Can you remember when you purchased your first Car?
The excitement I had when my 2000 Honda Prelude pulled up on my driveway for the first time was indescribable for me,
We hadn’t even began a negotiation but I did something very odd, I immediately began detailing the interior…
The owner looked at me oddly, laughed and said I could do whatever I wanted as soon as we signed the bill of sale.
I smiled and got out of the car and was glad I didn’t set up my pressure washer, because a good wash for my new car and clay bar was the only thing I wanted to do more than the interior detail that I already began.
Unfortunately no matter how many times I took my Honda to car washes, clay barred it and detailed the interior, the giant oil leak eventually led to me having to part ways with my baby.
The unbelievably large pools of oil that would form underneath my car didn’t stop me form getting compliments wherever I took my car,
This was all thanks to the process I perfected and use to this day when I detail the cars at Drip Auto Pros,
This guide was developed to help anyone with any vehicle implement the perfect car wash,
Don’t be mistaken this car washing technique is powerful but when combined with our clay bar and interior detail will leave your car in show room condition.
Without anymore remising on my Honda Prelude lets dive into the reason your all here, the perfect way to wash a car.
Perfect Car Wash
The Perfect Car wash consists of the many elements put together in the right way,
It is a simple process but by any means it is not easy to do correctly.
Ensuring you have the proper tools and equipment is the first step, doing a evaluation of what areas need attention is the next, followed by washing the vehicle and finally completed by drying the car.
If you want to go above and beyond we recommend clay barring and waxing to ensure the longevity of the paint as well as that added extra shine.
Evaluating Before The Car Wash
As simple as this step is, it is often overlooked by even the most experienced individuals.
Before beginning the car wash you need to take a look to see what areas need the most attention,
Is there excess brake dust on your rims, do you have salt in your wheel wells, is there mud stuck to the guards of your car, do you need to clay bar or do you have sufficient clear coat?
These are all excellent questions but we are not limited to those alone, be sure to see exactly what you need to implement the perfect car wash.
Once you have taken a walk around of your vehicle, then determine what products you need.
Skipping this step always results in more work because you generally will need to go back and forth if you don’t bring enough products,
Or have to restart because you missed a troublesome area. Be sure to follow this step. And start on the right foot,
What Products Do I Use
Now this area is important if you want to use top notch products but if you already are set on some products you currently use, you can skip to the next section.
Before using any chemical when doing a car wash be sure to read the labels, not every product is meant to be used in all types of weather and not every product is an all purpose cleaner.
Here are some common scenarios and questions we get asked all the time, you will find suggestions for products along with the process on how to use them,
Bugs Are Stuck To My Car
My Tyres Are Dull and Brown
If You Need To Remove Brake Dust
Remove Mud From Guards
Salt On My Car
A Bird Pooped On My Car
Micro Fibers and Mitts
Having adequate microfibres to be used on different areas of your car is a no brainer,
It doesn’t make sense to use a dirty or soaked micro fibre clothe all over your car, essentially you’ll just be leaving dirt and water marks everywhere.
When picking microfibres and mitts be sure not to cheap out,
low quality cloths can scratch your paint and in the end cost are because they won’t be able to retain as much as a quality cloth.
Costco has a great deal on microfibres if your on a budget and we highly recommend buying a mitt that is made from sheepskin,
Not only will these items last long and be reusable but when used right they will leave your car in impeccable condition.
Pro Tip: Be sure to rip off any tags on the clothe and mitts to avoid further scratching your paint.
My Paint Isn’t Shiny
Let all be honest, when we all wash our cars we aren’t doing it for the benefits brought to the vehicle,
We are doing it for the benefits of how it looks after the wash, so how can you get the best possible shine after washing your car?
Waxing your car is the straight forward answer, not only will this give your car a great shine but it will add another layer or protection,
If your looking for a quick shine you can go ahead and grab a spray on wax or you can go ahead and look deeper into what wax suits your needs.
We strongly do not recommended waxing alone, Drip Auto Pros always recommends clay barring before any wax applicant is applied in order to remove any contaminants from the paint.
My Paint Is Contaminated
So you’ve run your hand across your car and it feels rough and gritty, you’ve washed it over and over and still don’t know what to do,
Lucky for you the answer is very simple and we have already covered it in our previous blog post, why you NEED to clay bar your car.
In the previous blog we explain the types of clays, why you need to do it and mow importantly how to clay bar your car.
Detailing Clay should be used on your car in order to remove contaminants from your paint and improve the shine and smoothness of your vehicle.
Experts Use Three Buckets
Detailers are able to charge the big bucks when detailing your cars because they aren’t playing around with your vehicle,
Every part of the process is thought over and meant to help protect your vehicle in the long run,
Many people who detail their own cars do so incorrectly and most of the time damage their car by using incorrect methods and products.
A common mistake people make is using one bucket of soapy water to both wash and ring the sponge out in,
Drip Auto Pros uses a three bucket system, One bucket contains soapy water, the second with just water and the final bucket is to be used on wheels and tyres exclusively.
