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Tips and tricks for car washing

We all have an enthusiastic member of the family who has volunteered themselves to wash the family car in return for some pocket money, or if you are really fortunate, out of the goodness of their heart! To be a master ‘car washer’, you will need to know some of the top tips to impart on your volunteers to prevent smears and smudges!

So, you will need:

  • 3 buckets
  • A good quality wash mit (not sponge)
  • Chamois or microfibre cloths or cotton towels for drying
  • Car washing liquid (do not use washing up liquid)


  • Position your car out of sunlight.
  • Fill your three buckets with water. One bucket is to be used for the car soap and clean wash mitt(s), one bucket is to rinse your mitt off in, and the third bucket is for you to rinse your wheel and tyre brushes out in. This way you avoid transferred grime back onto the car and potentially damaging the paintwork.
  • Pre-wash: With a hose, give your entire car a good dose of water to help loosen the grime. If you have a pressure washer, these can also be very effective, but ensure that you don’t hold the hose too close to the paintwork as it can potentially be too harsh.
  • Grab your clean washing mitt and starting from the roof working your way down and finishing with the boot, give your car a good scrub.
  • Rinse your mitt in the second bucket regularly before dipping back into the first bucket, which is filled with car washing liquid. This way, you will know that you are always applying clean water to the car.
  • Windscreens and glass need to be given special attention with a really good soapy scrub as they tend to attract bugs and other debris – remember to give the wiper blades a light wash too. Rinse the glass with clean water and polish with a microfibre cloth after you have given the rest of the car a final rinse.
  • Final rinse with your hose or pressure washer – the trick is to try and keep the entire car wet before the final rinse to avoid those annoying speckles of soap residue and water spots.
  • Drying: Again working from the top down using your cloths, pay most attention to the windows and mirrors as these will show the water spots first. Then move onto the flat surfaces such as the roof and hood and finish the rest.
  • Wheels: Using a mitt of a sponge dip into your soapy bucket and give your wheels a good scrub, remember to rinse in your third bucket this time. Where needed, use a toothbrush or a small brush to get to any hard to reach areas, then give another scrub with soap.
  • Rinse carefully to avoid to spraying the car and dry the wheels with clean cloths. Enjoy a sparkling car without smears and water spots!