride and joy. It’s 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?
The basics and essentials for car cleaning
Before you get ahead of yourself and start washing the car, 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 that safe for cars or a garden hose
- Two buckets
- A wash mitt/sponge
- Car shampoo
- A microfiber drying towel
All you need is a little bit of equipment to provide your car with a quick but effective cleaning. We love how much you can save doing it yourself compared with using an expensive valet service!
Let’s start with the pre-rinse
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 or sponge. Bits of dirt run the risk of damaging paintwork during the second stage of the cleaning. Pre-rinsing is best done with a powerful hose that’s safe for cars. If you’re at a gas station, then their pressure washers are perfect for this. A semi-powerful garden hose can also do the job well. Rinse from top to bottom and 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 this first step, the less scrubbing you’ll have to do later. And who doesn’t have fun using a pressure washer anyway!
Now it’s time to find out how to wash your car
Once the car has been thoroughly rinsed from bumper to bumper, it’s ready to be washed. Knowing exactly how to clean a car is key at this stage, but how much effort you need to put in 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 faster wash. Set aside around 45 minutes which is usually enough time to get the majority of the dirt off. Fill one of your two buckets with hot water and car shampoo, and top off the other bucket with fresh hot water. Dip your wash mitt or sponge in the hot water and car shampoo bucket. Then, make gentle sideways motions over the entire vehicle and rinse off the wash mitt in the fresh water. Some annoying stains might need a few rinses and scrubs to be taken out, but a little elbow grease should get the job done.
There are a couple things 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 help to keep 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.
Rinse down, drying and final touches
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. The car’s looking great, and you’re almost done, we promise! However, drying the car yourself as opposed to leaving it to air dry is an important stage in the car cleaning process. Air-drying leaves streaking and watermarks that undermine all of your hard work. This is where your microfiber cloth comes into play. A gentle sideways motion across the whole car does the trick perfectly. We’re sure that you’ll love the end result and with the whole job taking less than an hour, we highly recommend this as the best way to wash a car!