Keeping your car sparkling clean is a tedious and time-consuming task. That’s why many would prefer to pay a little bit of cash and send their beloved vehicles to the nearest car wash. This is a part of general vehicle maintenance and is a part of keeping your car driving and looking as fresh as possible.
But sometimes the long queue and lackluster job by the cleaners would make you wish that you knew how to do it yourself. To help you learn this easy and handy skill, we listed a few tips that will help you clean your car like a pro.
Clean your car under the shade
Let’s start with the obvious here. Do not wash your car under the sun. Why? First, water acts like a magnifying glass under the sun. If left alone (until it dries up) repeatedly, it can damage a car’s paint over time.
In addition, water drops and/or soap become water spots when it dries up under the intense heat of the sun and can cause lasting damage to the paint. Some cases even lead up to metal corrosion AKA rusting.
Just in case you can’t avoid washing your car under the sun, make sure to keep its surface cool by occasionally spraying water and wipe it with a clean cloth when you’re done. Or better yet, do it early in the morning or late afternoon.
Prepare what you need
Now that you know the best place to wash your car, it’s time to prepare what you need to clean it up.
Some use the two-bucket system wherein one stores the clean water to rinse the car and the other holds the one with soap. Alternatively, you can use a hose and a small bucket to make things easier.
Other items you may need to clean your car include:
- Car Soap
- Chamois and Microfiber towel
- Tire Black
- Interior Protectant
- Vacuum Cleaner
It does look like a lot of products just to wash your car but all of these have a specific purpose. You may skip on a few such as the Wheel Cleaning Solution and the squeegee. Regular car soap or even just water can wash dirt and grime away from the wheels with the help of some elbow grease, while the rubber-like quick absorbing Chamoise towel can dry off the windows.
Start with the Tires
Tires are usually covered in dirt that’s hard to wash away. Using special wheel cleaning solutions would do the trick; however, these are almost always the harshest chemicals in the list. That’s why it’s recommended to start with the wheels so that any remaining solution on the wheel is washed off later on.
Wash from top to bottom
Start by dusting the car off with a duster. Rinse the car with water and then apply soap water using a chamois. Wash off the soap in sections starting from the top and work your way to the bottom to make sure that the car is properly cleaned.
Wipe it dry
Once you’re done washing, dry the car using the chamois towel. This specific towel can quickly absorb water saving you precious time. Again, wipe from top to bottom to avoid repeating sections of the car.
Wipe the windows dry using a squeegee or the chamois towel. Just make sure that there aren’t any bits of dirt that can scratch the glass.
Make it shimmer and shine
An alternative to drying your car is to polish it right after washing using special spray-on car polish. You can “wax on and wax off” or spread the polish in a circular motion until dry. You can then put a drop or so of tire black on a sponge and start rubbing on the sidewall.
Don’t forget the interior
Begin by throwing the trash away, as well as removing items and storing it in a secure container to properly clean your car’s interior. If your car has a child seat, unbuckle it and remove it temporarily from the vehicle.
Clean the windows with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. After that, remove the dust from the cleanest to the dirtiest areas of your car’s interior then vacuum from the headrest down to the floor. And finally, spray the dashboard, steering wheel, side panels, center console, and shift knob with interior protectant, and wipe until dry.
Now that you know how to clean your car by yourself, you won’t have to queue up in the car wash and probably save money in the long run. Who knows, you might even earn a few bucks on the side washing other people’s cars (your parents might be happy to pay you).