required to be carried out before polishing and waxing.
After all, how can you polish if your exterior is covered in filth. It is so easy to carry out, yet so many people just get it wrong. I have a nasty
feeling this is going to be the longest page on this entire website. Where do you start? Well firstly your going to need the
common basics listed above. These are your bare must have essentials. You could also stock yourself with various brushes for working on
your moulds trims and plastics like the photo below.
your now getting
nitty gritty. "WHICH YOU
If anything your car will look even better and crisper in appearance if you are thorough with your washing. Besides, when your car has been
freshly polished and waxed, the last thing you need is to see dust sitting on the edges of moulds, plastics, and trims because your mitt
could not get in there. It can not be stressed enough that the effort you make in the beginning is the result you will achieve in the end.
Softer brushes will generally be required for use around any moulds or trims that have an edge in contact with your paint such as window
rubbers. These brushes have to be soft so in order not to scratch your paint as your dragging out dirt from your rubbers.
Stiffer or courser brushes will be used on tyres and under body trims, mud flaps and step boards such as those on 4WD'S. You need to
remember that the trick with making your car stand out is by keeping everything clean. Especially if your car has a lot of black plastics or
It doesn't matter how clean your paint is, but if you have a car with an ample amount of dirty black moulds and trim rubbers, the entire car
will hardly look clean. Black moulds and plastics are the magic high light of any coloured vehicle getting around these days.
If the moulds and plastics have been cleaned and highlighted, even though the car may have not been washed, the car still stands out.
WHY?, because black is the strongest colour.
A car with clean paint and dirty looking moulds and rubbers, or tyres does not look good. It is a half completed job. Do the job properly, and
reward yourself with impressive results. Clean the entire car properly. Do keep in mind however that this page is not involved with engine
bay or undercarriage cleaning. The information contained on this page is only to prepare your vehicle for polishing and waxing.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Initial Hose down
As far as how to wash a car correctly, Before you can even commence putting anything in contact with your paint, we first need to properly
hose down the entire vehicle. Nothing complicated about this.
Grab a garden hose with an adjustable head. Adjust the head of your hose gun to a narrow funnel when the water is exiting. Your water
contact funnel to your vehicle
pannels should be around 2-3 inches
wide when water is hitting your vehicle.
Do not use laser type water contact. This does tend to cause vibrations through the vehicle pannels, and if there is any weakness of paint
adhesion, you could cause paint chips especially around edges. I KNOW !! I've seen it happen. If you are a fan of using water blasters, that
is fine. Just don't take the blast head too close to your paintwork. If your vehicle is heavily soiled, then water blasting is ok as it removes
huge volumes of dirt. Especially on 4wd's, but remember keep the head at a good distance.
To commence hosing hosing down, start from the top and work your way down.
Start with the roof of the vehicle, then cover the boot area or bonnet, whichever you see fit,
and go completely over the sides of the vehicle.
Make sure you also
cover your door
also open the boot
and bonnet and
all rubbers and
Also thoroughly clean your wheel arches and wheels. When you are convinced that you have removed
as much dirt as possible,
it is time to move on to
the next procedure.
Soaping down the
The vehicle having been chosen here is being washed for demonstration purposes only.
You will have noticed that it is being washed under direct sunlight. Under normal circumstances when
you are washing your vehicle, always try to wash under the shade or on an overcast day. The reason
for this is that direct sunlight will dry water and soap suds on your vehicle very quickly, making it harder
for you to work at a comfortable pace.
The next step is to get your hands on some meguiars NXT generation car wash detergent. Meguiars
are world renowned for auto detailing products.Poor about 100mls into your bucket and pressure fill
the bucket to the top making
sure there are plenty of soap
suds. Why do we need plenty
of soap suds? Simple! Lots of
soap suds carry away dirt
particles and allow your mitt
to glide over your paint work
without any friction what so
ever therefore completely
minimising or eliminating any scratches that may arise from departing dirt particles. The other reason
we use a mitt and not a sponge, is that sponges can tend to drag dirt across your paint surfaces, and
due to their hard nature do apply pressure to paint surfaces. The last thing you need is dirt under
pressure and under your sponge.
When it comes to soaping down your vehicle, you will in fact need about 3 buckets. One seperate bucket
for your wheels,
and two buckets for the vehicle.
The two buckets for the vehicle
however includes one for containing
the main detergent with your mitt.
The other one contains just clean
water for rinsing your mitt.
In order to start soaping down your vehicle slide the mitt on to your hand and
thoroughly soak it in the detergent bucket.
Commence with soaping the vehicle from
the roof , working
your way down the
The procedure is the
same as hosing down
the vehicle. Everything
starts from the top
to the bottom. Why? because filth follows
gravity and travels down. Remember
however to wash one panel at a time. While
you are soaping down, areas that have already been washed need to be kept wet until the entire vehicle has been completed with the
When you are washing one panel at a time remember to also rinse your mitt in the
bucket with clean water.
