How to Wash Your Car Like a Pro

Taking care of your vehicle is worth it. Regular washing not only makes it nicer to spend time in your car, it can also boost the car’s resale value down the road, especially in harsh weather climates like we find here in Minnesota.

Washing your car may seem like a simple process, but doing it right isn’t always as straightforward. If you use the wrong chemicals or materials, you can do more harm than good.

The most important thing you can do to keep your car looking great is to wash it regularly. Some detailers recommend washing it every week, but that isn’t always realistic in the winter.

The key is to wash your car before obvious buildups of sand, salt, and other debris begin attacking the paint surface. In the summer, when washing more frequently is an option, be on the lookout for tree sap, bird droppings, and bugs, all of which, can be harmful to the surface of your car.

For a quick wash, you may be tempted to head over to the local automatic drive through. Avoid washes that use brushes as those can produce swirl marks on the car’s finish. While hand washing is recommended, if you do need a quick wash, find a brushless automatic wash.

For the cleanest hand wash, it’s best to use a two-bucket system. The first bucket can be filled with your car-wash soap of choice (please don’t use dishwashing liquid) and the second bucket can simply be straight water.

The point of a two-bucket system is to use the first bucket to suds up your washing mitt or sponge, then use the plain bucket to remove and rinse debris from the applicator. This will help you from transmitting dirt back onto your car. It’s also best to work from the top down as more dirt usually ends up on the lower half of the car.

Quick Tips for Washing Your Car

  • Avoid washing a warm car. Let the surface cool after driving and try to stay out of direct sunlight to avoid streaking from drying.
  • Use a machine-washable, microfiber mitt or sponge for the best results.
  • Avoid dishwashing liquids or other household chemicals as they are not suited for your car’s finish.
  • If needed, use a specialized car cleaner to get those pesky bug and tree sap blemishes off the finish.
  • When drying your car, use a clean, lint-free towel such as a chamois or terry cloth towel.

With the nicer weather this spring and heading into a hot summer, you’ll want your ride looking great. Regular washing is an excellent way to keep your car in top shape, year-round.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type or the interior and exterior of your car is in need of professional detailing, give us a call. We’re here to help!