There are lots of ways to clean your vehicle and to keep its sparkly finish. In this blog we’re going to cover the basics of a good clean for a vehicle that spends its life on the drive. One important factor is that you should avoid washing your car in direct sunlight as this will heat up the paintwork and allow both water and chemicals to evaporate, leaving streaks everywhere on your car.
Items you will need to clean your car:
- At least 2 buckets
- Hose or jet spray
- Car wash/shampoo (not hair shampoo)
- Car wax
- Wheel cleaner & soft bristle brush
- Clay bar
- Microfiber wash mitt
- Microfiber drying towel
The first step to getting that sparkly finish is the wheels, you ALWAYS start with the wheels. If you have alloy wheels which are super dirty it will be easier to remove all four and then clean them. But if your too lazy like the most of us start getting the main layer of dirt off which might be helped with using a soft bristle brush. After getting the worst-off rinse the rims with the soapy water and replace the wheels back on the vehicle.
Work Top To Bottom
You will need to rinse the vehicle to get it wet with either a powerful jet or garden hose. The reason we say "work top to bottom" is because the dirt will always be tougher the lower you go down on the car. Once you’ve foamed up the car, the suds will work their way down helping to release any stubborn dirt towards the bottom of the car.
The Two Bucket Cleaning Method
The two-bucket method is very simple, get two buckets (which are clean), fill up both buckets with clean water and add your car shampoo to one of them. Once you’ve dipped your microfibre wash mitt in the bucket with the shampoo proceed to clean your car one section at a time (remember to work top to bottom). Before dunking the wash mitt back into the soapy bucket give it a good dunk in the clean water bucket. This helps to remove any grit that may have been captured in the mitt and helps to avoid scratching the cars paintwork. Try to avoid dunking your mitt to the very bottom of the bucket due to grit being there which you don't want back on your mitt, if you have a grit guard this would be ideal as it will prevent you from reaching the bottom.
You should use a separate bucket and cloth to clean inside of the wheel arches and underneath the car. This is because these areas will have the most amount of grit and you don’t want to spread this any further than you need to.
Once you’ve washed the car, give it a final rinse with the hose or jet and then you’re ready for drying.
Drying Your Car
To start this process, you should use a fresh, clean microfibre drying towel. Gently move the towel along the body of the car and ring out the water when you feel the towel getting too wet. Remember to keep working top to bottom.
Now you’ve dried the car it’s time to reach the next step which is the clay bar. Clay bars are designed to remove any remaining wax, sap, tar, grit, and road grime that hasn’t been removed during the wash. When using a clay bar never press to hard, otherwise you risk pressing any remaining grit into the surface of the paint. If you’re using a traditional clay bar, remember to fold in the surface so you constantly have a fresh section of clay to remove the surface dirt. Once you’ve finished you should be able to clearly see all the dirt that has been removed and trapped within. Now it’s time to give the car another rinse and dry.
Wax On Wax Off
At this stage, apply a small amount of wax to the applicator or microfiber cloth and work it into the surface of the car using small circular motions. It will take around 5-10 minutes for the wax to dry. Once dried use another microfiber cloth to buff off the wax. remember to turn the cloth regularly. Ideally you should use a second microfibre cloth for the final buff.
At this point you should stand back and see your car glisten in the sun, wait a minute we live in the UK we don't have any.