There's nothing better than
not having to worry about
re-dipping your wash mitt
in a bucket that is just filling
up with dirt. While carrying out
the soaping procedure
remember to use the
assortment of soft and course
brushes for cleaning out all your rubber and plastic moulds. If you find you just can't seem to find the right
courseness of brush, you can always buy long length brushes and cut them to suit. The shorter you cut them the coarser they become.
When drying your car and using a chamois, always drag the chamois across the surfaces.
When you are drying
the sides of the vehicle
always fold the chamois
so it does not drag on the
I have to say that there is nothing worse than a vehicle which has been freshly detailed with a nice shiny paint job, clean wheels and
absolutely atrocious and filthy looking wheel arches.
Thoroughly rinse the wheel arch with a strong hit of water till you are convinced you have broken away the majority of heavy
grime. A simple trick
which I like to use
Is to get non acidic
engine degreaser and
the wheel arch. I then
take a wheel arch brush
and completely scrub
down the entire arch after
having allowed the degreaser
to soak in. Once this is done I rinse down the arch and again re-soap the arch with normal car detergent and brush it down again. Once it
has been rinsed off, the wheel arch should be very clean. Once this is done spray your wheel arches with normal tyre shine. You will be
blown away by the results.
When it comes to washing your wheels, you will need to use a seperate bucket and materials. Never ever use the same bucket for washing
the vehicle and your wheels. Seperate materials always. If you are not going to follow this rule, then always remember to leave your wheels
last. Bare in mind though, when you do wash your wheels,
you will have a heavily
Imagine the damage
you could inflict on your
wheels over time. So better
off, use a seperate bucket
with clean materials. It is
pretty much ok to use a
sponge on your wheels. Always make sure you have plenty of suds to wash away grime.
For wheel nuts, you can always use a wheel nut brush like the one pictured. There are various brushes which you can obtain from your
local parts and accessories outlet.
Auto Barn is my favourite. In my opinion they are one of the best well stocked outlets for car care products and accessories. As far as using
wheel acids on your wheels, the one important factor to remember is to never use acid wheel cleaners on uncoated wheels, or basically
alloy wheels which are not coated and don't use it on chrome. Also be care full not to use acid cleaners on anodised wheels as well. If you
have a tightly spoked wheel, you are certainly going to need a brush that can get between spokes for effective cleaning.
One product which you can use on these sort of wheels is Meguiars Hot Rims. It is specially made for uncoated wheels. Always try to avoid
washing wheels that are hot, or basically just don't wash your car imediately after driving.
Let everything cool down.
Which ever wheel cleaner
you use, always spray on
liberally and allow for the
chemical to soak in and
do it's work. This is why
your wheels can not be hot.
The chemical will dry up and
possibly even stain your
wheels. This is where you will
need your wheel brushes to agitate and work the cleaner well into your wheels. You will certainly need your wheel nut brush and a spoke
brush for spoked wheels. When you are convinced you have done a well enough job of agitating and cleaning your wheels, then rinse off
what is left. For the whole job to be done properly you really should consider removing the wheels and thoroughly cleaning from the inside
as well. Especially with wide spoke wheels that reveal the inside section of the rim.
When you have rinsed off then go over your wheel again with your sponge and car detergent. By now your wheels should look like a
million dollars. There are chemical cleaners out there which are designed for all types of wheels. Coated and Uncoated. Your local auto
outlet will be able to help you with this.
What is needed to be known here is, that when you need to clean your tyres, simply running a sponge over your tyres is not going to clean
them well enough. You have to remember that with past applications of tyre protectants you have grime stuck to your tyres. It will be more
than likely that the tyre protectant which has been used in the past will contain silicon. If you look closely at a tyre which has been driven on
after tyre protectants have been applied, you will notice dirt already having stuck to the tyre.
Not cleaning tyres with a good scrub and merely applying protectants on top of dirty protectants is not going to achieve much as far as a
nice clean looking tyre.
This is where your
going to need a
good tyre cleaning
brush like the one
pictured here. This
actually contains a
so as you scrub you can also dispense more detergent. Simply remove the cap, fill with detergent and scrub away till your satisfied the tyre
is clean. What a magnificent idea. Believe it or not, items like this can be found even at woolworths shopping centres. As far as achieving
the shine on your tyre, you actually have a choice. If you are after a satin finish, merely spray the tyre and walk away. Mind you, this is the
method that will also atract more dirt sticking to your tyre.
On the other hand, if you like more of a natural look with just a clean looking tyre, than spray your tyres, leave for a couple of minutes, then
completely wipe off all residue. This will give you a rich black clean looking tyre with minimal dirt sticking to your tyres while driving. If you
have thoroughly completed everything on this page as is stated, there is no reason that your vehicle should not already be in a beautiful
clean condition ready for the next phase.
A love and passion for cars
Materials needed for the job
2-3 inch contact funnel
Bucket Lambs wool mitt Chamois Tyre scrub brush
Car detergent Wheel well brush Wheel nut brush sponge
Wheel Spoke Brush
Wheel Nut Brush
Soft Bristle Wheel Brush
Course BristleWheel Arch Brush
Car Washing Tips On How To Wash Cars The Right Way
Car Detailing | Paint Correction | New Car Paint Protection
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