Washing your car isn’t just about getting rid of dirt and grime, it’s also about maintaining the health of your car care. Dirt and grime can get stuck in your car’s finish, causing corrosion that can reduce the value of your car as well as make it look dirty even when you clean it regularly. To protect your car’s finish, degrease and Wash Your Car Properly with these steps!
Scrubbing (with a sponge)
Scrubbing is probably your most important step. Do it with a soft-bristled brush or a sponge. You want to get rid of any dirt, grime, or stains that might be on your car’s exterior. Keep scrubbing until you see nothing but shine! The whole point of degreasing is giving your car that clean new car look and Wash Your Car Properly. So keep scrubbing until you feel like there’s no dirt left. (And if some soap residue remains after that, don’t worry—you can easily wash it off later). Once done scrubbing, spray down your car with water again and wipe off any excess water with towels or rags—you don’t want water spots! When all is said and done, your car should look as good as new. If not, repeat steps 2 through 4 until it does. Then dry your car using microfiber cloths. And voila! You’re done washing your car for now!
The rinsing step is one of the most important parts of proper car care because it will determine how clean your car stays in between washes. Harsh soap combined with high-pressure streams can damage paint, especially on new cars; you may even end up making swirl marks on your car that only a professional detailer can fix. The key is to rinse away any soap residue, avoiding heavy scrubbing or hitting your car with a power washer. Grab a microfiber towel or two and soak them in water before wringing them out lightly so they’re damp but not dripping wet.
Place each microfiber towel near an opposite door handle, then run each wiper arm back and forth across its respective cloth. Repeat on both sides until no streaks are left behind. Once dry, hit up some waxes and polish products like armor all to protect your car from dust build-up during storage (most experts recommend washing once every week during storage). If you have time after waxing, applying carnauba wax protects shine by leaving a light layer over paint as protection against dust particles while still being easy enough to wipe off when you do wash later on.
Start by rinsing off your car. This prevents any soap residue from making your vehicle streaky, which means you’ll have less work to do later on when you go back over it with a wash mitt. Rinsing is also important because suds can dry on paint, dulling its finish. For tough dirt like dried mud or road grime, use a mixture of water and dishwashing detergent that isn’t scented with floral or fruity chemicals—the soapy smell will linger longer than you’d like it to. Here at Car Care Oslo, we recommend using Autoglym Supercleaner – All Purpose Detergent Soap 500ml. It was formulated in England specifically for cleaning cars.
Spray down an area and then wipe away dirt with a microfiber towel. If you want to avoid scratching up your car, use a towel dedicated only to washing it. You can buy one here on our website! Rinse well before moving onto another section of your car. Remember: Washing under pressure is better than hand washing if you have access to either machine! The same goes for tools: When washing manually, tools designed for auto detailing are always best since they won’t scratch up surfaces as easily as cheap sponges and brushes might (think 100% natural fibers). At Car Care Oslo we sell both pressure Wash Your Car Properly and tools that are perfect for auto detailing. You can find them here!
Wipe the Engine Compartment
Like washing your hands, degreasing is a quick but important job. Avoid over-degreasing which can degrade plastics, painted surfaces, and rubbers; however, be thorough when wiping down your engine compartment. A simple solution of soap and water does it best, followed by an application of detailer or car wax for shine. Before applying any treatments or paint products, inspect all rubber seals for cracks or wear. If necessary, replace them with new OEM parts from Car Care Oslo. If you have time, wipe down chrome trim pieces and other plastic components with a soft cloth soaked in polish remover (also available at Car Care Oslo). Wipe off excess residue and buff dry using another clean microfiber towel.
Finish up by cleaning wheels and tires as needed. Car Care Oslo stocks several tire dressings to choose from, including P21S Tire Gel. Use a foam applicator pad to apply treatment evenly onto each tire sidewall. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing off with a hose or pressure washer if desired. Dry tires completely before driving on them again as wet tires will stain clothing and interior carpets easily!
Checking for missed spots
One common rookie mistake is not making sure you’ve got every inch of your car. After pressure washing, some people think they’re done when they see their car clean. But those little spots you missed can harbor dirt and grime that will eventually work its way back onto your paint. So after you pressure wash, use a microfiber towel to dry off any stubborn water droplets. Next, check all areas of your car for grime—engine compartments, wheel wells, undercarriages, and other hard-to-reach places are often overlooked spots! Lastly, wipe down everything with a second microfiber towel or chamois cloth (or even paper towels if you’re in a pinch).
The final step in car care service is always drying: If possible, let your car air dry so it doesn’t pick up dust on its freshly cleaned surface. For extra precaution, though, use compressed air or hair dryers to speed up drying time. If you live in an area where snow and ice are present during the winter months and Wash Your Car Properly, also consider buying an ice scraper as part of your arsenal of car care tools.