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How to Wash a Car Like The Pros

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On: Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 2:30PM | By: Bill Wilson

How to Wash a Car Like The Pros

An automobile is more than just a way to get somewhere. It’s also an expression of your personality and status in life. So it just makes sense to keep it looking as good as possible.

But that doesn’t mean you have to pay costly fees to detail shops. With a few dollars’ worth of supplies and some “sweat equity,” you can get the same results for a fraction of the cost. Here’s how to get professional results the next time your wash your car or truck.

Make Sure You’ve Got The Right Stuff
Here’s a list of the supplies you’ll need.

1. Car soap. While some people use dish detergent to wash vehicles; this can harm rubber components and ruin wax coats. You can find specialty products at auto parts stores or big-box retailers. Many of the better ones are surprisingly affordable: around $5–$6 for a bottle of concentrate that will give you several washes.

2. A wash mitt made from microfiber or sheepskin. A large sponge will work as well. Avoid using cloth towels, however. They usually just push dirt around without removing it.

3. A leak-proof bucket to hold the water/cleaning soap mix. Plastic is preferable to metal, just in case you should accidentally brush it against the car.

4. A large waffle-weave drying towel, along with several smaller microfiber drying towels.

5. A nice, shady spot big enough to easily fit your car in.

Get The Worst First
Start by working on the most obvious stains like bug guts, tree sap, bird droppings, tar, etc. You can use a small amount of undiluted soap for this step unless the directions say otherwise.

Do An Initial Rinse
Starting at the top, give the entire car a good hosing down. Push the windshield wipers out and give the areas under and around them special attention.

Dip the mitt or sponge in the cleaning solution and swish it around to thoroughly wet it. Starting at the top of the car, use moderate finger-tip pressure to clean every inch of the vehicle’s exterior. Don’t push so hard that you cause dents, however. Look for small spots of tar, bugs, or sap you might have missed before; give them added attention.

Make It Sudsy
Go back with the mitt and soak the car top-to-bottom in suds, using a constant s-shaped motion. The point is to loosen up any remaining dirt.

Hose It Down
Remove the nozzle and use a gentle stream of clean water to remove the soap, working top-to-bottom. Repeat if needed.

Don’t rub the towel into the car’s body. Rather, simply lay it on the surface, drag it along, then wring it out and repeat.

Detail Dry
Using the microfiber drying towels, get the areas behind door handles and unseen spots that might have picked up water. This step is vital to giving the vehicle a polished look.

By following the steps in this article, you can have a clean car while saving money at the same time. Enjoy your shiny, spotless vehicle!


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