How to Clean Your Car Like A Pro
Published 28 February 2023
Are you tired of cleaning your car and not getting the desired results? Learning how to clean your car like a pro is not as difficult as it may seem. With the right tools, techniques, and products, you can get your car looking and smelling like new in no time. In this blog post, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about car cleaning, so you can get your vehicle shining like a diamond.
Car Cleaning Kit and Products
- 2 buckets
- Wash mitt
- Pre-wash cleaning solution
- Microfiber cloths
- Car shampoo
- Hose or pressure washer
- Glass cleaner
- Clay bar
- Clay bar lubricant
- All-in-one polish and wax (or separate polish and wax)
The pre-wash process is an essential part of car cleaning as it helps remove dirt, debris, and other grime from your vehicle before the main wash.
To start, you should give the car a thorough rinse with a hose to remove dirt, dust, and loose particles.
You can use a pressure washer, but be sure to stay at least 18 inches away from the car’s surface to prevent damaging the paint.
Once the car is rinsed, you can then use a pre-wash cleaning solution to loosen stubborn dirt and debris. Make sure to thoroughly spray down the car and then allow the pre-wash solution to sit for a few minutes before wiping it down with a soft microfiber cloth. Once the pre-wash solution has been wiped away, the car should be ready for the main wash.
Fill two buckets with water, and add car shampoo to one.
Dip the wash mitt into the bucket with car shampoo and begin to gently clean the car with a sideways motion, starting with the roof. Stubborn marks may need repeated washes.
Be sure to rinse the wash mitt in the bucket of clean water before returning to the bucket of car shampoo.
If your car has contaminants on the paintwork that usual washing will not remove, you will need to use a clay bar. (If you are just doing a quick wash you can skip to the next section: Rinse and Dry)
A clay bar treatment should be done at least once a year and is an important part of cleaning your car like a pro. A clay bar is a putty-like substance designed to strip any contaminates from the top of the paint, that a regular car wash won’t remove
You’ll need a fine or medium clay bar, a bottle of clay bar lubricant, a bucket of water containing car shampoo, and a wash mitt.
To use the clay bar, knead it into a biscuit shape. Dunk the clay bar into the bucket of water and then use the wash mitt to squeeze some water on the panel about to be cleaned.
Spray the lubricant onto a small surface area and glide the clay bar over the paint in a sideways motion. When the clay bar becomes dirty, fold it in half and knead it back into shape.
When the paintwork is free of contaminates, the clay bar will move easily over the surface.
Cleaning The Wheels
Wheels can be one of the most difficult parts of a car to clean, especially when they have become caked with brake dust or road salt. To get them looking like new, it’s essential to use a specialist wheel cleaner. You should check the label to make sure you are using the right formula for your wheel type.
To begin, spray the wheel cleaner liberally onto the wheel and allow it to sit for a few minutes. This will loosen any stubborn dirt.
Then, use a mitt or soft brush to agitate the dirt and give the wheel a good scrub. Finally, rinse off with a pressure washer or garden hose.
You may also wish to use tyre foam to give it a perfect finish. Simply spray on and the foam does the rest.
Rinse And Dry
Now that you’ve finished washing your car, it’s time to rinse it off and dry it. Start at the top of the car and work your way down to the bottom, using a pressure washer or hose. Make sure you rinse off all car cleaning products and residue.
Once the car is rinsed, use a microfibre drying cloth to dry it off. Begin by gently patting or using a side-to-side motion to absorb any remaining moisture. This should be done with care to avoid leaving streaks or marks on the paint.
Clean the Glass
The glass is one of the most visible parts of your car and with it being the second largest surface area after the paintwork, it’s important to give it a thorough clean.
It’s best to use specialised car cleaning products for this task, as these will be specifically designed for cleaning glass and ensure a streak-free finish.
Start by applying specialist car glass cleaner to half of the windscreen and wiping away using a microfibre cloth in circular motions, overlapping and changing direction. Once you’ve completed the first half, then do the same for the second half, up to the window rubbers.
Take time to also clean the side and rear windows too, using the same techniques, for a streak-free finish.
Polish and Wax
Using an ‘all in one’ polish can provide around one month’s protection, by removing oxidation, scratches and dirt from the surface of your car, while also adding a protective layer of wax.
If you’re after something with more longevity, grab a specialist polish and separate wax.
To apply the polish, use a microfibre cloth and work in sections, moving the cloth in straight lines. Once applied, remove using a separate microfibre cloth.
If you have time and the will, it is recommended to add a second layer of protection using a paint sealant or carnauba wax after polishing.Back to all help and advice articles