Dos and Don’ts of Washing a Car: Squeaky Clean over Scratchy Clean

Updated Feb 18, 2019 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Learn the dos and don'ts of washing a car to ensure the cleanliness and longevity of your “travel partner”.

Your car is an item that you have spent a high amount of cash that is why it is but worthy to make sure that it is always in good condition from the inside out. Cleaning is one of the simplest ways to maintain your car but is often ignored since you use it almost every single day.

That said, if you plan to wash your car from the inside out, top to bottom, keep in mind that the process comes with careful attention to details, and there are dos and don'ts of washing a car. Since most of you might not be aware of those things, will provide you with helpful tips that you need to remember to keep your car sparkling clean without compromising its quality!

Car Wash

Properly Washing Your Car Is the Cheapest Way to Maintain Its Quality

I. The DONT’s

Washing your car on your own rather than availing the car wash services provided by companies is great as you can save money on labor. Likewise, you would also know that your car has been washed with great love and care. That said, you must make sure that you don’t do the following:

1. Wash under the sunlight or when the car is hot

More often than not, you would assume that washing your car under the sun is better since it will dry quickly. That is actually a problem and surprisingly, some car wash businesses have open spaces, exposing the car to the heat of the sun. Keep in mind that when the water and cleaning products you used dry out quickly, it would leave marks on the car surface, which can also eventually damage the paint and finishing. Similar effects would be noticed when you wash your car while it is hot.

2. Wash the car from top to bottom

As obvious as it may sound, some people still forget this basic rule to wash a car properly, which is to start from the cleanest area to the dirtiest. This will prevent the spread of the dirt. That said, the tires are the dirtiest parts of the car, so you shouldn’t start cleaning from there and end with the interior or roof of the car.

Washing a car

Wash the car from top to bottom

3. Use the same cleaning items throughout

In relation to the second DON’T, never ever use one cleaning tool for the entire vehicle. You must have a separate brush and cloth for the tire, body, and interior.

Tire Cleaning

Don’t Use the Same Cleaning Items Throughout

4. Forget the tiniest spots

Washing your car means you have to clean all the nooks and crannies, such as the trunk and door jambs. Don’t ever forget to open everything up and clean them with a wet and dry cloth.

5. Use a sponge

Sponges have been traditionally used in shampooing car exteriors. However, experts say that sponges can cause damage to your car’s paint. That is because abrasive items from the car or paint can attach to the sponge, and once you run it through your car, it will slowly scratch the paint.

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II. The DOs

The dos of car washing might be the actual opposite of the don’ts, which means you just do otherwise. However, there are some important things to keep in mind to leave your car squeaky clean without causing any damages to your car, and they are:

1. Perform a pre-shampoo rinse

Just like washing your hair or body, you must give your car a pre-rinse before applying shampoo or any cleaning solutions. What you just need to do is spray it with water coming from a hose. If you don’t have one, get a bucket of water and dipper (tabo) and then splash water all over the car. This procedure helps remove any debris or dirt that might be present and can scratch the surface of the car when you start scrubbing it.

a pre-shampoo rinse for washing car

Just like washing your hair or body, you must give your car a pre-rinse before applying shampoo or any cleaning solutions

2. Use mild solutions

Most of us are accustomed to using detergent, dishwashing liquid, and other solutions for cleaning our cars. Unfortunately, they can damage the car’s paint! Thus, it is recommended that you purchase car washing soap or shampoo.

Car wash tools and solutions

Choose the Right Tools and Solutions

3. Follow the two-bucket method

It is understandable that saving water is one of the things that we would consider when washing our cars, especially since most of us in this country have problems with water supply. However, using only one bucket of water will make your car dirtier than cleaner, only not very visible. What you need to do is get two buckets of water: one will be for rinsing your washcloth and the other will be the one you will use for cleaning your car.

4. Dry everything out

Although most of the parts of your car will dry out with the help of air, it is always best to wipe all parts with a new, clean, microfiber washing cloth. This will ensure that there will be no water build up, which may cause mold growth as well as damage the car paint.

Wiping with clean cloth

Use Microfiber Cloth for Drying

5. Wash your car per section

When we wash our car, we tend to clean the interior first and then proceed to the exterior without dividing each part per section. The best thing to do is divide both areas into four sections. Then, start by cleaning one section, from washing to drying.

Once done, continue on to the second section, and so on. This way, you won’t miss any parts and you are assured that nothing dries up quickly, which can lead marks, as well as make sure that everything is dried thoroughly.

III. Dos and Don’ts of Washing a Car: The Conclusion

Washing your car will ultimately save you a lot of money but not your time since the process requires attention to details. As you can see from the dos and don’ts of washing a car that this article discussed, you need to proceed with the process carefully. You must also make sure that you select the correct tools and solutions.

That said, giving your vehicle some time never hurts since you are assured that you will have a squeaky clean car that is free from unseen smudges and scratches!

>>> Click to get more useful tips and advice for your car maintenance

Charisse Kim

Charisse Kim


Charisse has joined Philkotse since July 2018 as a part-time content writer. Besides writing high-quality SEO articles, Charisse also works as a content editor and provides coaching sessions to her teammates.

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