Part II: Washing and Drying

Expert Tip: Never ever use the same bucket that you used for the tires and wheels to mix car wash soap for the body of your car. Brake dust is corrosive and any left over brake dust in the bucket could harm your car's paint. Always use a separate bucket when washing the car itself.

You probably don't like excessive heat and neither does your car. Most car wash products tell you not to use them in direct sunlight so stay in the shade or wait until it's cool outside. In the heat, you car's surface can reach well over 100 degrees, making washing your car difficult.

Bug and Tar Removal

Before you start your car wash, first clean off those extra grimy spots like the bumpers and lower trim. Use a bug and tar cleaner plus a soft brush (like boar's hair) or special bug sponge to wipe off the debris without scratching the paint. This will keep you from smearing tar and that dragon fly you knew for half-a-second all over your vehicle.


Products You Can Try:

- Bug and Tar Remover

- Bug and Tar Brush

- Bug and Tar Sponge


The Car Wash

Now let's move on to the biggest part, washing the body of your vehicle. First of all, let's get something straight; do not use household dishwashing soap. The chemicals in them are designed to strip off everything in sight including your car's protective layers, so preserve your car's paint job and protection by only using car soap for your car wash.

There are two basic ways you can wash your car or truck. We recommend one or the other depending on what you drive. If you own a car, then use the traditional bucket and sponge method. However, if you own a larger CUV, SUV or pickup truck then use a lesser known, but very effective, brush method. The only differences between the two are going to be the product you use for your car wash and how you prepare the soap and water. The larger surface area on the brush will help clean larger vehicles faster and save you some backache.

For Cars: Pour your soap into the bottom of the bucket, then pour some soap on the sponge or wash mitt you are using and put it into the bottom of the bucket too. Grab the hose and start putting some water into the bucket.

Expert Tip: For more suds, move the nozzle of the hose further away from the surface of the water. For more water put the nozzle closer to the surface or even into the bucket itself.

For CUVs, SUVs and Pickup Trucks: Get a soft wash brush, preferably boars hair and an extension handle. Soak the brush with water then pour your soap directly onto the bristles. Wet your vehicle down and start washing it with the brush. The soap on the brush will react with the water on the vehicle and create instant suds. Apply more soap to the brush as needed.

Expert Tip: Never let the bristles of the brush touch the ground as they can pick up small stones and dirt which can scratch your finish. If this does happen, be sure to quickly rinse out the brush with your hose before continuing.


Car Wash Equipment You Can Try:

- Car Wash Soap

- Car Wash Mitt

- Car Wash Brush


Now that you have your soap, sponge or brush you are ready to do your car wash. Be sure to start at the top and work your way down, doing small sections at a time. Starting from the top allows the dirty water and soap to flow down the still dirty body. This way you are never ruining a clean section of the car or truck. If it's really sunny outside and the clean sections are starting to dry, be sure to keep them wet by spraying them down as you rinse off the sections you just washed.

Drying the Car

Ok, the car is all washed and ready to be dried. This is one of the most important parts of the entire process. Improper drying can lead to water spots, streaks and even scratches, ultimately ruining your day and your car. The best drying method is to park it in a garage or shade, but not everyone has this luxury, so instead you'll just have to act fast and use the right drying product. Some people recommend using 100 percent cotton terry cloth towels to dry, but they can be expensive and if they aren't well maintained will cause you more hassle than they are worth. Plus, for larger cars you will need a few to dry it off. Other people like to use a natural chamois, but we have found these to breakdown and leave residue on your car in a short amount of time. Thankfully science is on your side and you can have the best of both worlds by using a synthetic chamois.

Similar to how you did the car wash, take the chamois and start at the top and work your way down. Only this time, be sure to do all the flat surfaces first (roof, hood, trunk and windows) then work the sides and bumpers. Make sure you get under the door handles and under the side mirrors. These areas tend to hold water that will sneak up on you later. Next, grab a clean towel and open up all the doors and wipe down the door jambs, then do the same on the inside of the trunk and hood. Why use a towel and not the chamois for this? These areas tend to be a harbor for dirt and grime and you don't want to get the chamois dirty.

Expert Tip: Try using a squeegee to dry the outside of the windows. Do them before you dry off the car and you'll be left with spot free glass. But be forewarned, you have to act fast, and be sure to keep a cotton towel handy to dry off the squeegee as you go and wipe up any left over water in the corner of the windows.


Car Wash Equipment You Can Try:

- Synthetic Chamois

- Squeegee


Making the Car Shine

You should now have a clean, dry car. The next step is going to be cleaning the interior, but before we get to that, let's address one more item on the outside. Most people will be content at leaving the car the way it is now, its clean right? Yes, but it isn't as good as it can be! If you want to really make the car shine for your Friday night cruise downtown, but don't have time for a full polish and wax, follow this simple step: purchase a good quality 'quick detailer' and apply it to your car. This should take no more than 15 minutes depending on the size of your car. The results will speak for themselves. Not only will this step help remove any left-over dried water spots you couldn't get to, but it will also shine up the paint and will make the car easier to clean next time.


Car Wash Equipment You Can Try:

- Quick Detailer

- Micro Fiber Towel


Continue With Part III: Cleaning Interiors