How to Clean a Car? 5 Steps to Properly Cleaning a Car


Don’t have time to go out to go to a car cleaner? Do you want to save gas and money by cleaning your car by yourself? It’s time to learn how to clean a car properly.

The ongoing pandemic made a lot of people realize how secure and safe a car can make them. Car ownership gives you more control over your environment and hygiene.

However, even your car needs more than a wipe down now and then. Keep reading to learn the right and best way to clean your car.

  1. How to Clean a Car: Prepare the Car and Everything You Need

Before anything else, make sure you park your vehicle in the right place. This space must have enough shade to protect you and your car from the sun and/or rain. Make sure the ground you park on won’t create mud when it gets wet.

Check that the car isn’t hot from the sun or from operating. If the exterior of the car is still warm, the soap and water will dry up. This can create unwanted soap and water stains.

The process of cleaning a car can take between 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. It’ll depend on the speed of your cleaning. Make sure you know how fast you are in cleaning a car so you can fit it into a busy schedule.

Next, prepare everything you’ll need for cleaning the car. You want to make sure that you have the following supplies prepared:

  • Two buckets
  • Car cleanser
  • Soft sponge or lambs’ wool wash mitt
  • Tire cleaner
  • Microfiber towels
  • Vacuum
  • Car wax
  • Trash bags
  • Glass solution
  • Cleanser for the upholstery
  • Carpet cleaner

Prepare the water by filling the two buckets with clean water. Add a formulated car cleanser to the first bucket. The second bucket will be for rinsing your cloth later.

  1. Rinse off the Top Layer of Dirt on the Car and Apply Soap

If there are loose dirt and debris on your car, remove them first. Use your hands to take them off. Using a cloth to wipe them off can scratch your car.

Next, take a pressure washer and use it to rinse off the dirt on your car. Don’t have a pressure washer yet? Go to this link to pressure washers for cars to learn more about them.

You can also use a high-pressure setting on a hose if yours has one. As a note, make sure that you don’t use pressures that are too high. This can damage the paint or wax of your car.

Start from the top of the car’s body and go downward. Next, go back to the top again, this time with a sponge and soap. Use an up-and-down motion to scrub your car.

Avoid washing your car with dirty water. Before you dunk the sponge or mitt back into the soapy water, rinse it in the other bucket first. Make sure you wash everything, including the headlights that have gone yellow with age.

  1. Wash and Wipe Dry

Once you’ve removed all the dirt, dust, and mud, it’s time to wash the car. Use the sponge, water, and top-to-bottom approach again. After you wash off all the lather and soap, it’s time to dry your car.

Take one of the soft terry towels to blot out the water droplets on your car. Avoid wiping your car with it. You can also use moistened synthetic or natural chamois as an alternative.

Don’t let your car air-dry, even if it’s indoors. Letting your car air-dry can cause streaking and watermarks.

Don’t forget to wash the wheels of your car, too, but do it last. Clear the buckets of used water and refill them with plain water and soap plus water mixture again. You may need to use a toothbrush for crevices and apply a de-greaser if your wheels are filthy.

  1. Polish and Wax the Car

If you want to make your car look shiny and new again, get a buffer or polisher. You can also do the buffing by hand if you want to go old school. Be gentle with this extra step, especially if you’re using heavy polishing tools.

The next step in how to clean a car is to wax it. Waxing your car doesn’t only add a bit of shine to the paint job. In actuality, the true role of wax is to protect the surface of your car. Check the car’s surface for any grime the soap and water didn’t remove.

If you still feel dirt on the surface, use a clay bar to take them out. Cut a clay bar into three or four parts and flatten one. Spray lube onto a small part of the car and then slide the clay down over the area.

Keep doing this area by area until you don’t feel dirt anymore. Next, apply the wax onto the pad and rub it on the body of the car. Use a buffing towel to buff the thin layers of wax.

  1. Don’t Forget to Clear and Clean the Interior

A clean car isn’t all that clean if you forego the interior. Remove the floor mats and shake them out to remove other pieces lodged inside them. Take a trash bag and place every bit of trash in it.

For cleaning dirt and smaller pieces of trash, use a vacuum. Vacuum all the surfaces, including the car seats and dashboard. Adjust the seats if you can’t reach tight areas or use a crevice attachment.

Next, use solutions like glass cleaners, carpet cleaners, and foam cleaners. Don’t forget to sanitize the surfaces like the wheel and door handles. Finally, spray the interior with an odor remover.

That is the final step on how to clean your car.

Enjoy a Spotless and Sanitary Car

The times continue to demand that we stay indoors more. Yet, we must leave our houses and apartments to restock and get other necessities. Your car is your best protection whenever you go outside, so always keep it clean.

That is our guide on how to clean a car well. If you enjoyed reading about cleaning a car, you may enjoy our other guides, as well. Check out our other posts for more useful content like this one.

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