17 Steps to Wash Your Car by Hand
Here is the definitive guide to washing your vehicle by hand in 17 steps. Follow these simple rules and in no time your car will be like new.
Wash Your Car with the Family:
Washing your car is the best way to maintain the longevity of your body. Salt, dirt, and road debris build up and can cause serious damage to your car over time.
- The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to wash your car.
- You can wash your car by hand at home and you probably already have most of the necessary equipment.
- If your children are present, ask them to help you. Make washing the car less of a chore and more of a fun activity for the whole family.
Follow these simple steps to restore the shine to your car:
1. Wait for a Nice, Not Too Hot Day:
Wait for a pleasant day, but not too hot.
- If it is too hot or if the car has been parked in direct sunlight, the water will evaporate quickly, leaving a stained finish.
- If it's winter, try washing your car on a day when the temperatures are above zero.
- Most car wash formulas are not designed for subzero temperatures.
2. Park the Car in the Shade:
By parking it out of direct sunlight, you will be able to keep the moisture in the car by using less water and can prevent premature evaporation.
3. Close the Windows:
Make sure all windows are closed and the antenna is retracted.
- Next, move the wipers away from the windshield.
4. Gather the Elements:
Gather everything you will need and drop it off next to the car where it is easily accessible. Here are the basics you'll need:
- Garden hose
- Two buckets
- Delicate car wash formula
- Natural sponge or lambswool glove designed specifically for washing a car (do not use a brush, this will scratch the bodywork)
- Circular brush for cleaning the wheels
- Soft terrycloth or chamois leather towels (natural or synthetic)
- Soft raclette
- Automotive wax
- Water-repellent glass treatment
- Rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemicals or dirt.
5. Water Seal and Car Wash Formula:
Fill a bucket with water and add the car wash formula to it.
- Follow the directions on the bottle for the proper water volume versus the formula.
6. Fill a Second Bucket with Water:
Fill a second bucket with clean water.
- You will use this water to rinse the car.
7. Pre-Treat Stains:
Pre-treat stains (such as bird droppings, dead insects or sap) by applying Car Wash Formula directly to the stain area.
- Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing the car.
8. Use a Garden Hose:
Use a garden hose to rinse the car.
- Do not use a strong jet, as this may damage and scratch the paint.
- Just do a quick rinse, to loosen dirt and loosen up any debris stuck to the car.
9. Wash from Top to Bottom:
Pour the car wash solution into the first bucket and lather, then soak the mitt or sponge.
- Apply the foam evenly to one section of the car, starting at the top and slowly working your way down.
10. Wash the Sponge Often:
Wash the sponge frequently and thoroughly and rinse it in the rinse bucket to prevent dirt from lodging.
11. Rinse Before Continuing Cleaning:
Once you've washed one section, rinse it off with the hose before starting a new one.
- This will prevent the soap suds from drying on the paint and staining it.
12. Go to the Next Section:
Then go to the next section and repeat steps seven through 10.
- Scrub the lower part of the body and the roads last.
13. Maintain Vehicle Humidity:
Keep the vehicle damp throughout the wash.
- This helps prevent water spots on the paint.
14. Clean the Wheels:
Clean the wheels with a circular brush.
15. Spray the Bottom of the Car:
Spray the bottom of the car with the hose. This is especially important if your car has been exposed to salt.
16. Dry the Car Well:
Dry the car well with soft terry towels.
- Don't let the car air dry or try to circle the block with it so the wind will do this job for you.
- These two choices would give a bad result.
- The use of a squeegee can speed up the process by allowing most of the water to be removed from the body beforehand.
17. Wax the Car Body:
Wax the car body to protect the paint, then apply a water repellent treatment to the glass to improve visibility.