How to Properly Wash Your Vehicle

Everyone wants they’re car to look its best, especially during these beautiful summer months. You can always take your car to a traditional carwash, but if you are strapped for cash, a simple carwash in your driveway works wonders, and if done correctly, you can leave your car looking better than any carwash! By washing your vehicle frequently, you maintain your car’s finish, paint job and help to preserve that “new car” look. There are some things to watch out for, such as types of wheel cleaners to use or what to use to dry off your car after washing it.

First things first, do not wait to wash your vehicle if you see any build up of dirt, grime, bird droppings or dead insects. If these are left for too long, they can eat away at the clear coat of your car, and subsequently damage your paint.


When you are ready start with your at-home carwash, be sure not wash your vehicle if it has been sitting out in the sun all day. When the metal body of your car is hot, water and suds will dry off quicker, leaving spots and making you work harder for the shiny finish. If possible, park your car in the shade, until you are ready to wash your car.

Be sure to rinse your vehicle thoroughly before washing. This will help to cool the car and remove grime, dirt and debris that could potentially damage the paint. If there is any hard buildup of material, use a strong stream to break it up, if possible.

Be sure to use a carwash detergent only! Do not use any dish soap, laundry detergent or other house hold products! These are too harsh for your vehicle and can strip away at the clear coat and dull the paint’s finish. All carwash soaps are made with a milder formula in order to protect the coating. It is best to use a sponge or wool mitt to wash your car. Using a cloth can potentially leave hairline scratches. Be sure to rinse out the sponge or mitt often, in a different bucket than your “wash” water. If you happen to drop your sponge or mitt on the ground, do not continue to use it! These can pick up particles and potentially scratch the paint!

Be sure to use a wheel cleaner! However, not all wheel cleaner are made equally. Some may be too harsh for your wheels. Be sure to inspect the label of the wheel cleaner and ensure it is safe to use on your wheels.

When washing your vehicle, be sure to wash and rinse in sections to prevent any drying off of the soap and suds, thusly preventing spots. When rinsing off your washed sections, be sure to use a fine spray with low angles. Immediately after rinsing your vehicle, be sure to dry your car with a towel. This can be a terry towel, microfiber towel, or anything your prefer using. If these towels get damp while drying, grab a dry towel and continue drying off your vehicle. DO NOT let the car dry off on its own. Water has minerals that are left behind when the water dries out. These water spots, if left for a long time, can be very hard to wash out later on. Be sure to wipe your windshield wipers as well.

After you have dried your car, you can use any type of car wax you like.

Middle Country Automotive wants to ensure that you take care of your car the way we would, even if that means a simple wash! The technicians at Middle Country Automotive are experts in all auto repair, auto inspection, and brake repair services in Selden, NY 11784 and Centereach NY 11720.