How to Wash a Car by Hand?
Washing your car by hand can be a relaxing activity. Washing your car will save you the money that would otherwise be spent paying for a car wash, and allows you to give extra attention to especially dirty areas of your vehicle. To wash your car by hand, you’ll need a flat, shady patch of concrete, and access to plenty of water and a hose. You’ll need to wash your entire car in one session, which usually takes an hour or two depending on the size of your vehicle and how dirty it is.
Steps for your home car wash
- Focus on the wheels
- Use a hose with a nozzle that provides good water pressure to spray the wheels of the car. The wheels contain the most dirt and debris so you want to clean them first.
- Spray around the wheel wells, as well as the undercarriage to get rid of brake dust, dirt and to clear out any road salt left behind from winter.
- Clean the wheels with a cleaner that’s made for tires – some cleaners work best with certain paints or types of aluminum and you can typically find this information in your owner’s manual. You don’t want to damage your wheels by using the wrong product.
- Once you’ve finished with each of your wheels, put that mitt or chamois aside – you don’t want to use this on the rest of the car or you’ll risk transferring all that tire dirt and debris to your car and scratching the paint.
2. Prep and lather
- Spray the entire vehicle with water to rinse away surface dirt and to give your vehicle a good coating of water. Pay attention to all the cracks and crevices and make sure you cover the entire vehicle.
- Prepare two buckets of water – one without soap and one with soap. Use a cleaning solution that’s specific to cars as a household cleaner could strip wax off the paint or damage the finish. A professional car cleaning solution will also allow the water to sheet and bead off, making the drying process quicker and reducing the likelihood of water spots.
- When you’re filling the buckets, follow the instructions on the cleaner so you use the right amount of solution. You’ll use the soapy bucket to lather up your mitt or chamois with soap for the car and the bucket of water will be used to rinse dirt and debris from the mitt after you’re done cleaning each area. It’s important that the cleaning mitt is free of dirt or else it can scratch the paint as you clean.
- You want to work your way down as you wash the car and clean it in sections. Start with the roof. Use the mitt to make one swipe, flip it over to swipe again and then rinse it. Don’t try to scrub or rub off the dirt. As you finish each section, give that area a rinse so soap doesn’t just sit there. Clean the back of the car last, as this is an area with a lot of dirt.
- If during the cleaning process the mitt falls on the ground, rinse it very thoroughly before even considering using it on the car. Dirt and gravel could have gotten lodged into the mitt in the fall and you don’t want to be rubbing that into the car’s surface.
3. Rinse and dry
- Once you’ve washed up each section of the car, remove the nozzle from the hose and use the free-flowing water to rinse the vehicle. Start with the top and again, work your way down, making sure you don’t leave any soap behind.
- The final step is to use a dry chamois or a microfibre cloth to gently and thoroughly dry the vehicle. Avoid household towels and instead use the cloth to drape the vehicle, with little rubbing or pressure. Squeeze water from the cloth as you continue to dry until you’ve reached every spot and you’ve got a streak-free finish that shines!
- It’s inevitable – as soon as you’ve taken the time to clean your car, a flock of birds fly over and leave their mark. While it’s hard to prevent, it is important to clean up after. Wipe off bird poop as soon as possible as the highly-acidic droppings can damage your car’s finish.
In conclusion, you’ll need to use professional cleaning equipment and use the right cleaning techniques for every car model. Make sure you take the vehicle’s exact model into account, because the cleaning process may vary significantly. Also, make sure you use the right chemicals for the type of vehicle. For example, you should use water and soap to clean the surface of the car; however, if you’re washing a diesel vehicle, you’ll need to use special cleaning agents that’ll penetrate the layers of oil.
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