Water Cooler: Tips To Wash Car At Home

Is your car dirty from this summer adventure? Here are some tips to keep your vehicle clean and tidy.

Begin by gathering all the necessary supplies. It’s best to use a hose with a spray nozzle or pressure washer for a thorough cleaning, although you can use a waterless washing solution if necessary.

You will also need two buckets, one for the soapy water and one for the rinse water. Five-gallon buckets from a hardware store are great, especially because you can fit a grit guard in the bottom of the rinse bucket to keep dirt particles away from your cleaning tools between rinses.

Use a soft sponge or car wash mitt to clean the core of the car, but you can also get additional accessories, brushes, and microfiber cloths for cleaning wheels and other specific areas. Set aside a microfiber cloth or chamois towel to dry. Buy car wash liquid as other cleaning solutions and soaps can be too harsh on the paint. You can also buy wheel and tire cleaners to tackle tough road dirt.

Once your supplies are gathered and the bucket is full, you are ready to go. Follow the directions for the cleaning solutions you’ll use to make sure you get the best performance out of them. It’s generally recommended that you wash your car on a cloudy day or out of direct sunlight to keep the soap from drying on the paint, but if you do wash it in the sun, make sure you do the job efficiently.

start with wheels Because they are the dirtiest part of the car. It is best to use a separate sponge or tire brush to avoid spreading debris across the body of the car. Coat one tire at a time with the cleaning solution, let it sit for a few seconds to loosen the dirt, then scrub. Wash the tire and brush or sponge, then move on to the next wheel. Once the wheels are in place, dump the rinse bucket (and the soap bucket if you use one for the wheels) and start anew before moving on to the car body.

before washing, You can use a foam gun to treat the car with a foaming cleanser (also called snow foam) to absorb and lift dirt and grime from the surface. Foam gun attachments usually require a pressure washer. This first step helps prevent any dirt from rubbing into the paint during hand washing.

If you leave foam, go straight to the car wash. Try to remove as much dirt as possible with water and a spray nozzle before washing. When washing your hands, work from top to bottom and one section of the car at a time. Start with the roof, then the hood and side panels. Wash the backside one last time as this is the dirtiest section.

wash mitt or sponge In the rinse bucket between each section. Some sources recommend using lateral motions because circular motions are suspected to cause more scratches.

after washing, Wash and dry the car immediately with a towel (microfiber or chamois is best). To make your job go faster, you can also blow dry the car using a leaf blower before finishing it with a towel. Don’t forget hidden areas where water can collect, such as door sills, cladding and spoilers.

For a streak free view, Wash the interior and exterior of windows with a dedicated glass cleaner. To protect your paint from the elements, apply a spray detailer or wax to the body of the car. Wash off residual dirt or grime from cleaning supplies before packing.

Rachel Baker can be reached at (509) 459-5583 or rachelb@spokesman.com.

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