This method is done to ensure no dirt and debris go back into the soapy water,
when you mix all these buckets in one you generally make your vehicle more dirty and scratch the paint.
Never Wash A Hot Vehicle
A huge mistake I made when I detailed my first car was when I applied wax in direct sunlight,
Yes, the first car I ever waxed was black and done in direct sunlight in the Calgary summer…
This led to the wax drying quicker than I could rub it into the vehicle, white streaks were left everywhere and it looked like garbage,
When you wash your car in direct sunlight and allow it to heat up it can make water and chemicals dry quicker than you are able to get to them.
This is probably the least of your worries, if you wash a vehicle while the engine and other important parts are hot you could very well damage the parts.
We always recommend allowing your vehicle to cool and washing it in the shade.
Begin With The Wheels and Tyres
As we mentioned in our Complete Car Detailing Guide it is very smart to start detailing your vehicle from the top to bottom,
The only exception is when it comes to wheels and tyres, you want to begin with wheels and tyres first because they generally require more attention,
Asides from requiring more attention it will also be very hard to dry your cars body in adequate time if you focus on wheels last,
If you wash your vehicle then focus on washing the tyres it can be very hard to dry the car in enough time, this can lead to water spots which negate the entire car washing process.
Ensure you have a brush to agitate your tyres, a separate bucket of water and the right chemicals,
Make sure your chemicals are good to use on any rims to prevent any damage to the wheels,
Begin by wetting the rims and tyres then apply the chemicals and begin to agitate the rims and wheels,
Let the wheels sit for a few minutes to let the chemicals do their thing then spray off the wheel and move to the next.
Time To Start The Real Wash
Time to grab your pressure washer and begin washing your car from the top down,
Wash from left to right while going from the top down, be sure not to miss any area and allow the dirt to glide down your car.
Do not apply any soap or begin to apply any solutions to your vehicle before this step is completed,
A initial wash is done to ensure the excess dirt and debris are broken down, as soon as this step is done and you have removed all the large debris then you can begin to add soap
We recommend using a sheepskin mitt to rub any soap or solution onto your vehicle, as long as your vehicle is wet feel free to rub away to get soap onto your car,
Using a quality soap is recommended because using household soaps can strip away at your vehicles protectants and paint,
Repeat these steps until your vehicle reaches the desired level, if a spot is missed we do recommend repeating until no dirt is left on the car.
I Still Have Stubborn Debris On My Car
If you still have stubborn debris such a bugs stick to your vehicle it can be smart to use a prewash cleaner,
This should be predetermined when you do an evaluation of your car, depending on the type of debris there are many different methods to remove them!
How Professionals Dry
Everyone Detailer will tell you something different when it comes to time to dry a vehicle,
Some detailers use air guns, others use microfibres and some use squeegees.
Each of these methods has its own benefits,
if you are crunched for time or the water is evaporating quickly we recommend using a squeegee to help slide water off quickly.
A microfibre is the most common method and allows for you to get all small areas that are normally missed, done wrong this can ruin the whole wash if you aren’t switching out clothes.
Air guns are the method we recommend least to all our clients, this is because it can be challenging to do correctly for non experienced detailers, keep it simple and use a squeegee or a microfibre.
Plus you can always rewash microfibres and double up their use for an interior detail of your vehicle when they are clean!
Its Time To Clay Bar
After completing this intensive wash process it is wise to finish off by clay barring your car,
This is the best time because you have removed all excess debris and all that’s left is the contaminants stuck to your car,
Be sure keep a moist surface and follow the complete clay bar guide after completing your car wash.
Wax Is a Clay Bars Best Friend
My Honda Prelude was always given compliments because I didn’t just stop at a simple wash,
I always followed through to make sure after each car wash I clay barred and waxed my vehicle to have a glass like finish.
Not only did this leave my car looking great but it allowed me to further protect my paint by adding an added layer of wax,
Its a win win situation, your car looks great and you protect it!
Enjoy Your Shiny New Car
Wow, take a step back and look at your car. Doesn’t it look great?
Who knew by following such simple steps your car could be left looking this good, you did everything from the wash, wax and clay bar.
All that’s left is to detail the interior, after completing the interior detail guide we are confident your car will be left looking in show room condition!
I Need More Help!
At Drip Auto Pros we would love to help you wash your car in Calgary or provide some advice no matter where you are, feel free to get in touch with us or watch this video to get car washing tips!
You may need more help such as a full mobile detail in Calgary
Grit guards are an excellent way to trap debris in the bottom of your water bucket,
No one wants to accidentally scratch their vehicle by having debris get trapped within a microfibre or mitt.
Trust us that this simple investment is worth the protection of your paint!
Your probably reading this not because its going to make your life easier but because you just want a soap cannon video for your instagram.
We understand where your coming from but instead we are going to tell why these canons are so useful,
They enable you to soak your car incredibly quickly and typically get much more coverage on your car.
Pre washing your car with water and using a mitt to rub in the water is still highly recommend so you can be sure to really break down dirt and grime,
The time you save with the soap cannon is great and the posts you can make on instagram are even better, what are you waiting for, Go get one right now!
You can also learn how to remove pet hair from your car!