There are two types of people out there. Those who enjoy cleaning their car, and those who enjoy finding ways to avoid cleaning theirs. If you fall into the latter category, then this blog might just be for you. We’re going to divulge some of the best tips and techniques to turn your car from unloved and unkempt, to spotless and sparkling. Here are some top tips to clean your car like a professional at home.
Step one: consider the weather
So you’re ready to clean your car, and for that we applaud you. However, before you dive into the job, it’s important to consider the weather. As we know, the UK climate is far from predictable, and if conditions aren’t quite right then you might make the job harder than it needs to be. High temperatures and strong sunshine might feel like the best time to wash your car but the heat can actually cause shampoo residue and wash to dry on your car. This residue can leave behind streaks, spots, and marks that undo your hard work. Rain is less of a problem. Besides looking a bit eccentric, the only issue with rain is that you won’t be able to give your car a final wipe down with a microfibre cloth. Ideally, you’ll want to pick a mid-temperature, overcast day. Alternatively, move your car into the garage or undercover and clean it there instead.
Step two: prepare your tools
To save yourself time, you must have all your necessary tools gathered in one place. You’ll need the following:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Bin bags or carrier bags
- Hose/pressure washer
- Microfibre cloth
- Car wash soap or specialist wax
- Bonus tip: be sure to remove all jewellery to avoid scratches on your paintwork
Step three: begin with the interior
Once you’re all prepped and ready to go, you’ll want to start your journey to showroom cleanliness with the interior of your car. First, remove any car mats and give them a clean, use the hoover on carpet mats, or hose down and leave rubber mats to dry. Take a look through your car and remove any rubbish. Next, use your hoover and necessary attachments to dislodge grit and dirt, and suck up any dust. Dashboards can be easily cleaned with a cloth, warm water, and mild soap. Finally, pick out a good air freshener and once they’ve dried, replace your mats.
Step four: begin at the top
Once you’ve tackled the interior of your car, it’s time to take on the outward-facing elements. These parts will naturally pick up the most dirt and debris and so it can be quite a daunting task. However, by beginning at the top of your car and working down, gravity will assist in pulling grime downwards.
Now take your hose, or pressure washer and begin blasting away. This pressured approach will do the bulk of the work and help dislodge most dust, dirt, and grime. Next, you’ll need to use your shampoo or wax. Once again begin at the top of the car and work your way down, applying your chosen product. This avoids dirty water from dripping onto places you’ve already begun cleaning.
Step five: Rinse and wipe
If you want to avoid streaks and spots, then it’s important to rinse off shampoo and wipe your car down afterward. Leaving it to dry naturally will result in a messy finish. Use your sponge, or hose, and then give it a circular buffing wipe with a microfibre cloth.
Step six: finishing touches
You’ve done the bulk of the work now, but the real pros know that the devil is in the detail. Wheels can play a huge part in the overall look of your car, and you should neglect them at your peril. Use a separate damp cloth, brush, or sponge and clean both inside the wheel’s barrel and the wheel’s face. Finally, use a specialist polish or wax to give your car a lasting shine and cut down the number of future cleans you’ll have to endure!