There’s nothing quite like the look of a freshly washed car, but the cost of getting it done professionally on a regular basis can add up quickly. Thankfully, this is one job that you don’t need the professionals for, especially if you’ve got the right tools. Here are some tips and tricks to help you wash your car at home in the absolute best way.
Step one is to wash your car to get rid of all the dirt and grime and clear away any old wax that might be causing your clear coat to appear cloudy. Your first step is to collect your tools. You’ll need:
- A hose or other water source
- Car wash soap. Don’t use soap that is designed for other uses. Dish soap, for instance, contains abrasives for removing grease and food and can leave little scratches in your clear coat.
- A sponge
- Some elbow grease.
Washing your car is pretty straightforward. If you’ve got some sticky stuff on your car, like tree sap or bumper sticker residue, break out some nail polish remover, mineral oil or WD-40 along with some more elbow grease. Keep in mind that these sticky substances can damage the wax protecting your clear coat, so if you need to clean this sort of stuff off your car, apply a new coat of wax after you wash.
Letting the sun do all the work in drying your car might seem like a good idea, but it could leave you with some unsightly water spots.
To dry your car, break out some microfiber towels and buff the water off the surface of your vehicle before it has a chance to dry. Microfiber cloths won’t leave scratch marks on your paint and will wick away the water to make your job a little bit easier.
Once the car is dry, your next step is to wax your car. Make sure you’re in the shade when you’re waxing your car – most car waxes will cloud up if you try to wax in the sun. If you don’t have shade available, opt for a wax that is safe to use in the sun.
Put an even coat of wax on over your car’s clear coat. You might want to do this by hand, but you can break out the power tools if you want an especially even shine, which brings us to our last step.
Electric polishers are a great way to get the perfect shine on your car without breaking your back or giving yourself tennis elbow. Start slow and make sure you use a clean polishing cloth every time. Just one grain of sand on an old, used cleaning cloth can wreak serious havoc on your clear coat at 5,000 RPMs.
Leaving dirt on your car doesn’t just look bad — over time it can damage your clear coat and the paint beneath. Take the time to pamper your car a couple of times a month, and it will look good and serve you well for years to come.