Many car enthusiasts love the satisfaction that they achieve by washing their car themselves. There are many car wash setups that provide you with a good service. However, they’re expensive and they don’t take care of your wonderful car as you do it yourself. Being the owner and user of your car, you’re the person who understands it the most. Moreover, you’re also the person who can give the maximum amount of attention towards cleaning it. Apart from all this, car wash facilities use many chemicals in order to quicken the cleaning process. These chemicals are not just harmful for the paint of your car, but also possess health-related concerns for you and your family.
Washing a car yourself is an easy and DIY process that you can manage yourself on your own, without the help of expensive chemicals and an extra hand. Therefore today, we have come up with an A to Z DIY guide to wash your car yourself. This guide will include all the tips that you’ve to follow in order to get the most simple and best car washing results.
What You Need in Order to Wash Your Car Yourself
In order to get the best results, there are a few suggestions that you must consider before starting to wash your car.
- Try to park the car on a flat and covered parking area
- You must have abundant access of water
- You must have a long pipe and hose to disperse water properly where needed.
- Car washing is good if it is performed under a shade.
- Make sure that you have 2-3 hours of time if you want to perform a detailed car wash and wax.
Part 1 – How to Prepare Your Car for the Cleaning Process
1. Park your vehicle in a shade.
In order to let the car stay wet for a longer time, you’ve to park the car in a shade. If the car dries prematurely due to a direct exposure of sunlight, it might leave patches or strains over the paint of your car. If the weather is extremely hot, or the car is parked in the sun, it would dry it pretty quickly. This will make the cleaning process pretty hard and the car would also get quite hot while you’re working on it.
2. Check car windows and antenna.
Make sure that all the windows of your car are properly closed. This will prevent water from getting inside the car. Also retract the antenna, it can also absorb water and can malfunction if left unattended.
3. Windshields and mats
Pull and retract all the wipers from front and rear windshields. Pull them away from the screen till as far as they go.
4. List of items needed
- Detergent that will be used for the washing process
- Water supply
- 2-3 empty buckets
- 1 Hose
- 1 Microfiber cloth
- 2 Towels
- 3 Wash Mitts
- 3 Sponge
- 1 Scrubbing Brush
- Hard brush for scrubbing tires
- Wear work clothes
- Waterproof pair of shoes or a sandal (Depends on you)
5. Making Detergent
The detergent that you’re going to use for the car washing process must be good for cleaning and health. There are many car-washing liquids available at your nearest store, choose the one that’s the best in cleaning and doesn’t posses any risks. The detergent will come with preparation instructions, which you can follow and mix a solution of water and detergent. Use one bucket to create this mixture and use as much quantity of water as mentioned in the instructions.
The normal process of making a car wash liquid start from filling up a bucket with water. Then add the detergent in quantity mentioned in the instructions. This bucket will be used for your car washing process. If you think that the amount of dirt on your car is too much or you just want to use separate buckets of washing soap for car-body and tires, then you’ve to create two separate buckets.
6. Plain Water Bucket
Fill up the second bucket with plain water. This will be used to rinse your car and remove the detergent and dirt all at once.
Part 2 – Car Washing Process
1. Pour water on your car
Get your car under the water and pour a significant quantity over the car. Don’t try to use a jet with a very fast speed of water. This will be good to remove the dirt; however, it can put scratches on the paint of your car. Try to aim the water in such a way that the entire car is washed properly. This should include the entire body of the car, the tires and even underneath the car. Do not spray on the windows with an upward aim, as this could cause the water to leak and wet the car from the inside.
2. Washing the Wheels
Being the dirtiest part of your car, it is ideal if you start your washing from the wheels. If you wash the wheels at the end or in the middle, that could allow the dirt to land on the parts that you’ve already cleaned. After washing them with sufficient quantity of water with direct spray, take out the wheel scrubbing brush and scrub them using the detergent that you created earlier. Use the brush appropriately on all parts and edges of the rim and make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned.
3. Use a wash mitt to clean your vehicle
Take a wash mitt and wash it with clean water to make sure that there’s no dirt in it. Soak it in the detergent that you made earlier and apply it over the entire surface of the car. In order to get best resulted, it is recommended not to use a scrubbing brush on car paint. This would leave a lot of scratches and won’t give optimum results. Using a wash mitt with sufficient quantity of detergent is good enough.
4. Wash out each section of the car
Start from one side and take a circular trip around the car. Revolve around the car while rubbing the soapy wash mitt twice. Make sure that you rub and apply the upper portion of the car first, this will allow the soap to travel downwards automatically. Do not rub the car too much as it would scratch the paint. If the car is very dirty you can rub it three times with clean soap.
