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Quick Guide on How to Wash a Car by Hand

October 2, 2015, 1:47 pm

Clean your car

You should never underestimate the importance of cleaning your car. Not only does this process leave you with a shiny exterior, it can help to protect your vehicle and maintain its value – perfect for if you’re planning to sell your car now or in the future.

If you’re not 100% sure on how to wash a car and you want to do it yourself, then here is a quick guide that will leave you with a professional grade finish:

Step One: Rinse

Before doing anything else, you need to give your car a thorough rinse to remove all the gunk, dirt and grime that has built up. If you have a pressure washer then use it on its lowest setting for this task, as high pressure and contaminants can scratch your vehicle.

Step Two: Prepare Your Materials

You need to have two buckets, one filled halfway with plain water and another filled with warm water and soap mixture. You will also need two wash mitts, one for the wheels and another for the body work – make sure you keep these separate to prevent contamination.

Step Three: Washing Wheels

Start by washing your wheels first, using a really soapy mitt to get into all the crevices of your rims. You may also want to use a wheel brush to help remove stubborn dirt. Make sure that you are regularly rinsing your mitt to prevent spreading grime around. Once the wheels are clean, rinse them off with clean water.

Step Four: Washing Bodywork


Once you’ve finished the wheels, move on to the body work. You want to change mitts and wash your vehicle’s bodywork. Best practice will see you washing your roof first, followed by the front windshield, rear windshield, windows, bonnet, side panels then boot. Make sure that you are thoroughly rinsing your mitt at regular intervals to remove grit and grime from your mitts.

Step Five: Rinse & Dry

After thoroughly washing your car, rinse it off using clean water to prevent the soap from drying to the paintwork. If you are washing your vehicle in the sun then you will also need to towel dry your car using a microfiber cloth as this will prevent streaks and spots from occurring. You can skip the drying step if you’re in the shade and it isn’t too hot.

Step Six: Waxing

Once the car is dry you can begin to apply wax. It is a good idea to start at the front of the car and work your way to the back. Using a clean, damp pad, rub on the wax – use a small 10p sized amount – and apply a thin layer to the entire car, using more wax when necessary. Let the wax sit for a few minutes after application then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away excess wax in circular motions until there’s a smooth finish.

Step Seven: Finished

And you’re done! That’s how to perfectly wash your car to a professional standard in just seven steps. Depending on how dirty your vehicle is, how large it is and how quickly you work this process can take anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours – always leave yourself plenty of time to avoid rushing and having to skip steps or take shortcuts.


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