You should now be ready to wash the car after reading last week’s post on how to prepare for a car wash. Get ready to learn the best ways to maintain your car. The next segment will teach you how to wash and dry your vehicle by hand. It will also dispel some common car wash myths and prepare you for the next week, when we discuss protecting your car finish or your best hand car wash in Gold Coast.
Car Wash Information & Tips
What is included in a car wash?
I’ve worked in the car wash industry for some time and can say that many people mistakenly think “car wash” to be a complete detailing process. It’s obvious that the more you know about car detailing, the less likely it is you will think this. However, for those who are just starting out in the world of car care, it’s important to clarify. The exterior of your car (including the paintwork, lights, mirrors and grille) should be cleaned with a complete hand wash. It’s also recommended to condition the tires with each wash in order to keep them vibrant.
How long should I expect it to take?
You should expect to spend 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the condition of your vehicle) to learn how to wash a car. You’ll find that your car washes will become faster as you become more familiar. It takes between 5-10 minutes per wheel to clean them properly (again depending on their condition). The washing process can take between 15-30 minutes and the drying time is another 10-15.
How often should I wash my car?
It varies from location to weather, but usually every 2 or 3 weeks.
How to wash your car
Step 1: Prepare
Read this article to learn how you can properly arrange your buckets and products. Make sure to stay in the shade, and remove any jewelry like watches or rings.
Step 2: Clean your wheels and tires
Cleaning wheels with a Wheel Brush
If you have just washed the car, it is best to clean the wheels before scrubbing the rims. This will prevent tire sling or overspray.
- Rub your tires in circular motions to remove dirt.
- Use a wheel brush with a flagged tip to remove brake dust and large debris from your rims. Keep all your wheel cleaning equipment in a bucket of water or suds to ensure you can clean the rims thoroughly.
- Use a wheel sponge to clean any tighter spots (between spokes or around lug nuts).
Then, check the wheels again and repeat all necessary steps until they are cleaned. To clean the inside of wheels or behind spokes, you may need to use a Wheel Woolie (or a smaller scrub brush).
- Always rinse your wheel washing bucket completely before using it to wash the wheels. Brake dust can be like a thousand razors, and shouldn’t come into contact with paint.
Step 3: Rinse and wash each panel
Take your time to ensure you have a clean, sparkling car. You can rinse each panel thoroughly, preventing water spots and streaks from forming. We divide the car typically into seven sections – the front, the back, the two sides, and the roof. Wash the car from top to bottom using long strokes. Washing top-down allows suds to remove dirt and grime from your car. If you wash up, you would be pushing dirt on the car’s bottom even higher.
- Important: Rinse your car often and thoroughly.
- Dip a brush in suds (make sure to use one with a flagged tip) and scrub the dirt off the lower 25 percent of your car (bumpers rocker panels running boards etc.). Grille and lights. The brush is only needed for this.
If you need to use a stool, make sure that it does not touch the car. Use long strokes and flip the washpad when you are about halfway through the section. Rinse the car.
- Be sure to rinse the wash pad in a bucket of clean water before moving on to the next section or returning to the previous one (if more cleaning is needed). The rinse bucket should be filled with clean water, and have a Grit guard at the bottom. Rub the wash pad on the Grit Guard to release contaminants and dirt that have been lifted from the surface. The more you rinse the better.
- Repeat b&c on the next section until you have cleaned the whole car. Don’t forget to clean the windows, mirrors and between your luggage rack, if there is one.
After you have cleaned the car completely, dry it.
Step 4: Dry off with microfiber towels
Please read our Do’s and Don’ts of Drying your Car before your next car wash. You’ll learn why cotton terry, Shamwows and chamois towels should be avoided. Also, you will discover some useful car drying tips to leave your car spotless following a wash.
- You can dry your car the same way you would wash it, section by section and top to bottom.
- You can use compressed air to get the water out of crevices and cracks.
- You’ll see that there’s a lot of water trapped in the trim pieces on your car. It’s important to wipe these down before moving on, so that they don’t leave streaks.
Step 5: Condition Tires
The tires must be a rich, deep black. You only need to apply a small amount of tire conditioner to each tire in a circular movement. Use a tire conditioner instead of a dressing. These will only coat the surface, leaving a greasy sheen. Tire conditioners are absorbed by the rubber and deliver nutrients.
- Use a foam tire conditioner application to apply a small amount of tire conditioner.
- Circularly move the applicator over the tire.
- Removing excess using a microfiber towel. Double check that you haven’t dripped any on the rims, or between the tire and wheel. To avoid tire sling, allow the conditioner 10 minutes to absorb before driving.
Step 6: Clean the windows
Cleaning the windows is the final step in a perfect carwash. This is a quick and easy way to finish of your car wash. You’ll only need a microfiber cloth and an automotive window cleaner (find out how to choose the right one). Never use a paper towel or cotton towel as they leave lint and streaks.
Recap and What’s Next
Check out our 5 best car wash tips while your mind is still fresh. You can wash your car by hand using the steps above. As you wash more, you will get better. The comfort will improve, and the time will decrease. Best of all, your car will get the care it needs to remain healthy. Don’t assume that your car is finished just yet. There’s more to know about car care than just cleaning your car. Our Beginner’s guide to detailing is the perfect resource for you. Keep up the good work and continue to expand your detailing knowledge. If you have any questions, please let us know. We will be happy to guide you through any detail situation.