Have you just bought yourself a new car and are wondering how often you should be treating it to a wash? Is your car the laughing stock of the street due to it’s permanent filthy state? Our simple guide will explain exactly how to wash your car and how often.
How Long Will It Take To Wash My Car?
Roughly 30 – 45 minutes
What Do I Need To Wash My Car?
- Hose pipe and water supply
- Pressure Washer (Optional)
- A bucket (Or two if using the two bucket method)
- A wash mitt or sponge
- Snow Foam (optional) and Foam Lance
- Car Shampoo
- Wheel Cleaner and Wheel Brush
How To Wash A Car
Let’s begin with the basics on how to wash a car. Whilst it may sound like an extremely straight forward process, there are some key tips to follow to ensure that you are getting the best results. Following our easy, step step guide will deliver great results time after time.
Always start with the wheels first. If you’ve got a pressure washer, give each wheel and tyre a thorough blast of water to remove any loose surface dirt. It’s also a good idea to give the arch liners a good blast too. If you don’t have a pressure washer, just use your hosepipe.
TOP TIP: If your hosepipe doesn’t have a spray nozzle attachment, don’t worry, you can easily use your hands to recreate the same effect. Place your thumb over the end of hose to create a jet effect.
Next, spray on your wheel cleaner of choice. Allow the cleaner to work for a few minutes and then begin agitating with your wheel brush. If you’re using a wheel cleaner which contains bleeding properties (this means that a chemical reaction occurs when the cleaner comes into contact with dirt and will change a different colour, usually purple), wait until the colour change has happened and then begin agitating.
Once you’ve done the wheels, you can also use the brush to clean the tyres too. Spray some wheel cleaner on the wall of the tyre and begin agitating with your brush.
When done, thoroughly rinse the wheels and tyres with your pressure washer or hosepipe ensuring to remove all wheel cleaner.
Snow Foam (Optional)
This step is optional, and not everybody has the equipment to do this but it’s a really good way of reducing the amount of contact that the dirt has with your car. The purpose of washing a car is simple – remove as much dirt as possible, as safe as possible. By safe we mean without inflicting any damage on your paintwork such as swirl marks or scratches. If your car is heavily soiled we strongly advise the use of a snow foam as a pre wash before washing with a wash mitt / sponge.
Using your snow foam of choice, load up your foam lance with roughly 1 inch of solution and the rest with water. Attach the foam lance to your pressure washer and cover the entire car in snow foam, beggining at the top and working your way down. Pay particular attention to the lower half of your car as this is where the majority of dirt accumulates. If your car is heavily soiled, there’s no harm in snow foaming the lower portion of your car twice over.
Allow the snow foam to dwell on the car for roughly 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, using your pressure washer, begin rinsing and removing all of the snow foam.
Key point: You’ll notice the majority of dirt coming off your car (more noticeable on light coloured cars), this is the stuff that you’d be dragging across your paintwork if you hadn’t used a snow foam.
Using your car shampoo of choice, follow the instructions on the bottle and make up a bucket of suds.
If you’re using the two bucket method, fill your second bucket up with fresh water. You’ll use this to rinse your wash mitt / sponge in. The idea behind this is to stop all the dirt and grime getting back in to your main wash bucket.
Dip your wash mitt in your bucket, lather it up and begin washing the car working from the top down. We advise washing the car in quarters to avoid soap suds drying and creating water spots.
Once you’ve washed your first quarter, rinse using either your pressure washer lance or hosepipe, making sure that you’ve removed all soap suds. If you notice any spots on the car that you’ve missed, go back over them repeating the steps above.
Use this technique for the remaining three quarters of the car.
All that’s left to do now is dry the car. Have a read of our comprehensive car drying guide below for expert tips on how to safely dry your car after washing.
How to safely dry a car after washing
How Often Should You Wash Your Car?
It’s very much depedant on a number of differening factors such as the climate of where you live, the type of driving you do etc but as a general rule of thumb, you should be washing your car roughly every two weeks. Here in the UK, we get pretty poor weather for the majority of the year with the odd glimmer of sunshine. Our roads are constantly wet and full of salt, debris and mud, rainwater etc which ends up all over our roads.
Washing your car every two weeks will ensure that the aforementioned nasties are safely removed from your car before they begin to do any serious damage to your pride and joy.
Your car is a major investment and you spend a lot of time in it. Keeping your car in good, clean condition not only help it look great but it can also positively affect your cars value. When it’s time to part company with your vehicle, you’ll lose money at the trade in or sale if the paintwork is in poor condition. A well looked after car will always attract a better resale value.