5. Remove tough marks
If your car has any tough dirt marks, like droppings of birds or anything else, then make sure that you give special attention towards them. Take a piece of cloth or sponge, soak it in the detergent and rub it over the dirt mark thoroughly until it comes off. You can add a little water to make sure that the rubbing is gentle and not causing any damage to the car exterior. If you don’t want to use too much detergent, then use warm water. Soak up the dirt mark with warm water and leave it for a while until it softens. After that you can clean if off using a cloth. This will limit rubbing and use of detergent.
6. Make sure that you’re using a clean wash mitt
Remember you filled a bucket with plain water, use it to wash dirt off the wash mitt. This is really important as you don’t want the dirty mitt to touch the areas that you’ve already cleaned. Dirty mitt can also lead to scratches on your car paint. Once the water in the plain water bucket gets dirty, make sure to throw it off and add clean water.
7. After washing each section make sure to rinse it off
Car washing is best done if you work on sections. Wash one section, apply detergent and then rinse it off. Do not let the dirt from other sections get onto the one that you just cleaned. Using a water hose try to spray sufficient water on the section on which detergent is applied. Make sure that it is fully cleaned before moving on to the next one. If soap or detergent is kept applied on a car for longer duration, it can leave strains on the surface. Therefore, it is ideal that you move on section by section. While washing the doors, make sure that you also wash the door shuts. Open each door and wash the inner surface using water and detergent, wash it off using the hose gently after your first rub.
8. Keep the vehicle wet while washing
Do not allow any part of the car to get dry before finishing off your car washing. Always keep it wet and keep on spraying water to the parts that are close to drying. Just like the detergent, even the droplets of water leave strains on the paint of the car. So, it is really important that you keep on spraying water, which will allow the entire car to remain wet. When you’ve completed the washing process, you can use a towel to dry the car, it will not allow the droplets to remain and damage the paint.
9. Lower body must be washed in the end
Take out a separate mitt or sponge and wash the lower body of the car. This includes, tires, wheels, bumpers, side skirts and silencer. Using a separate cloth is essential as washing the lower body will make it extremely dirty and you don’t want that dirt to spoil your entire car washing efforts.
10. Cleaning of tires
A wash mitt and detergent can wash the entire surface of the car in a really good way. However, for tires you’ve to use a separate scrubbing brush. Tires are the dirtiest part of a car and you’ve to give most effort to wash and make them just like brand new ones. Use a brush that is really stiff and soak it in the detergent. Rub off the tires and all the spaces between the rubber. After that rub the tires using the same soaked brush in a circular motion to rub the entire visible surface of the tires. Do this practice of each tire and use a good quantity of water to wash off the soapy remains.
There are a lot of tire-cleaners available in the market, you can choose one that’s best recommended. These tire cleaners get the real blackness out of tires and makes them shinny black just like new tires. Apart from this, you can use a black surface shiner to use on tires and all plastic parts of your car. It will make them shiny, smooth and conditioned.
11. Rinse the car bottom
When you wash your car yourself, use enough water to rinse off any soapy remains from the entire car. Spray water from a variety of angles and aim for tough parts. After rinsing the upper surface, do the same rinsing with a good pressure on the bottom side of the car. Make sure that no area is left with dirt and detergent.
Part 3 – Dry the Car and Waxing
1. Use towel to dry the car
Use some towels to dry the entire surface of the car. Do not let any section remain wet as it would allow rust to build up on that particular section. If you use a microfiber towel to dry your car, then it is the ideal option. It will not allow dirt to settle in it, while making sure that your car paint remains unscathed.
2. After drying it’s time to apply wax
Get a good brand of wax that’s suitable for your car. You can choose from a wide variety of products depending upon the hardness of wax and your requirements. Make sure that the car is entirely dry before you start applying wax. Do not use a very hard one, as it would cost a lot of damage to the paint of your car and decrease it resale value.
Check out: How to Buy a Used Car
A good wax coat allows your car to shine like the paint is new. Not just that, it also prevents the sun from damaging the paint or making it dull. It also doesn’t allow the dust particles to settle on the car. After you wash your car yourself, it is very important that you apply wax on your car after each wash.
3. Apply Windshield products.
After washing make sure that you clean the glass windows of the car using a soft and clean cloth. Scratches on glass are not good for the beauty of your car and also cause lack of visibility. After cleaning all the glass windows, apply a water repelling product on them. These products are easily available in the market and they do not allow water to settle and remain on the windshield. Even if you haven’t washed your car, you can repeat the application of water repellant after every two weeks.
Also check: DIY Car Maintenance Guide
Guys, this is all for today! Cleaning your car while taking care of all small details would keep your car as good as a new one and would increase its resale value. Hope you liked our A to Z DIY guide to wash your car yourself. Do keep us posted with your views and suggestions, and don’t forget to subscribe.
Happy Car Cleaning!