The Full Story
About Washing Your Own Car
Yes, you can and should wash your own car. You can wash it between visits to your professional detailer or if you do not use a detailer you should wash it yourself on a regular basis. What ever you choose to do there are a few vital steps you should follow.
Collect everything you will need including a good neutral PH car wash soap. Do not used dish soap unless you wish to strip any wax you have on your vehicle. Preferably use three buckets, one for soap, one as a rinse bucket for the body wash and one for tires and wheel wells only. Ideally the buckets should have grit guards . If you are washing more than one vehicle replace the water and soap in your buckets between washes. Do not use dirty water on another vehicle. You will also need a good microfiber wash mitt. Prior to washing you will need to rinse your vehicle thoroughly to remove as much road dirt as possible before touching the surface. A pressure washer is very helpful in all rinse steps if you have one. The photo shows the application of car wash soap foam using a pressure washer and foam cannon. If you have these tools available this is ideal as it will help float remaining debris away prior to the hands on wash.
Start the actual wash by dipping your mitt in the wash bucket and begin at the highest point on the vehicle preferably over the foamed vehicle surface. When you need more soap on your mitt rinse it thoroughly in the rinse bucket and then get more soap from the soap bucket and continue. To clean your rims use the Tire, rim and wheel well bucket and carefully clean those areas using the same carwash soap, You may need to spray the wheels and rims with a degreaser prior to scrubbing the wheel wells. Be sure to use eye and hand protection when washing the vehicle and particularly when washing the tires and rims. Finally , you are ready to rinse thoroughly and dry using air and or clean towels. It is also helpful to use a blow gun on a compressor if you have one to blow out weep areas so that you do not get water spots from runs coming from areas you cannot dry with the towel. At this point you need to wax or apply some sort of finish to protect the vehicle from the elements. Congratulations, you are finished.....