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How to Wash Your Car

Anyone can take their vehicle to the car wash, but if you want to save a few bucks, and give your ride need a little TLC, try these tips.


  • Step 1: Park your car Park your car away from other cars, preferably in a shady spot so the water won’t dry before you’ve finished washing the car.
  • Step 2: Rinse tires Rinse a tire and hubcap with the hose. Then, spray the tire wall with tire cleaner and let it seep in for 10 seconds. Scrub the wall and the hubcap with your brush, wash mitt, or rag.
  • Step 3: Finish the tires Hose the wheel off. Then, repeat the process on the other three wheels.
  • Step 4: Prepare the soap Fill the bucket with warm water and soap according to the instructions on the bottle of car-wash soap. You’ll need between five and 10 gallons of soapy water, depending on the size of your car.
  • TIP: Don’t use dishwashing detergent in place of products that are formulated for cars, or you’ll risk stripping the finish off your vehicle.
  • Step 5: Rinse the car Spray the entire exterior of the car with the hose to wash away any visible grime. Make sure not to miss the roof – stand on a stepladder if you can’t reach.
  • Step 6: Wash the roof Using your soapy water and sponge, give the roof a good rub down.
  • Step 7: Wash the car Hose the soap off the roof and then continue soaping, scrubbing, and rinsing the trunk, then the hood, and finally each side of the car.
  • TIP: Hose off the soap right after scrubbing to prevent residue from sticking to the car.
  • Step 8: Dry Wet the chamois slightly with the hose, just until it’s damp. Dry the entire vehicle with the chamois, wringing it out as you go.
  • TIP: After the car has dried completely, if it needs a waxing, use wax and a soft sponge.
  • Step 9: Do the windows Clean the inside and outside of the four windows, the windshield, and the rear window with glass cleaner and paper towels.
  • FACT: The 1976 movie Car Wash, featuring Richard Pryor, was shot at a real car wash in Los Angeles.

You Will Need

  • A hose
  • A spray bottle of tire cleaner
  • A brush with soft bristles
  • a wash mitt
  • or a rag
  • A bucket
  • A bottle of liquid car-wash soap
  • A sponge
  • A chamois
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • A stepladder
  • Wax

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