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Washing Your Car

Many detailing enthusiasts and quality detailers use a two bucket method when washing a car, one bucket with soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. The rinse water bucket is used to rinse the dirt off your wash mitt after washing a section of the car. This method has two benefits, firstly it keeps the dirt and grit out of your soapy water where it could do damage to your paint work, secondly it makes the suds in your soapy water last longer. Never use the same water or wash tools on your paint that you have used on your wheels.

Most high qaulity car wash shampoos are very gentle on the paint, plastic and rubber. A good car wash shampoo provides good lubrication between the wash mitt and the surface of the car to prevent scratching.


1. Do not wash the car in direct sunlight – If possible, work in the shade. A hot surface causes the water to evaporate too quickly, which will cause water spotting. It is best to park on a slight incline, this allows rinse water to run off moldings, trim and recessed areas better.
2. Wash the wheels first – If you wash the car body first, the water will dry and spot on the paint and windows before you can finish washing the wheels. Do not use the same wash water on your car’s paint as you used on your wheels.
3. Use a car wash shampoo only – Do not use any detergants such as dish washing liquid as these will strip any wax and also dry out the rubber door seals. Car wash shampoos are gentle on the car and designed to lubricate while washing to prevent scratches and contain conditioners to keep a gloss to the paintwork.
4. Use a quality wash tool – Lambswool Wash Mitt, Microfibre Wash Mitt or Foam Wash Mitt are the safest. These tools have a large number of fine filaments or crevises that draw dirt and grime away from the surface being cleaned into their internal structure. Sponges and washcloths can trap dirt, grit and grime on the surface, which will scratch your car’s paint.
5. Wash from the top down – This ensures your not working all the heavy grime at the bottom of the car to the top causing it to scratch the paint.
6. Harsh car washes – Stay away from harsh car washes such as do it yourself car wash bays or automatic car washes, the bristles on the brushes will leave minor scratches all over your paint.