What Your Father Knew About Washing His Car You Don’t

It is said that washing and cleaning your car by hand not only keeps the vehicle looking good; it can also be therapeutic. It’s probably why you might have some fond memories of your father washing his car. It may seem a simple task but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here are some tips to maintain your prized possession that your father probably never told you.



DON’T use regular household cleaning agents like dishwashing soap, hand soap, or glass-cleaning solutions on your car’s body. These are not designed for automobiles; they could damage the protective wax and even the paint.

DO use a mild, dedicated car-wash product that is specifically designed for vehicles, and apply the soap with a large, soft sponge. Dirt from the road often collects around the wheel wells, which can be tough to clean and may require a stronger product. Use a separate cloth or brush to remove deposits from the wheels and tires, as they can quickly dirty the sponge. Soap and water or a wheel-cleaner may work. But ensure the cleaner is compatible with the type of material (paint, clear-coat, chrome, etc.) on the wheels.



DON’T wash your car when the engine is hot or if the car is lying in the sun. The heat will speed up the drying of soap and water. This not only makes washing more difficult but increases the chances of leaving spots or deposits too.

DO move the sponge across the length of the bonnet, trunk and other body panels (not in circles). Rinse all surfaces before beginning – loose debris and dirt could scratch the car while scrubbing. Focus on one part at a time; wash and rinse each area entirely before moving to the next. Start at the top and work your way around the car. Use a hose without a spray nozzle and let the water flow from top to bottom.



DON’T let your car air-dry, and don’t drive it around just after washing it. If using a towel to dry it, ensure the material isn’t coarse – it can leave minute scratches that could show up when the surface dries.

DO use several soft towels to dry the car. It’s best to blot the water instead of dragging the towel over the surface. You can speed up the process by using a small kitchen wiper to remove most of the water on the body first.

We hope these tips help you to wash and dry your car in a better way next time you undertake the job.


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