A good car wash can make the difference between a show car and a rough-looking, used car type. This article gives you a detailed guide on how to wash a car at home. You don’t need to know how to wash a car professionally to get the job done right.
Washing your car regularly is a sign of good maintenance and helps you enjoy the new look of your car. It may be tempting to have a car taken to a service station and intricately detailed with expensive cleaning and finishing agents. The truth is you can get a similar result with simple household products in the comfort of your home garage.
How to wash a car step by step?
Choose a shaded area or covered car park to wash your car. Direct sunlight and heat may leave water marks and stains on your car’s exterior. Gather all the cleaning equipment before you start washing your car. Pick a time when the weather is pleasant. You do not want to wash the car when it is raining or too sunny. The following steps detail how to wash a car properly.
Also read: How to Clean Car Cover at Home
Products and equipment you need to wash a car properly
- Garden hose or pressure washer
- Microfibre towels
- Chamois leather
- Soft brushes
- Car Shampoo
- Lint-free drying cloths
- Cleaning Sponges
- Soapy liquid solution
- Car Polish
- Car Wax
Start with the wheels
Focus on spraying water on the tyres and wheels because this is where most of the dirt gathers. Spray all around the wheel arches, brakes and suspension system. Fill a bucket with a soapy solution and utilise the brush to scrub the wheels gently.
The wheels should then be sprayed with the high-pressure hose until all the soapy solution is washed off. Once rinsed, use the microfibre cloths to wipe away any soap marks or water stains.
There are specific tyre cleaners that bring out the black shine of the rubber. Use this to finish cleaning the wheels.
Rinse the car body
Use the water pressure hose to rinse the entire car from the roof down. Get water on every part of the car including the hood, doors, rear section and bumpers. This initial rinse will get rid of any loose dirt and make your job easier when you get down to the soap solution part.
You may be wondering how to wash a car with just a bucket. Simple. Just fill one bucket with soapy water solution and use the microfibre cloth to clean all the body panels. Gently scrub the exterior making sure not to make any swirl marks or scratch the delicate paint.
Once the entire car body is covered with soap, use a sponge or soft mitten to get into every nook and cranny.
Most of the dirt should get washed off by now so you can move on to the next step.
Also Read: How To Clean Car Headlights
How to wash a car with pressure washer?
Set the pressure washer on medium and start spraying the car. The idea is to remove all the soapy foam and, in the process, dissolve the dirt, grime and grease which was stuck on the body.
Once you have washed away all the soap, take off the high-pressure nozzle and rinse the body with free-flowing water. The idea is not to leave any soap on the paint.
Dry off the car
Next, use a chamois leather piece or dry microfibre cloth to wick away every last drop of moisture. Gently rub the towel over the paint making sure not to leave any spots or stains on the paint.
If the towel gets wet at this point, use another dry towel or squeeze as much water as you can out of it.
Final steps – detailing
Once the car exterior has been cleaned, it is time to apply wax and polish on the paint. Use a specially designed cloth to spread the polish over the painted body panels, trim and chrome bits.
A microfibre cloth can be used to buff the exterior to a high-shine finish. You should be left with a glossy-looking car at this point.
There you have it. The aforementioned steps explain how to wash as car quickly at home. Washing your car at home is an inexpensive way to maintain it and keep it looking good. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a professional service if you know how to wash a car at home.
Washing your car in the comfort of your home gives you total control of the products you use and the entire washing process. It can be finished in about an hour, so you don’t have to spend your whole weekend on such a job.
If you found this article helpful, consider having a look at waterless car washing and detailing It explains how to wash a car correctly without using water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How to wash a car engine?
Ans. A clean engine looks great, will run smoother, and you can identify oil leaks and blown gaskets much easier. There is often a lot of built-up grime and grease around belts, pulleys and keeping the engine bay clean will ensure these components work better.
The engine is a sealed-off component and will not allow moisture to seep in. That is why it is possible to wash the engine bay with water. However, avoid using a high-pressure hose on sensitive electrical equipment like the spark plugs, alternator and distributor. Use a damp cloth and a couple of brushes to clean any greasy areas of the engine bay. A spray bottle filled with soapy solution will be useful here. To dry off the engine, use a clean towel or microfibre cloth to get out as much moisture as you can.
Pay special attention to any electrical components that may have moisture on them. Dry them off before starting the engine.
Q2. How to wash a car seat?
Ans. To wash a car seat, first soak a towel in hot water that has had some soapy solution added to it. Gently scrub the seat with the damp towel until the soap gets into the fabric. Try not to get the seat soaked with water because it is difficult to dry it off. Once the seats look clean, use a dry cloth to absorb any excess moisture on the seat. Repeat this process until you have clean car seats.
You can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of small dust particles and sand. A brush attachment will agitate the dirt while the suction mechanism will clean your dirty seats.
Q3. How to wash a car interior?
Ans. A fresh and clean car interior makes your driving experience much more pleasant. It is easy to clean your car interior with the use of microfibre towels, liquid window cleaner, leather and upholstery cleaner, carpet cleaner and a vacuum cleaner. You may also need a soft sponge, light brush, duster and bucket of water with a soapy solution.
