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How to wash your car perfectly every time

It’s important to wash your car regularly, especially during this time of year, as driving in cold and wet winter weather can cause unnecessary damage to your vehicle. By following these simple tips, you’ll learn how to wash your car perfectly every time.

The all-important pre-rinse

One of the biggest issue’s drivers find with washing their car at home is that they damage the paintwork. Small pieces of grit and dirt can be easily picked up by a wet sponge and dragged around the surface of the paintwork leaving swirling scratches.

To avoid this, it’s recommended that you start off by giving the entire vehicle a rinse with either a pressure washer or a garden hose with a spray gun attached.

Work from the top of the car downwards and make sure to include the inside of the wheel arches and the alloy wheels. The aim is to remove any loose dirt which could cause unwanted damage, and this also saves you time and effort for the next stages.

The easy wash

Add your favourite car shampoo to a bucket of water and using a wash mitt or sponge begin to wash your car from the top downwards. While a circular motion probably feels more natural, try to wipe sideways to avoid those swirling scratch marks. You may need to repeat this wash a couple of times to remove all dirt and stains.

Handy tip: if you need to rinse the mitt or sponge, do this in a second bucket of freshwater before putting it back into the bucket of shampoo.

The second rinse

To remove the shampoo and any remaining dirt rinse the car a second time with a pressure washer or a garden hose. Again, this works best if you rinse from the top down.

Salt can have a hugely damaging effect on both the paintwork and the underside of your car. So, after rinsing the areas you can see, try to rinse the underside as best you can too.

The perfect dry

While your car is still wet use a microfibre cloth to dry the car and remove any water stains. Again, a gentle sideways motion is best.


If you have a little extra time on your hands or if you’re looking for a more superior clean you can clean the windows and the car interior, as well as give the exterior a finishing polish.

The super polish

An ‘all in one’ polish is typically adequate for any car and can provide up to a month of protection. Apply the polish to the paintwork using straight strokes with a microfibre cloth. Once applied, remove using another fresh microfibre cloth. It’s best to focus on small areas, working your way around your entire car a panel at a time.


It’s important to clean the windows inside and out to ensure your visibility is the best it can be. Apply a specialist glass cleaner to the window and wipe with a microfibre cloth.

For the windows, a circular motion helps to clean the glass and leave a streak-free finish.

Handy tip: don’t forget that your mirrors may also need a good clean!


While specialist cleaners are great, often all that is needed to clean the plastic surfaces, vinyl and leather is a damp microfibre cloth.

Remove any floor mats and hoover or brush away the dirt from the floor of the cabin and the seats.

How to wash your car perfectly every time

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