How To Wash A Car Like The Professionals?

How To Wash A Car Like The Professionals?

Would you like to wash your car the right way just like the professionals? How would you like to do that with cheap and good quality products? Although many car owners wash their car often, not many of them know the right way of doing it. I have friends who send their car to low quality auto car wash services and friends who wash their car with harsh chemicals and tools that make your car looks old and ugly.

Many car owners and car enthusiasts think that car wash is not important. They think that good and expensive car wax is the key to keep their car look new and shiny. After detailing my car myself for some time, I realized that this is not the truth. The key to a clean and shiny car is good car washing and not expensive car wax. If you’re still looking for the best car wax, you should stop it and start looking at the basics- car wash.

Car wax is only able enhance the original shine of the car. To make your car shine, you need to uncover the original shine by removing contaminants that are covering your car. These are the steps professionals use to wash cars:

Step 1: Prepare Your Tools and Products

Professionals use different tools to wash cars. These tools are very effective in removing contaminants on the car. Although used by professionals, most of them are very affordable and available in many shops. These tools are wash mitt, car wash shampoo, microfiber cloth and 2 buckets.

car wash

Wash mitt is a better tool compare to a normal cloth because it captures contaminants and dirt more effectively. It is also gentle to the car surface which minimizes the potential damage. Car wash shampoo is effective in removing contaminants on the car surface and not as harsh as dishwashing liquid. Microfiber cloth is used to dry the car because it is gentle and absorb water quickly. The two buckets is the key to the professional car wash method called the 2 buckets method.

Step 2: Rinse

car wash

At this step, use water to rinse your car. Use a hose and rinse the entire your car with low to medium water pressure. The main goal to rinse your car is not to remove any dirt but to loosen the contaminants and lubricate the car surface. In short, it helps you to clean your car more effectively and avoid potential damages to your car surface.

Step 3: Start From The Wheels

Start washing your wheels every time you wash your car. This is because wheels are normally the dirtiest part of the car. When the contaminants accidentally went to the car body while you wash the wheels, you can wash it off later. For wheel cleaning, I normally use a different wash mitt because wheels are really dirty and I prefer to separate the dirt from the car body.

car wash

To wash your wheels, I use the 2 buckets method. 2 buckets method is one of the best techniques used by the professionals to clean cars effectively. If you are using one bucket to wash your car, your car will never be clean. This is because the dirt you washed off the car is entering the bucket and going back to the car again. The 2 buckets method allows you to rinse off the dirt and contaminants in a separate bucket.

To use the 2 bucket method, fill up 2 buckets of water. Pour some car wash shampoo in one of the bucket. Soak your wash mitt into the one with car wash shampoo, wash your car wheels. After washing one wheel, rinse off the dirt in the bucket with plain water. Next, soak your wash mitt into the first bucket again and wash the next wheel. Repeat the process until you finish washing all the wheels. Rinse the wheels after washing.

Step 4: Car Body With Top-Down

car wash

After washing your wheels, it is the time for you to wash the car body. Use the same method you wash your wheels. Start washing from the top of your car to the bottom. This is important because you do not want the contaminants to flow from the top after you have washed the bottom. Remember to wash everything includes glass, emblem, door jambs and others.

Step 5: Rinse Again

car wash

After washing, rinse your car before it dries. This step you will wash away all the contaminants you have just removed from the previous steps. Do not use strong water pressure. If your car is clean and shiny at this step, you can jump straight to the last step. But if you notice dirty and dark spots on your car that could not be removed with car wash shampoo, move on to the next step.

Step 6: Liquid Cleaning Wax

car wash

I normally recommend this step if you are going to wax your car. This step is able to remove your car wax and lots of contaminants. If you do not plan to wax your car after this step, skip this step as well.

There are contaminants that could not be removed by car wash shampoo such as diesel stains. These stains are ugly and very obvious on light color cars. To remove them, you need to use liquid cleaning wax. Just apply some liquid cleaning wax on a foam applicator pad and start washing the entire car. Before you clean your car with the product, make sure your car is not to dry.

Step 7: Washing and Rinsing

Now is the time to wash off everything. Use the 2 bucket method to wash your car and rinse it just like the previous step. If you are planning to wax your car, make sure you clean your car with clay bar.

Step 8: Quick Drying

While many car owners dry their car by leaving it aside or park it under the sun, I recommend you NOT to do that. Allowing the car to dry naturally will cause water spots that are very hard to remove. These water spots are actually minerals contained by the water. If you allow your car to dry naturally many times, water spots will start to build up and almost impossible to remove. These spots could be very ugly on cars.

car wash

Use the quick drying method to dry your car and avoid any potential damages to the car surface. Now, take out your microfiber cloth. For drying, choose a chamois microfiber cloth or cotton cloth. Spread your cloth on an area, wipe it very very slowly. The key to dry your car is not to wipe the water but allowing the cloth to absorb the water. Squeeze the cloth when it cannot absorb anymore water and continue.

If you want to complete the process quicker, use a paint-safe water blade. Do not use a normal water blade or squeegee that is used to dry windows. Water blade is faster but could cause tiny damages to the car surface if you use it too frequent.

About The Author:

Alex Liu is a car detailing enthusiasts and the editor of the Auto Detailing House team who provides guides on auto detailing including car paint repair. He and his team also constantly publish car detailing articles on useful topics such as what is the best car wax and auto detailing supplies.

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