Step 2: Pre-clean - softening the dirt on the car
This is not as easy as it sounds, particularly to avoid damaging paintwork. Accumulated dirt – even fine particles, can very easily cause scratches and so need careful removal.
First remove any leaves or bigger debris from the roof, bonnet, windscreen and vents by hand. It’s advisable to wear rubber or disposable gloves when cleaning your car to protect your hands.
If you haven’t washed your car in a while, it’s a good idea to soak the bodywork with a garden hose or buckets of clean cold water before going in for the big clean.
Next, it’s the main wash.
We recommend using a car-specific shampoo diluted in lukewarm water in one of your buckets. Never use ordinary washing up liquid for this as it can damage the wax coating on your paintwork. You can find a useful guide on the best car shampoo here.
Use a sponge to cover the car in the foamy water, being careful not to apply any pressure to the car’s surface. Start at the top and work in straight lines along the length of the car moving down with each passage. Rinse your sponge in the other bucket containing clean water, so you don’t add dirt to the shampoo mixture.
The car shampoo has a special detergent to soften the dirt, so you’ll need to leave it on the car to react for a few minutes. Working your way around the car quickly should be enough time for this to happen.