How to wash your car without damaging it: 7 things to know to avoid making mistakes

car wash

Many motorists prefer to rely on a do-it-yourself car wash rather than taking it to a professional car wash. For some people, the moment of washing represents an intimate moment between them and their beloved car. While others find it relaxing to devote themselves to the practice of car washing, however, most prefer to do it yourself for fear that it will be damaged or scratched.

But how to wash the car yourself without damaging it and without scratching it? To do this correctly, you must pay close attention to some basic rules and use specific products and tools to avoid the risk of damaging the bodywork.

Since there are many motorists who want to dedicate themselves to do it yourself for washing their cars, we decided to prepare a guide with the most effective tricks and the most common mistakes not to commit when washing the car.

How to wash car exteriors: useful tips

To wash the car in an optimal way, obtaining an almost professional result, it is necessary to follow these 7 operations in order not to make mistakes:

  1. Do not wash the car when the body is hot.
  2. If you have the possibility, it is advisable to always wash in the shade. If the sun dries the bodywork too quickly, annoying halos are easily left which will then be difficult to remove. Not only that, a very hot surface could make the foam used for washing evaporate too quickly, thus causing it to dry on the bodywork;
  3. Use two buckets during washing, one for clean water and one to rinse the cloths used by letting the dirt drain;
  4. Directs the water jet from top to bottom, so as to prevent water from easily infiltrating the cracks and penetrating the seals.
  5. Use specific detergents for cars, there are many on the market suitable for internal and external cleaning: shampoos, waxes, tools and cloths for cleaning, car perfumes and sanitizers;
  6. Use soft cloths and gloves, such as microfibre for washing or synthetic leather for drying;
  7. Carry out a pre-wash with specific pre-wash products suitable for use, which help to remove impurities from the bodywork, helping not to scratch the car when you pass the glove. These products with a foaming effect are always indicated before soaping the car.
  8. Soap or dry without applying excessive pressure, remaining delicate during the application and cleaning movements.

What products to use for washing the bodywork

The list of products to use for a perfect wash is very long. For this reason, we have selected the fundamental products to use, describing them minimally but leaving you a reference link to buy them immediately at the most convenient price.

Pre-wash and shampoo specific shampoo for cars

If we want to obtain a perfect pre-wash and wash, we cannot help but buy products that wash, clean, and guarantee an excellent level of shine. For this reason, it is advisable to rely on specific detergents for the car body. In this way, we will not even risk using an unsuitable item, which can corrode the paint or the bodywork.

Wax shampoo combines two functions in a single product: as can be seen from the reviews it is really excellent. It allows a good general cleaning, even the midges on the front bumper are easily removed. It does not leave streaks and the water runs off quickly (probably because in the proportion the wax is in greater quantity than the shampoo).


Washer to wash the car you can easily use a simple water hose or an irrigation hose. But if you want to use a more professional accessory then you have to buy a pressure washer. These instruments with high comfort and compact stowage usually have a double handle, one removable and the other functional for transport. Pressure washers are multipurpose machines, but in the area of ​​vehicle cleaning, they give their best. The force with which the water jet is emitted. As well as the possibility to choose at will whether to dispense hot or cold water is really fantastic.

Sponges or gloves

There are many products of this kind on the market. Gloves are really very useful because they allow us to work manually in an easy way. It is always advisable to choose washing gloves that are absorbent of good amounts of water, free of lint, anti-scratch, and non-abrasive to the paint. The top of the range, if you can define them that way, are those that also guarantee comfort in use. Choose elastic products that do not involve particular circulation problems in the hands or leave marks. You can also opt for internally padded products, capable of amortizing the work of the hands during the soaping operations.

Brush or cloth for wheels

After having soaped the car with the special detergent, it is advisable to dedicate yourself to cleaning the rims. The advice is to use brushes with handles to remove dirt, dust, and grime from the wheel rims. It is important that the bristles are soft, and do not scratch or dull the car paint or chrome trim.

Black tires, a must for car cleaning lovers, this spray is the final touch, which polishes the tires making them vivid and shiny.

Car drying is often neglected, but the success or failure of the wash largely depends on it. To perform this procedure perfectly we recommend using microfiber cloths or deerskin cloths.


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