Car Washing 101
Cleaning your car doesn’t have to be a complex process. These techniques require just a few simple tools, a small amount of time and a few car-care products. (Click any link to purchase the best products to keep your car clean!)
Before you start
Depending on where you live, washing your car in your driveway or on the street in front of where you live might not be legal. Or you might just have to follow rules like using a hose with a nozzle to help conserve water. Check your local regulations before you start.
Remember: Always wash in the shade and on a cool surface to minimize water spots.
What you’ll need:
- Car wash formula
- Tire cleaner
- Wheel cleaner
- Car wax or polish
- Leather or car interior cleaner
- Car washing accessories like a chamois or microfiber cloth, sponge, and water bucket
- Choose a wash specifically formulated for washing cars. Dish-washing soaps and detergents strip wax and dry paint out, reducing shine and promoting oxidation.
- Use a premium quality microfiber wash mitt and towels to get the best results when drying, removing wax and detailing. As a back up, use premium 100% cotton terry cloth towels. Household sponges, brushes or old bath towels are typically too abrasive for your car’s finish and can actually scratch the surface. These scratches—called towel marks or swirls—dramatically reduce the gloss and clarity of your car’s paint, making it look old and faded.
Wheels and tires
- Allow your car’s wheels to cool before applying wheel cleaner.
- Remove brake dust and road grime using a dedicated wheel cleaner and brush. (Be sure to read the label to confirm that the cleaner is appropriate for your type of wheels, and follow directions.)
- Apply tire dressing to achieve a glossy, like-new appearance that will set your tires and car apart.
- Vacuum carpets, floor mats and seats.
- Remove stubborn stains with a carpet and upholstery cleaner.
- Clean and dust the dash using an interior detailer that has been specially formulated to be safe on all surfaces. Protect a vinyl/plastic dash and other interior pieces from the harmful effects of the sun with a protectant that features advanced UV protection.
- Treat leather surfaces with a dedicated leather product that cleans, conditions and nourishes.
Wax and protect
Add a brilliant shine and long-lasting protection with a premium wax. Available in easy-to-use sprays, liquids or traditional pastes, premium waxes maximize gloss, reflections and add protection to all painted surfaces. Apply wax in thin coats using a foam applicator pad and remove with a microfiber cloth.
Keep your car looking great in between regular washing and waxing by touching it up. Use a detailer product that has been specially formulated to boost your wax’s performance and safely remove dust without scratching the surface.
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