How to Wash a Car

Blue Car with Soap Suds

Keeping a vehicle clean seems simple enough on the surface, but there’s more to the process than you might think! If you’re ready to learn how to wash a car the right way, the Auffenberg Dealer Group has your back. Learn the basics of the process, and then find out how often to wash a car in order to keep it in tip-top shape. Once you’ve seen the positive effects that regular cleaning can have, you’ll be telling all your Caseyville and East St. Louis neighbors.

Before You Get Started

Before you set aside time to wash your car, you should ask determine how thorough you need to be! A newer vehicle might just need a quick wash and a new coat of wax. If you drive an older model, a vehicle that’s been exposed to the elements, or a car that hasn’t been well-maintained, a little extra attention will go a long way.

How to Wash a Car: Steps to a Complete Clean

Rinse & Wash

  • A good rinse can help to remove heavier dirt and debris before you really start to scrub. This step will save you time, and it will also help to remove objects that could leave scratches if they get rubbed into the paint with your cleaning supplies.
  • Using vehicle-appropriate soap and water, use a car washing mitt or a sponge in order to give the surface of your car a thorough cleaning. Start at the top, and work your way down, but save the wheel wells and tires for later.
  • Once you’ve finished with the body, you’ll want to devote some time to your windows, using an ammonia-free solution that’s designed specifically for the task.
  • Use a low-strength, acid-free pH-balanced aluminum wheel cleaner in order to tackle the wheels and tires. The wheel wells may be the dirtiest points on your vehicle, so be ready to spend plenty of time if you’d like to get these looking like new.

Remove Bumps & Apply Compound

  • Tree sap and other contaminants can leave bumps that soap alone won’t be able to remove! Use a clay bar to buff away these surface-level impurities.
  • If you’d like to smooth tiny scratches while you work, procure a compound with a dual-action polisher after you’ve removed the bumps. 2-4 coats of this compound will give you the best results.

Apply Polish

  • Even if you’re not trying to buff out tiny scratches, a dual-action polisher will give your car a sleek and glossy look: the “new car finish” that drivers near East St. Louis and Edwardsville adore.
  • Once applied, you can soften and spread the polish with a soft towel or an orbital buffer. The latter will certainly work more quickly, but you’ll have less control over the finished result. Remember that rough handling could cause stuck-on debris to scratch your car.

Wax Your Car

  • A good coating of wax is about more than simple shine. In addition to limiting corrosion and preventing the most damaging effects of road salt, vehicle wax will protect your paint from UV rays that will sap its sheen over time.
  • Most drivers choose a carnauba or polymer-based wax. The latter is more expensive, but it sets more quickly and results in less haze.
Waxing Red Car

How Often to Wash a Car

The answer to the question, “How often should I wash my car?” will depend on how you drive! If you often head off-road or deal with frequent doses of road salt, you should aim to wash your vehicle as often as you can! In a perfect world, you’ll wash your vehicle as soon as it comes into contact with any potentially-damaging contaminants. Waxing regularly will only increase the protection you enjoy.

If you mostly use your vehicle for commuting, washing once every two weeks or so should be more than sufficient to keep your car looking nice! Wax every six months to ensure that you’re ready for the worst effects of the seasons.

Tips and Tricks for How to Wash a Car

  • Use the Right Supplies: Skip the dish soap and use solutions designed for long-term vehicle care. Contact your local parts department to find products that will work for you. Use a natural sponge or a wool mitt, as other products could produce small scratches.
  • Washing: Lather up your whole vehicle with soap before you start to clean with fresh water. This will keep your rinsing bucket fresh, and it will also save you the trouble of going back and forth.
  • Drying: Letting your car air dry could result in swirl marks. Apply a chamois or a terry towel for a lasting clean with no undesirable marks.

Care for Your Vehicle with the Auffenberg Dealer Group!

The experts at Auffenberg Dealer Group know just about everything there is to know about your vehicle’s car maintenance schedule. Wondering how to clean leather seats or how to clean car floor mats? Maybe you’re struggling with stickers, or wondering how to remove the smell of smoke from your interior. Our team can help with that too.

If you need help with any vehicle maintenance tasks, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Auffenberg service center. We’d be happy to provide you with tips for your next DIY project.

More From Auffenberg Dealer Group

  • What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

    In most states, you are required to have liability insurance on your vehicle. So what is liability insurance? Simply put, it provides bodily injury and property damage coverage to the other driver in the event of an accident where you are at fault. Find out what liability insurance will pay for if you’re in a…

  • Six Things to Do in Collinsville, IL

    Collinsville, IL may be a small city, but there are many fun and interesting things to see and do when you’re there. Whether you enjoy hiking, exploring historical sites, or spending a day at the races, Collinsville has a lot to offer. To help you plan your next visit, we here at Auffenberg Dealer Group have picked…

  • What Does Certified Pre-Owned Mean?

    A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle is a late model, low-mileage used car that has been approved for sale by the manufacturer. To earn this approval, the vehicle must meet high-quality standards, undergo a thorough inspection and/or reconditioning, and have a clean title. A CPO vehicle comes with many of the perks and benefits that are…

Saved
Saved Vehicles ×

SAVED VEHICLES

You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:

Save

Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact
Contact Us ×

(618) 622-4517

Call Now

187 Auto Court • O'Fallon, IL 62269

Get Directions
[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="www.auffenberg.com" name="Auffenberg Dealer Group" description="" street="187 Auto Court" city="O'Fallon" state="IL" postalcode="62269" country="US" email="bschumacher@auffenberg.com" phone="(618) 622-4517" logo="https://di-uploads-development.dealerinspire.com/auffenbergautogroup/uploads/2018/01/AuffenbergDealerGroupOGImage.png"]
Auffenberg Dealer Group
Auffenberg Dealer Group
187 Auto Court
O'Fallon, IL, 62269 US
(618) 622-4517
https://di-uploads-development.dealerinspire.com/auffenbergautogroup/uploads/2018/01/AuffenbergDealerGroupOGImage.png
Auffenberg Dealer Group , .