How To Wash A Car

Washing the car does not involve any rocket science, and it’s the most fun and relaxing activity. That gives you satisfaction and lets you enjoy your ride in your clean dazzling car. So here are a few of the best techniques on how to wash a car to keep it in top-notch condition. 

Washing your car now and then is vital to prevent dirt build-up and baked grime. Elements like bird droppings, brake dust, tar, and splatters of birds remain untreated for longer. They stick to the paint of your car and cause serious damage to the car paint and clear coat. 

Even most commercial car washes use abrasive material that can scratch your car paint so it’s always safe to wash your car at home by hand. Make sure you have the perfect car cleaning gears to achieve maximum results with minimal effort. 

And along with washing the exterior of your car, you must take care of the interior of your car too. As you would not want to ride a car with a flashy exterior but filthy floor mats and a dirty interior. 

Prepare For Wash

So if you are planning to wash your car aim for early morning or evening as it’s not ideal to wash your car in direct sunlight. But if you have a shady driveway you can wash your car anytime. 

Make sure you have access to a water hose in that area and gather all your car supplies so you do not have to run to get them while washing. 

Make sure you separately target the dirtiest areas of your car as well as use specified supplies for tires, glass, and paint of your car for a detailed cleaning session. This way you can prevent any possible damages while ensuring to get the shiniest car like it just rolled down the showroom floor. 

Now wet the surface of your car you can also use a pressure washer for this purpose. And this way you will knock out the dust, grime, or bird dropping and prepare the surface for a thorough soap washing session. 

Wash Tyres & Wheels 

It is suggested to wash your car wheels or tires first to avoid any water splashes. As after you have washed your car, cleaning tires can cause water splashes. That can leave water spots on the spotless cleaned surface of your car which can be super annoying. 

So we have mentioned a few strategic ways to clean your car wheels without any damage or putting too much arm grease. Just get the right gears to do the job and make your wheels look new.

Wash Each Tire At Once 

The most valuable piece of advice when washing your car wheels is to wash each wheel at once. As if you try to do all wheels altogether by applying cleaner to them and then washing them off later. The cleaner will dry over the surface of your wheel and you might cause swirls and marks. 

So rinse your wheel, apply the cleaner then wash off and dry with a thick towel. Then move to the next wheel as this is the perfect order to clean car wheels.

Use Wheel Specified Cleaners

As wheels go through a lot of wear and tear so it’s always suggested to use specified cleaners for wheels and tires. There are numerous and the best alloy wheel cleaners available on the market willing to remove impurities like brake dust, grime, and dirt from your tires and wheels. 

They also come in different variations as well as consistency and cleaning power. So it’s up to you what cleaner you prefer and what suits your vehicle the most. 

Use Right Wheel Cleaning Brush 

Using the best wheel cleaning brushes with feathered bristles will make the job a lot easier for you. As it will clean all the baked grime, tar, and asphalt from your wheels without scratching the surface. 

On the other hand, the tires are made of rubber hence you can use a stiff brush. And for the inside of the tire and crooked areas like spokes. Slender brushes with long handles are what most professionals prefer. 

Polishing Wheels 

The last step in cleaning the car wheel is polishing or waxing them. As the wax creates a layer of protection for your wheels and prevents dirt build-up, grime, and dirt from sticking to the surface. 

And the next time you clean your car, only rinsing the wheels will suffice. 

Best Way To Wash Your Car At Home 

Now you have cleaned and polished your car wheels you can progress to the next step and start washing the car. We have made this step to step guide on how to properly wash your car. 

Park Your Car Away From Sunlight 

Before you start washing your car it’s vital to ensure that it is parked away from sunlight. Because if you wash your car in direct sunlight, your vehicle can get hot, which will make the cleaners dry faster and water evaporates. Making the cleaning process more inconvenient and drying cleaners will also leave splotches over your car paint. 

It’s safer to wash your car in a shady area while also making sure that all the windows are closed. And it is also safe to retract the antenna to avoid water going inside the car. 

Get The Cleaning Supplies 

Make sure to have all the cleaning supplies and gear within the reach of your hand. Get 2 or three buckets of water, the best car wash soap or the best snow foam, and a connection to the water hose. You will also require a few old towels or microfiber car wash mitt to dry your car later.

