How to Wash a Car Properly Inside and Out
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A clean car not only looks good but also helps maintain its value and longevity. Regular washing removes dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can cause scratches, rust, and other damage. But, knowing how to wash a car properly is essential to prevent any damage and keep it looking new. In this blog, we’ll cover the tools and materials you’ll need, what needs cleaning in a car, and detailed instructions for cleaning both the exterior and interior of your vehicle like a pro.
- A bucket
- A pressure washer
- Car drying microfiber towel or chamois
- A wash mitt
- Wheel brushes
- Detailing brushes
- General microfiber towels
- Vacuum cleaner (often called a “shopvac”)
Cleaning Solutions Required:
What Needs Cleaning In a Car?
Before washing your car, it’s important to know what needs cleaning. The exterior of your car needs a thorough cleaning, including the paint, wheels, tires, and windows. The interior of your car also needs attention, including the dashboard, seats, carpets, and floor mats. Here are some car cleaning hacks that you can look into to help you with general upkeep of your car after you have followed the cleaning process below.
Steps for Washing the Exterior:
Step 1: Rinse the car with a hose to remove any loose dirt and debris. This step helps remove dirt and grime that can scratch the paint if you start washing with a wash mitt or sponge.
Step 2: Fill a bucket with water and add the car soap as per the instructions on the label. A high-quality car soap is essential for removing dirt and grime without stripping the wax or sealant.
Step 3: Using a wash mitt or sponge, apply the soapy water to the car in sections, starting from the top and working your way down. Rinse the mitt or sponge frequently to remove any dirt and grime that accumulates. There are two detailing methods that you can implement in order to keep your mitts clean: The first is that you can use a “grit guard” (tutorial here) at the bottom of your bucket. The second is to use the “2-bucket method” (tutorial here).
Step 4: Use a wheel brush to clean the wheels and tires. Apply the wheel cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the wheels and tires with the brush. Rinse the wheels and tires thoroughly with a hose.
Step 5: Use a detailing brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas like air vents, gaps between the seats, and other small crevices.
Step 6: Rinse the car thoroughly with a hose, making sure to remove all the soap suds.
Step 7: Use a microfiber towel or chamois to dry the car. Start at the top and work your way down, making sure to dry all the nooks and crannies.
Step 8: Apply wax or sealant to protect the paint and keep it looking new. Follow this blog to know more about car wax and its use.
Steps for Cleaning the Interior:
Step 1: Remove all the trash, loose items, and clutter from the interior of your car.
Step 2: Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris from the seats, carpets, and floor mats. Use a brush attachment to clean areas that are hard to reach.
Step 3: Clean the dashboard, center console, and door panels with an interior cleaner. Use a microfiber towel or detailing brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas.
Step 4: Clean the seats and carpets with an upholstery cleaner. Follow the instructions on the label and make sure to remove any excess cleaner.
Step 5: Clean the windows and mirrors with a glass cleaner. Use a microfiber towel to wipe them all clean. Visit here for more car interior cleaning tips.
Some Tips for Cleaning Specific Areas
Keeping your car clean and tidy is important not only for the aesthetics, but also for your health and safety. In addition to the general tips we provided you with so far, let’s focus on specific areas of both the inside and the outside of your car:
Use a high-quality car wash soap that’s formulated to clean without damaging the paint. Avoid using dish soap or household cleaners, as they can strip away protective wax and damage the paint. Use a soft wash mitt or sponge to gently wash the car in sections, starting from the top and working your way down. Rinse each section thoroughly before moving on to the next one.
Wheels and tires:
Use a wheel cleaner that’s safe for your particular type of wheels (e.g. chrome, aluminum, painted) and a stiff-bristled wheel brush to remove brake dust and grime. Rinse thoroughly with a hose.
Use a glass cleaner and a microfiber towel to clean the windows, both inside and out. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners, which can damage tinted windows. Here are some of the best glass cleaners for windows and windshields.
Use an interior cleaner that’s safe for the material of your dashboard (e.g. vinyl, leather, plastic) and a microfiber towel or soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and dust. Avoid using harsh cleaners that can damage the material or leave a greasy residue.
Use an upholstery cleaner that’s safe for the type of material (e.g. cloth, leather) and follow the instructions on the label. In case you have leather seats, here is a helpful guide on cleaning leather seats that goes into more detail for this particular type of material.
Carpets and floor mats:
Use a carpet cleaner that’s safe for your type of carpet (e.g. synthetic, wool) and a stiff-bristled brush to remove dirt and stains. Allow the cleaner to sit for a few minutes before blotting with a clean towel. Avoid using too much water, as it can soak into the fabric and create mold or mildew. If you get mold, here’s how you can get mold out of your car.
Knowing how to wash a car properly is essential to keep it looking new and maintain its value. Use high-quality tools and materials and follow the steps outlined above to clean both the exterior and interior of your car like a pro. By doing so, you’ll not only keep your car looking great, but you’ll also help prevent damage and maintain its longevity.
If you’re someone who probably likes to get their car cleaned and detailed by professionals, you can go and visit expert cleaners and detailers to wash your car properly. You can also opt for mobile auto detailing services such as Big’s Mobile Detailing, where you can get your car washed at your place without having to travel anywhere.
At Big’s, we use high-quality products and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions to ensure your car is not only clean but also protected from future damage. Since we are mobile, we come to you and make it very convenient and stress-free for you. So, if you ever need a professional touch, you can send us an email or simply schedule an online appointment. We will get your car cleaned at your doorstep and make it look brand new.
These blogs are meant purely for education and demonstration purposes. It contains only general information and may not account for specific issues related to your particular vehicle or situation. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Read full disclaimer.
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