Keep your car looking like new!A guide to thoroughly cleaning your car
Intro There’s nothing more embarrassing than being the owner of a mucky car. Whether it’s covered in dust, dirt, grit, or whatever - it has to be sorted out. While it can seem like a daunting task, this guide aims to help you on your way back to having auto respectability! Image by openpad on Flickr
Where do I start!? If you’ve never washed your car beforehand, you’re obviously going to be a little stuck. Of course, everyone has to learn, but sometimes people can be a bit shy when asking about the topic, simply because it’s seen as being rudimentary. To start, park your car away from direct sunlight. While washing your car on a sunny day is always pretty ideal, direct sunlight can lead to premature drying – leaving splotches on your car paint. Not so ideal!
Gather everything you’ll need. “But what will I need!?” I hear you ask. That’s easy, you’ll need… A bucket of water (mixed with some car wash soap) A bucket of plain water A hose A large sponge A wheel brush A plastic brush Towels
First step. Got all that? Great. It’s time to move on to the first step. The good news is that it’s an easy one – simply hose the car down using a low to medium powered jet. This’ll loosen off the dirt attached to the vehicle. Be careful not to use a strong jet though – this can lead to the paint becoming scratched. A sure fire sign that the car was washed by a rookie!
On to the sponge… The next step requires a little more in the way of physical exertion I’m afraid, but it’s a necessary one! Get the large sponge that you got earlier, then soak it in the bucket of soapy water. From there, apply it all over the car. It’s best to do this in sections, for instance, do the bonnet first, then the roof of the car, etc etc. Make sure you’re using a soft sponge and not a brush here though, a brush can leave some pretty nasty looking scratches, and can even facilitate the need for cracked windshield repair in extreme circumstances. Also, stop to rinse the dirt off of the sponge pretty frequently. If you’re using a dirty sponge it’ll defeat the purpose somewhat.
Repeat and rinse! As mentioned before, it’s best to wash with the sponge in sections. This’ll stop the soap drying on the paint. When you’ve washed one section, hose it down, just like you did before you started washing the car.
Lower body and wheels. It’s best to wash these parts last, simply because they’re usually the dirtiest. Wash the lower body of the car just like you did the rest of your car, although many people choose to use a separate sponge on this part of their car – you really would be surprised how dirty the lower part of your vehicle is likely to be! It’s better to use a specialist wheel brush to clean the spokes etc around the wheels rather than a sponge, then hose them off as you have every other part so far. If you wish to clean the tires themselves, then do so with a plastic brush.
The spray nozzle. From here, you want to use the spray nozzle on the bottom of the car, just to rinse off any excess dirt that’s still there. Be sure only to use this on the bottom of your car though, doing it elsewhere is liable to damage the paintwork.
Final steps… After that, all you have to do is dry the car off with some towels, and voila! Job done. All being well, you can now relax, safe in your knowledge that your car is looking its best! There, much better, right?