In case you witness any bug splatters or tar over your car you can also get specified best car bug removers. You can also get some soft sponge preferably huge but make sure it does not scratch the surface. 

Rinse The Car 

Use the pressure washer or the hose to pre-rinse your car. As it will remove the loose dirt, dust, grime, and other impurities from the surface of your car and it will save you time in the long run. 

Use The Bucket Method 

The two-bucket method is an old car washing technique yet effective once. Hence in this regard, you will have to get two buckets and fill them with water. 

Add the best car wash soap into one bucket as per the recommended ratio mentioned above in the bottle. Mix it while you can use the other basket with clear water to wash the sponge or mitt before putting them into the soapy water. 

This way you will ensure that the cleaning detergent goes a long way and that all the dirt from your car on the sponge will be rinsed into the bucket with clear water. 

Do not use any dishwashing liquid or hand soaps for cleaning the car as they might not have the perfect formula to suit the paint job of the car. You can also install a grit guard into the buckets. Ensure that impurities or dirt remain at the bottom of the bucket and clean water at the top. 

You can also go for a snow foam session if you want fine detailing and you witness baked dirt, stubborn grime, and bug splatters over your car surface.

Start Cleaning From The Top  

It is suggested to start washing your car from the top and make your way down. This will save you from doing the extra work while mostly the bottom of the car is the dirtiest. Hence you will not be moving the dirt all over the surface of your car. 

Another useful tip is that you should ensure that you clean the surface in linear motion. And do not move your towel or microfiber mitt in circles. As it increases the chances of swirls over the surface. Hence move the line and do it from top to bottom. 

Rinse & Dry 

Now get the hose or pressure washer and thoroughly rinse the car with water to remove all the detergent from the surface. Make sure to avoid water spots by rinsing frequently. 

And instantly dry the surface of the car with a microfiber cloth and do not let it air dry. As this might cause water splashes over the surface. Use a clean towel or mitt and when it is saturated use the other one. 

Inspect The Surface 

After you are done washing, inspect the surface to see if it feels smooth and clean. Because there might be some contaminants that detergent fails to remove and you can use the best clay bar to scrub those areas to remove those unwanted embedded materials. 

Wax The Car Surface 

Waxing the car surface works as a protective layer for the surface of the car. It not only gives your car a shiny appearance but also works as a barrier against dirt, grime, and other impurities. 

It prevents bugs and dirt from sticking to your car’s surface and protects the paint from any possible scratches while washing. Hence go for a thorough waxing session and the next time you will wash your car. Just washing the car with water will suffice as there will be minimal dirt and grime. 

Cleaning The Car Headlight 

How to wash a car

The dirt, road grime, and environmental factors like harsh UV rays of the sun and other weather conditions. Can eventually make your headlight appear dull, yellow, and foggy. That also results in diminished light which can be hazardous while you are driving at night and under severe weather conditions. 

But that does not mean that you will have to compromise with your foggy yellow headlights. As of now, there are many house remedies that you can utilize to get rid of those foggy headlights. 

Though getting professional help is advised as they know how to get the job done and your headlight will sparkle like a new one. But if you still wanna do it on your own here are a few remedies or DIY techniques that you can utilize. 

Toothpaste Technique 

Using toothpaste to clean the headlights is pretty common and somewhat effective. In this regard, get nickel-sized toothpaste on a clean dry towel. Rub it over your hazy headlight and then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse it with water and dry the surface with a mitt and your car is all ready to slay. 

Baking Soda & Vinegar Technique 

You can also make your solution using baking powder and vinegar. Make a paste and let it sit for a few minutes on your headlights. Then rinse with water and dry instantly with the towel to get those shiny headlights. 

Be cautious and do not let the paste make its way to the paint as it can dull the paint of the car. 

SandPaper Technique 

Another technique is using sandpaper to remove that layer of dirt and haze from your headlights and then polish it. 

Though it can be risky and you might end up damaging your car’s paint. So be cautious regarding what you choose and be gentle while using sandpaper. 

