Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Learn how to wash your car at home and save that money. By using some everyday items and a little common sense, you can clean your car better than your local body shop ever could.
Wash Your Car at Home and Save Money
We all know that washing your car at home is less expensive than taking your car to your favorite local car wash. In fact, you can spend as much as $30 for an exterior car wash (average nationwide).
Did you know that drive-through exterior car wash brushes can actually damage your car’s paint? It’s true! The brushes used could be too firm and possibly contain debris that could damage your car’s exterior. They see hundreds of cars daily.
For a scratch-free cleaning experience, that saves money, it is time to do it yourself.
By purchasing all the items needed, you will pay an upfront cost and continue to use those same items wash after wash.
What you will need to give your car the proper clean will include the following items;
- Water Hose
- Car Wash Sponge or Mitt
- Car Wash Liquid
- Wheel Cleaner
- Wheel Brush
- Interior Cleaner
- Vacuum (Shop-Vac or household vacuum will work!)
- Microfiber Cloths (my favorite – and they are cheap.)
While taking your car to a professional car wash is always an option, it can be quite costly, follow these tips to do it at home.
How to Wash Your Car Like a Professional
A good, thorough car wash involves more than simply running your car through a machine. And really every time you go, you get a semi-good wash and a thinner wallet.
That is just not good enough!!
A good car wash will keep your vehicle looking crisp and shiny.
Do it yourself (or have your kids do it)
So, let’s start with the basics.
Take care of the car’s interior first
In order, to give your car the best deep clean you will have to remove all clutter first. Grab a trash bag and start throwing out unwanted items. Like those Tackle the car’s interior first and crumpled up receipts.
Now is also a great time to bring those items back into the house that has ended up in your car. Set aside those important items that need to return.
Now you are ready to Clean the Soft Surfaces
Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum the floor mats, remove them, and set them aside. Vacuum the ceiling of your car the seats, under the seats, then the rest of the floor. Be sure to move the seats forward and back as far as they’ll go, so you’re cleaning as much of the floor as possible.
Moving on to all the Hard Surfaces
Time to use the brush attachment and start cleaning the interior of your car by vacuuming the dashboard, the console, the inside of all cup holders, and all other surfaces where debris collects.
After everything has been vacuumed, pull out your handy bucket. Fill it with a drop or two of dish soap and warm water. Using a microfiber cloth wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, console, door panels, door handles, and other non-glass surfaces.
Polish leather and all vinyl surface
Using your favorite polishing spray wipe down our car’s vinyl or leather surfaces. Try to keep the overspray from reaching on anything chrome. Don’t worry about the inside of the windows they will get cleaned later on.
Now you are ready for the outside.
Wash the car’s exterior
If your car has bird droppings, dead bugs, sap, or other hard-to-clean stains on the paintwork, apply car wash soap directly to these stains before giving it a full wash.
You’ll need to use a car detailing soap and have at least two buckets on hand – simply use one bucket for soapy water and the other to wring or rinse your microfiber towel out.
Don’t use dish soap. It is hard on the rubber components of your car, plus it can remove your car’s wax coat.
Another effective option is to use a hose to spray soap all over the car and then leave it to dry.
Here is the most important hack to a streak freak wash – make sure to keep your car in the shade while washing. If your car dries faster than you can dry it you will end up with watermarks.
Pay attention to your tires
Washing the tires is the last step towards completing the ideal car wash. Begin by squirting grease remover on the rims and wheels. Let sit according to the manufacturer’s instructions and then rinse off.
Cleaning the windows efficiently
I prefer washing the windows as my very last step. Spraying window cleaner on the window is the first step to leaving them sparkling with no smudges or streaks.
Then use newspaper and rub in a circular motion to loosen the dirt. After that, you have to wipe horizontally and then vertically to make sure there are no streaks and the entire liquid cleaner is absorbed.
Clean both the inside and outside of windows.
By now, your car should be looking clean and ready to go! If it needs a full-on wax job, you can do a more intensive cleaning, detailing, and waxing. If you have any helpful tips or car-washing hacks leave us a comment below.
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David @ Spicedblog says
What a great idea for Father’s Day! Your kids look like they had a blast washing the car. Oh, and that’s a great tip about using newspapers on car windows, too. Thanks for sharing! #client