There’s a Chevy under that dirt! | Car Wash Tips

Car Wash Tips


I check the ambient temperature and the direction of the sun.  No, I’m not going out sailing. I’m about to wash my car!  As I said before I prefer to wash my car by hand when the conditions are right.  I swear there is a red Chevy under that dirt.

Here are my tips for a basic car wash.

First you need the right materials.  You will need car wash soap, window cleaner, paper towels, tire dressing, a bucket or two, a large wash mitt, sponge, lots of towels and a chamois. Don’t forget the hose and a good sprayer nozzle.

Fill one bucket with water and add car wash soap as directed.  I prefer a two bucket method so fill the second with clear water.  If you have a screen that will fit, place that at the bottom of the bucket. This second bucket is to rinse the dirt particles from the wash mitt. The screen can be used to brush the grit out.

Park the car out of direct sunlight to prevent premature drying and spotting the paint.
Hose off the car to loosen the dirt before you start washing.  I work in small sections starting at the top and working down.  Try to keep the dirtier parts of the vehicle damp throughout the process. Don’t forget to rinse off the soap before moving onto the next section.

Apply the soapy wash mitt to the car.  To avoid scratching and swirling don’t use a brush for this and work the mitt in straight lines. I find that the inevitable fine straight scratches are less noticeable than circular ones. Don’t forget to rinse off the soap before moving onto the next section.

Next I move onto the wheels and tires, always keeping the car damp to avoid water spots. I use the sponge for the wheels and the brush for the tires.

Finally, dry the vehicle with fresh towels or a chamois.  I was once addicted to a natural chamois for this job but I’m now a big fan of microfiber ones, especially the waffle weave variety.  Once again start at the top and work down.  Microfiber is also great for windows.  You might even get away with not using window cleaner!

Oh and one more thing.  A special trick is to take the nozzle off the hose and give the car a final rinse before drying.  The water will sheet off the car leaving less water marks!