If you are worried that these techniques might not work for you try getting professional help. Or simply purchase the car headlights detailing kit for a detailing session it will also go a long way.

Cleaning The Grills 

Bugs on car grills look creepy as well as they affect the aesthetic appeal of the car. And the longer you take to clean your grill the more prominent they get and it will be even harder to remove them. 

So here are a few tips on cleaning the car grill using easy and useful methods. 

Use WD-40

Using WD-40 can help to clean bug splatters from your car surface or grill. All you have to do is to spray it over the affected area then let it dwell for a few minutes then wipe it off with a sponge or mitt. 

Make sure to not spray directly onto the paint of your car as it’s not suitable for the paint. 

Use Dryer Sheets

Using a dry sheet to clean the grills and windshield is also effective. In this regard, soak the dry sheet in warm water and wipe off the bug splatter with that. 

Or else put it in water in a spray bottle then spray over the area and wipe off with a towel.

Use Specified Bug Remover 

There are so many effective and best car bug removers available on the market. And no doubt they are super effective in getting the job done. Their effective cleaning solution will remove the baked bugs without any arm grease. 

And it also won’t affect the grill of your car or the windshield hence it’s one of the safest options to eliminate bug splatters from cars. While these solutions also go a long way hence spend a little to enjoy the convenience for years to come. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

If you still have any queries regarding the basics of car washing or how to clean a car. In this section, we will try to briefly answer all those queries so that you wash your car with confidence and with the right gears. Give the below-mentioned details a read to know more about washing your car. 

Q.1. How to properly wash a car?

To properly wash your car make sure that you have the right gear at your disposal. Then park your car in a shady area and start washing. 

  • Rinse your car with a water hose or pressure washer to remove loose dirt and grime. 
  • Mix the car wash soap with water and start cleaning 
  • Start from the top of the car and make your way down to the bottom. 
  • Make sure to apply the soap in lines instead of in a circular motion. 
  • Rinse it with water 
  • Dry the surface with a microfiber mitt or towel.

You are all ready to get your cleaned and shiny car back on the roads. 

Q.2. What soap can I use to wash my car?

Numerous brands on the market are offering amazing car cleaning gears and the best car wash soaps or best snow foams. They are formulated specifically for the car hence they are gentle on car paint and won’t damage the clear coat of your car. 

Though it is recommended not to use dishwashing liquid for washing the car. But if it’s the only option available at your disposal make sure to use the one with ammonia-free formula. And dishwashers are mostly formulated to cut grease hence they will clean the grime, grease, and dirt from your car surface. Read More.

Q.3. What can I use to wash my car at home?

You can use professional car cleaning gears to wash your car at home. Besides, people ask about using dishwashing liquid, hand soaps, and detergents for car washing. Let me tell you that they are not safe as they can scratch your car paint and they might also affect the clear coat of the car. But if you still wanna use them they will get the job done. Hence make sure to use the one with a not-so-chemically strong formula. 

Q.4. Can I wash my car with just water?

Washing your car with just water is not recommended as it will leave water splashes over the surface. While the dirt and grime will also not be removed completely. Also if you will use the microfiber mitt to remove dirt and dry the surface it will leave scratches over the paint job of the car. But in case you have done hydrophobic coating and there is not much sticking grime or dirt to the surface. You can consider washing your car with just water. 

Q.5. How do you wash your car without scratching it?

To wash your car without scratching it, it’s vital to pre-wash your car with water. It will remove any loose dirt or grime. While you should use some top-notch or the best car wash shampoo to clean your car. And instead of an abrasive towel or sponge use the soft microfiber car wash mitt for scrubbing your car. 


Now that you have mastered the process of how to wash a car at home and you are aware of all the techniques and car cleaning gears. Make sure to clean your car often as it does not only enhance the aesthetic appearance of your car. But it also protects your car and paints job from any permanent damage. While you will also get to enjoy an amazing ride in your clean shiny car. While the car cleaning gears also go a long way hence by spending a little. You will save the fortune that you would have been spending on those commercial car washers. 

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Austin was obsessed with cars even before he started university. And this obsession with automotive products leads him to join the team of CarSciences as a writer and managing editor.

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