How to clean your car

Everyday driving can put your car through a lot – namely, mud, rain and dirt. If your car isn’t looking its best and you want to get back that new-car shine, you have two options: pay for it to be cleaned or do it yourself. With summer finally here, it’s the perfect time to give your own car a clean rather than forking out for someone else to do it – but, as easy as it may sound, cleaning a car for the first time can have its challenges. Fear not, though, as we’ve put together this handy guide to car-washing that will leave your vehicle looking dazzling in no time.

Pick the right weather
When the sun is scorching, it might seem like the perfect time to grab the sponge and wash your car – but this isn’t always the case. While there’s obviously no point in cleaning your car in rainy or icy conditions, washing it in the heat can also have a downfall, with the heat drying out your car and leaving unsightly water marks after you’ve washed it. It’s best to wash your car on a cloudy day, or do it early in the morning or in the evening when it’s less hot. If all else fails, try to find a shaded area to clean your car under.

Apply pressure
The first step to getting your car sparkling clean is to remove all the exterior dirt and grime. The best way to do this is to use a pressure-washer – park your car near a water-supply, turn on the pressure-washer and hose off all the filth off your car. If you don’t have a pressure-washer, you can use a standard garden hose too. When hosing your car down, try to work from the roof downwards, making sure to spray the bumpers and very bottom of the car too. For any more stubborn marks, you can use a sponge and water to shift it yourself.

Wash, wash, wash
Now you’ve hopefully shifted most of the surface dirt, it’s time to get a bit more hands-on. For this, you’ll need a car wash sponge, car shampoo and a bucket of warm water. Mix the shampoo with some warm water and apply using a sponge. The best way to do this is to work panel by panel, meaning you can ensure each area is suitably clean, and in side-to-side motions – this will prevent you from getting so many marks when your car dries. Make sure you rinse the sponge in the water between each use to avoid spreading old dirt around your car. Once the shampoo has done its job, it’s time to rinse it off – use your hose for this and make sure you cover the car from head to toe.

Time to dry
Once you’ve gotten your car as clean as possible, it’s time to dry it. Grab a microfiber drying cloth – these are the preferable kind of cloth as they’re less likely to damage your paintwork – and begin to dry your car. You can either pat-dry the car or use sideways motions, depending what you prefer – just remember to be gentle.

Optional extras
By now, your car should be squeaky clean – but if you want that extra level of luxury, there’s a few more things you can do. If you’re looking for more shine, consider running a clay bar over your car after drying. This will pick up any bits left on your car, and leave it perfect for waxing. Once you’ve finished with the clay bar, you can apply wax with a sponge, making sure to apply an even layer across the car. Once finished, using a cloth to buff the wax to having your car shining bright.
You might also wish to clean the windows of your car – using a special glass cleaner to do this, and apply carefully with a cloth to avoid any streaks. And if the inside of your car is looking a bit messy, use a handheld vacuum to pick up all those little bits of litter and dirt, and use cleaning wipes to have your dashboard looking spick and span.

Nothing feels better than driving a clean car, so it’s well worth taking the time to give yours a quick wash – especially in this summer weather!

Posted on July 4, 2018


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