If you want to clean your car, you can opt for a simple body and wheel wash, or you can clean your car both inside and out. Before you start the exterior wash, make sure the body is cool and in the shade. Use specialty cleaners to wash the body and wheels. To clean the interior, remove the floor mats and throw away any trash. Vacuum the interior and use foam cleaner to clean the carpet and upholstery. Complete the car wash by cleaning the inside and outside of the windows with a window cleaner.
Part 1 of 5: Prepare to wash the car
Step 1. Park your car in a shaded area
If the body is heated from the sun or from driving, let it cool down before washing the car. It might take twenty minutes to half an hour.
Since heat speeds up the drying time of soap and water, you should wait for the car to cool to avoid soap and water stains
Step 2. Put your things together
Get two buckets, a car cleaner, a soft natural sponge or a lambskin wash mitt, a cloth or rag, tire cleaner, soft terry cloths and car wax and put everything near the car. You need these materials to clean the outside of your car.
Also have the things ready for the interior cleaning. This can include a vacuum cleaner, trash bag, glass cleaner, upholstery foam cleaner, carpet cleaner, cotton swabs, paper towels, and rags
Step 3. Fill the two buckets with water
You will need one bucket to soak the sponge and cloth and the other one to rinse them out again. Add the special car shampoo to one of the buckets according to the instructions.
Don't use dish soap or hand soap to wash your car. The harsh household cleaners could remove the wax layer on your car
Part 2 of 5: Wash the body
Step 1. Flush the car with a hose
Rinse the entire surface of your car thoroughly before applying soap. Be sure to remove any loose dirt and debris to avoid scratching the car. Use your hands to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris.
Set the hose to high pressure to wash away stubborn dirt, debris, and grime. Just make sure the pressure isn't too high so you don't damage the wax or paint on the car
Step 2. Clean the car from top to bottom
Work on only one section at a time. When you finish lathering, rinse each section completely with water. This will prevent the soap from drying on the car.
Step 3. Lather up the soap with your sponge or lambskin wash mitt
Then wash the car in a straight motion up and down. Don't wash it in a circular motion. Washing in circular motions can cause swirl marks.
Step 4. Rinse your sponge often
Rinse it in the second bucket of water after each use. If your sponge falls on the floor, make sure to rinse it in water. If not, the dirt on the sponge can scratch the paintwork.
Step 5. Don't let your car air dry
This can cause water marks and streaks. Instead, use a soft terry towel or leather towel (synthetic or natural) to dry it off. Try to absorb the water with the cloth instead of wiping the car dry.
Part 3 of 5: Clean the wheels
Step 1. Fill two buckets with water
Mix a cleaner in one of the buckets. Make sure you use a cleaner that is safe for all wheel surfaces. Avoid harsh cleaners that contain acid, as well as dishwashing detergent. These cleaners can ruin the finish of the wheels.
One bucket of water is for cleaning and the other is for rinsing the sponge
Step 2. Dip a soft sponge in the wash water
Once the sponge has soaked for a few minutes, clean one wheel at a time from top to bottom. To clean narrow crevices, use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
If your wheels are very dirty, you may need to apply a degreaser before cleaning them
Step 3. Rinse and dry the wheel
Once the wheel is clean, rinse it thoroughly with water until all dirt and debris is removed. Then dry the wheels with a soft cloth.
Repeat these steps for all wheels
Part 4 of 5: Growing the car
Step 1. Divide car cleaning dough into three or four equal pieces
Press one of the pieces flat enough that you can hold it with three fingers as you work. Spray a fair amount of lube on a small section of the car (two feet by two inches). Then gently slide the modeling clay back and forth over the sprayed area (not in circular movements).
- As soon as the putty is gliding smoothly over the area and nothing feels or sounds rough anymore, move on to the next section.
- As you work, make sure that you use a clean part of the modeling clay for the new section.
- Car cleaning putty is used to remove microscopic dirt from the body of your car that could cause scratches during wax treatment.
Step 2. Press an amount of polish the size of a euro coin onto the polishing pad
Apply the wax to the body of your car in a straight up and down motion. Do not apply it in a circular motion or put wax on the windows or the moldings. Use light pressure as you spread the wax to get a smooth, even layer.
Make sure you apply thin coats of wax, not thick coats. As a rule of thumb, it's better to apply several thin coats than one thick coat
Step 3. Use a microfiber polishing cloth to buff the wax
Use the cloth to buff straight up and down, not in a circular motion. Use a good quality microfiber cloth to avoid scratches.
Before you polish the wax, you may need to let it dry. It depends on which product you are using. To be on the safe side, follow the instructions on the product packaging
Part 5 of 5: cleaning the interior
Step 1. Take out the floor mats
Shake them out to remove dust, dirt, and grime. Put them on the floor where you can vacuum them off later. Of course, you can also vacuum them off immediately if you want. It's up to you.
Step 2. Remove large pieces of trash
Collect larger pieces of paper, coins, pens or other objects lying around with your hands and put them in a trash bag. Wear latex gloves so you don't get your hands dirty.
- Use a barbecue skewer to remove debris and bits of trash from the narrow cracks between the seats.
- Don't forget to take rubbish out of the cup holders.
Step 3. Spray glass cleaner into the cup holders
Let the cleaner sit there for five to ten minutes. Then, use a paper towel to wipe out any dust and dirt. Use the grill skewer to get dirt and grime out of all small cracks.
Alternatively, you can pull an old sock over a drinking cup or thermal bottle. Then place the mug in the cup holder and rotate it to remove dirt and dust
Step 4. Suck up dust from top to bottom
Start at the top with the seats, dashboard, and console before vacuuming the floor. Use the upholstery nozzle to vacuum the seats, as well as other upholstered surfaces and the headliner. Then use the brush attachment to vacuum any hard rubber, plastic, and metal components, such as the dashboard and console. Use the crevice nozzle to clean narrow gaps and narrow areas.
Move the seats back and forth to clean hard-to-reach areas under the seats
Step 5. Use a carpet cleaner to remove carpet stains
Spray the cleaner on the stain and use a hard-bristled brush to rub it into the carpet. Be careful not to spray too much cleaner on the carpet, as this could cause mold if it doesn't dry thoroughly.
Use a clean, dry towel to blot the stains and rub the area dry
Step 6. Spray a foam cleaner on fabric stains
Rub the cleaner into the stain with a soft brush. Let the cleaner dry. Then use a vacuum cleaner to remove it as instructed. If the stain isn't gone, spray more cleaner on the affected area. Clean them again until the stain is gone.
If you have leather seats, be sure to use a leather cleaner or saddle soap to clean your seats. The same applies to other components in the car that contain leather
Step 7. Use car wipes to sanitize the dashboard and console
Make sure you use special car cleaning wipes. You can find them at your local auto parts store. Use cotton swabs to clean up small details like radio buttons, vents, and panel seams.
If you don't have car towels, you can also use an all-purpose ammonia-free household cleaner
Step 8. Clean the windows with a glass cleaner
A normal household glass cleaner is sufficient. Instead of spraying the cleaner directly on the glass, spray it on a clean microfiber cloth. Then rub it on both the inside and outside of your windows in a straight up and down motion.
Also, roll down the panes so you can thoroughly clean the top of the window
Step 9. Vacuum the dust in the car again
This will remove any dust and dirt that was released during the cleaning process. Now shake out the floor mats and vacuum them thoroughly, if you haven't already. Put them back in your car.