First, take out the car mat and give them a thorough clean, as they usually are the dirtiest part of the interior. Then use the vacuum cleaner all around the cabin to get rid of small dust particles, sand and dirt. If you have pets in the car, then the vacuum cleaner is good to collect their sneaky hair fall and other bits of grime. Use the duster to clean the dashboard, armrests and other bits of plastic around the cabin. You can use a spray bottle of soapy solution and a microfibre cloth to leave a squeaky-clean finish.
Finish with a pleasant-smelling air freshener after wiping down the glass area and leather upholstery.
Q4. How to wash a car air filter?
Ans. You need to get access to the air filter from your engine bay. Remove as much as loose dirt and grime with a soft brush taking care not to damage the foam material. A vacuum cleaner can be used to get rid of fine dust. Apply an air filter cleaning solution and let it settle in for a few minutes. Rinse the solution off with water. Squeeze all the moisture out and replace the air filter in position.
Q5. How to wash a car with ceramic coating?
Ans. A ceramic coating protects the car paint and keeps it glossy and shiny for many years. Avoid using hard brushes or using any penetrating chemicals to wash the car. Make use of a soft cloth and a simple soapy solution to clean off any dirt that may have accumulated on the car’s exterior. After washing, make sure to dry off all excess moisture because water droplets may damage the ceramic coating especially if there is soap remaining.
Q6. How to wash a car without scratching it?
Ans. If you use a clean, soft microfibre cloth to wash your car, you won’t end up scratching the paint. Along with the microfibre cloth, make use of high-quality shampoo and use a good detailing product to protect the paint job.
A ceramic coating on a car exterior will lower the risk of scratches too. Make use of a clay bar to wipe off any stubborn dirt and grime. A Ceramic coating has hydrophobic properties which prevent stains and marks on your car.
Q7. How to wash a car at home without hose?
Ans. Use two buckets of water. One should be filled with a soapy solution mixed with water and the other bucket should contain only clean water.
Use a microfibre cloth to spread the soapy solution all over the car and gently wipe down the exterior to get rid of dirt. Once you are done with this process, use another clean cloth with only water from the other bucket. Make sure not to mix up the two buckets as this may lead to scratches or swirl marks on your paint.
This way you can wash your car at home without using a water hose.
Q8. How to wash a car without car shampoo?
Ans. Some alternatives to using car shampoo to wash your car include hand soap, detergent, baby soap, hair shampoo/conditioner and dish soap. These cleaning agents can work effectively to remove dirt and grime from the exterior of your car without damaging the paint or chrome finishes.
Q9. How to wash a car without water spots?
Ans. To prevent any marks on your car’s exterior surface after washing, make sure to use only microfibre cloths. Lint particles left over from regular cotton towels are to blame for marks on the paint. Avoid washing, waxing or drying your car in direct sunlight. Choose a shaded area so that the water doesn’t evaporate and leave stains on the car's body. Ensure that you use water through a filter to remove any calcium carbonate deposits that may have dissolved in the tap water. Finally, consider using a water spray jet on low pressure or just use a garden hose. The pressurised water may leave streaks and stains on the car.
Q10. How to wash a car without water?
Ans. Waterless car wash products are available in spray bottles designed to clean your car without water. Simply spray the solution all over the car and wipe it down with a microfibre cloth. You do not have to use any water to clean the car.
Q11. How to wash a car carpet?
Ans. Use a brush to take out any surface dirt, sand or grime. Any loose debris should come off this way. A vacuum cleaner can be used to suck up tiny dust particles. Dip a towel in a warm soapy solution and gently rub the carpet to deep clean it. Make use of a soft brush to lather up the soap and dissolve any grime. Finally, take a clean towel and wipe the carpet dry.
Q12. How to wash a car without scratching the clear coat?
Ans. The best way to protect the clear coat is to avoid using harsh chemicals and detergents to wash the car. Make use of car shampoos that are specifically designed to clean a car. They won’t damage the clear coat.
Q13. How to wash a car with household products?
Ans. Some household products you can use to wash your car include hair shampoo and conditioners. These are gentle and do not contain any chemicals that will ruin paint or chrome. Liquid laundry detergents can also be used to wash your car. Hand soap, baby soap and dishwashing soap are also fine for the exterior and interior of the car.
Q14. How to wash a car in cold weather?
Ans. If the weather is very cold, use lukewarm water to wash the car. Cold water may freeze and prevent you from removing dirt from the car’s exterior. Preferably use a garage or indoor area to wash the car. Cold winds may dry out the soap and leave stains if you are washing the car out in the open.
Q15. How to wash a car without swirl marks?
Ans. Start by using a high-quality, lint-free, microfibre cloth to spread on the soapy solution. After the wash process has been completed, use a dry microfibre towel to wipe the car clean. Make sure not to leave any water or moisture on the paint. This should prevent any spots or swirl marks.
Q16. How to wash a car without touching it?
Ans. You can make use of a soap foam gun to spray the entire car with the cleaning agent. Then use a high-pressure hose to wash the soap off. Repeat these steps until all the dust and grime have been washed away. Finally, make use of a compressed air gun to dry off the moisture on the car exterior.