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How to Wash a Car Like a Professional

06 Mar 2024
How to Wash a Car Like a Professional

In order to maintain the appearance of your vehicle, cleanliness is essential. Despite this, you’ve probably had enough of paying a premium for someone who knows how to properly wash a car. Meanwhile, you don’t want to subject your vehicle to the harshness of automated car washes, so your only alternative is to clean your car yourself. One problem remains, though – you don’t know how to wash a car properly. On the surface, cleaning a car sounds like a simple task; however, there are a lot of nuances that go into knowing how to correctly wash a car. These are explored in further detail below.

How to Hand Wash a Car

There are a number of steps that go into hand washing a car, including the following:

1. Gather Supplies

  • Car shampoo – A pH-balanced, non-detergent soap will help you avoid stripping off the wax.
  • Two buckets – One for soapy water and one for rinsing.
  • Grit guards – Placing these at the bottom of the buckets will help you trap dirt and prevent it from re-contaminating the wash mitt.
  • Wash mitt – A microfibre mitt will gently agitate the surface.
  • Soft-bristled brush – For cleaning wheels and tyres.
  • Microfibre cloths – To dry the car without leaving lint or scratches.
  • Car wax (optional) – For providing a layer of protection post-wash.

2. Pre-Wash

  • Rinse the car thoroughly to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Use the soft-bristled brush to clean the wheels and tyres, starting from the top and working your way down to avoid splashing dirt onto already cleaned areas.

3. Wash

  • Fill one bucket with water and add the appropriate amount of car shampoo.
  • Dunk the wash mitt into the soapy water, ensuring it’s fully saturated.
  • Wash the car section by section, starting from the top and working your way down.
  • Use straight-line motions as opposed to circular ones.
  • Rinse the mitt in the clean water bucket frequently to remove dirt and grit.

4. Rinse

  • After you’ve washed the entire car, thoroughly rinse off the soap using a hose or pressure washer.
  • Ensure all soap residue is removed to prevent streaks.

5. Dry

  • Use clean, dry microfibre cloths to gently dry the car, starting from the top and working downwards.
  • Pat dry rather than rubbing to avoid scratching the paint.
  • Ensure the towels are clean and free from detergent residue for a streak-free finish.

How Long Should It Take to Wash a Car?

There are a number of factors that affect the time it takes to clean a car, including the size of the vehicle, how dirty it is, and how thorough the cleaning process is. Typically speaking, hand washes take anywhere from half an hour to an hour, but detailed below are some of the factors that can affect car washing times:

  • Preparation time – Gathering supplies, pre-washing, and setting up can take some time, especially if it’s your first time washing a car or it’s particularly dirty.
  • Technique – Practice and skill are required to wash and rinse each car section efficiently, meaning novices will naturally take longer than professionals.
  • Drying time – Proper drying is essential, and it can add a significant amount of time to the process.
  • Additional steps – Applying wax or detailing certain areas can also extend the duration of the wash.

All in all, thoroughness will take a little longer, but it’s all worthwhile.

How to Wash a Car Without Streaks?

No one wants a streaky car, but knowing how to wash a car without streaks isn’t necessarily common knowledge. The following techniques can be employed to avoid streaks:

1. Use the Right Products

  • Choose a high-quality shampoo that’s formulated to leave behind a streak-free shine.
  • Avoid the use of household soaps as they can leave behind residues that cause streaking.

2. Work in Shaded Areas

  • Direct sunlight can cause water and soap to evaporate quickly, leaving behind streaks and water spots.

3. Proper Technique

  • Use straight-line motions when washing and drying the car to minimise swirl marks and streaking.
  • Ensure the wash mitts and drying cloths are clean and free from debris that could cause scratches or streaks.

4. Dry Thoroughly

  • Use clean and dry microfibre cloths to dry the car after washing gently.
  • Pay close attention to areas where water typically collects (e.g., door handles, side mirrors, etc.)
  • Buff the surface lightly to remove the remaining water and prevent streaking.

5. Regular Maintenance

  • Keep the exterior of your car clean and well-maintained to prevent the build-up of dirt and grime that can contribute to streaking.
  • Consider applying a wax or sealant regularly to protect the paint and provide an additional barrier against streaks and water spots.

Get Your Hands on Professional Car Wash Products with Frogchem

Here at Frogchem, we provide products to professionals and enthusiasts alike, making it easier than ever for you to get your hands on professional-grade products. Browse our product range here to find what you’re looking for.

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