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Wash & Wax Your Car Like a Pro

Educational  ·  June 3, 2020

Wash & Wax Your Car Like a Pro

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has left us with only a handful of the things we used to enjoy but took for granted. Thankfully, the current situation still allows us to drive our car, albeit with some restrictions. 

Probably, you’re now more aware about the importance of driving around in a car that looks, feels, and smells clean. With car washes and car parts shops closed, it is tough to find a spot where you may get your car washed and waxed. But, here’s the good news: you can do it all yourself like a pro!

Your goal is to give your car a thorough cleaning to rid it of all dirt and bad odours and give the exterior the shine it deserves with a wax polish. If you have never done this before, you’re probably wondering where to start. Don’t worry about a thing and follow this guide, instead.

External Washing

Washing the exterior of your vehicle is the first and foremost step, as the outer car parts accumulate a lot more dirt compared to the interior. However, merely picking up a hose and throwing water in high pressure on your vehicle is not going to do the job. In fact, you risk damaging the car exterior if you use too much water pressure, unsuitable products, or stiff brushes. 

Avoid soaps, detergents, or any other non-car cleaning products you keep at home on your car, as the chemicals might not be suitable for your vehicle. For example, dishwashing soap is great at fighting grease and cleaning dishes, but it can easily damage the wax coating of your car. 

Rinsing Is Key

You’re going to use a lot of water during the entire cleaning process, so position your vehicle on a water-absorbent surface, like grass, for a more natural drainage. Start by rinsing from the top and work your way to the bottom to get rid of most of the accumulated dirt. Then, wash all sections one by one, and finish with another thorough rinsing. 

The Devil is in the Details

The mark of a true professional is attention to detail. Make sure you cover those car parts that are usually hidden inside the lower body, such as behind the wheels. Thoroughly rinse this section before applying any car washing solution. 

Using A Car Wash Solution

It is recommended that you use a non-damaging wash mitt made of microfibers that will not scratch the surface of your vehicle. You may use wash mitts that use other types of soft materials, such as sheepskin or even boar’s hair. 

You need to split your car into sections, and then start applying car wash soap from top to bottom section-by-section by using the wash mitt. As you rinse, the top portion of your car becomes cleaner than the bottom parts as most of the dirt washes down, that is why washing top to bottom is essential.

Keep Rinsing

Many people make the mistake of rinsing their car after they have applied soap on the entire vehicle. This is not wise, as you might transfer some debris from one part to another, potentially scratching the car with debris accumulated on the wash mitts. Hence, remember to rinse each section right after it has been washed with soap, and flush the wash mitts before moving onto subsequent car parts. 

Pro tip: Keep a second bucket handy, so you can quickly rinse your wash mitts before using them on other sections. Just make sure to change the water in this bucket if it becomes too dirty. 

Refrain from Scrubbing

A professional car wash will never scratch your car. By using a wash mitt, your goal is to loosen up the dirt that is on the vehicle. Applying the soap gently on the dirt and leaving it for a few seconds should do the job. If you are impatient and start scrubbing your vehicle, the dirt could easily damage the paint job.

However, beware of leaving the soap on the car for longer than recommended, as it may leave water spots or residue. Wash it up before it begins to dry up on the paint. 

Pay extra attention to the dirtiest car parts, such as the trim and the car's mouldings, where there is severe dirt buildup. Make your job easier by pre-treating such portions with a product that may soften up the dirt and make it easier for you to clean it up when you wash the car. 

In case something drops on your car as you are washing it, such as bird droppings, deal with it immediately before it leaves a stain on the car. Take a cotton towel and soak it in a full-strength car wash. Then, wipe away any droppings. Be careful, as you are applying a harsh cleaner so it may damage the paint of the car. To prevent this, rinse it away as soon as you are done wiping. 

Rinsing by Sections

As you progress from section to section with you wash mitt, make sure you keep rinsing the clean sections and keep them wet. Doing this gives your car a uniform clean that looks smooth, without any lines or discrepancies on the car’s body. 

Waxing the Vehicle

After the wash is done, it is time to coat the paint in wax to retain the shine of your car. Any carnauba-based wax works best, and you should apply it at least four times a year. There are four major types of wax to choose from, namely, liquid, paste, spray, and wipe-on. All of them work really well, and choosing one depends on your preference. 

Here are a few tips to ensure you get the best results out of your wax job:

1) Apply it after parking your car in a shaded area.

2) Use the applicator that comes with the product, or a foam applicator if there's none included.

3) Follow the instructions as provided in the product label.

4) Work on one area at a time, preferably a surface of not more than 4 square feet.

5) Avoid using too much wax.

6) Use a clean towel for wiping and rubbing the wax on the car.

7) Don't apply the wax in a circular motion. A back-and-forth motion works best.

After applying the wax coat, take your car outside in the sun for around 15 minutes and bring it back into the shade. Then, use a fresh towel for buffing, wiping down the wax once more to make the body smooth. That’s it, and you’re done! Your car should now look brand new and shiny. 

For more news and updates on the automotive industry and information on maintaining your car, visit to access how-to guides and expert advice on car maintenance. Also, use our platform tools for effectively buying and selling auto parts online. Request a part or post an ad now! 

By Muhammad A. Lashari

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