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How to Effectively Clean Your Car

Along with keeping your vehicle mechanically sound as outlined in our Car Care guide, cleaning it regularly is another essential part of the maintenance procedure. It’s easy to spot a used car that’s been neglected and could cost you a sale when you want to sell your car. In order to help you look after your pride and joy, follow our simple guidelines detailed below:

What You Will Need:

car cleaning items

• A hose pipe
• Hoover
• 2 Sponges
• Soft Brush
• Wheel Cleaner
• Car Shampoo (Not Washing up Liquid)
• 2 Buckets
• Chamois Leather
• Micro Fibre Cloth

The Interior

Always clean the inside of your car first. If you start on the outside you’ll end up dragging in more dirt as the floor will be wet. There is a safety issue too as you should avoid using electrical items (the hoover) around water (left over from the hose).

Start by clearing out all the loose rubbish in the car. Simply get a black sack and remove everything that isn’t wanted. You’ll be surprised as to what collects in between those seats! Then give the car a thoroughly good hoover. This is the most important part of the interior clean so do it twice if needs be. To clean the hard surfaces simply get a bucket of warm clean water, wet the micro fibre cloth and proceed to gently rub down all the surfaces. Don’t get them too wet as this isn’t required, just let the micro fibre cloth gently lift the dirt and grime away.

If there are any stains on the cloth or upholstery, you can use a light detergent to lift out any stains (as you would on a house hold item). However be sure to test a small patch first in case the detergent leads to discolouring.

The Wheels

Before beginning the general car wash, first turn your attention to the wheels. The reason is that these may require wheel washinga harsher cleaning product, which the hose will later rinse away during the general car wash. Apply your wheel cleaner and leave it to work it’s magic. Generally this would be for around 30 seconds but check the guidelines of the particular product you have purchased.

Rinse off the solution which should then reveal your cleaner wheels. Unfortunately it would be extremely rare that this did the job completely. It’s now time for a bit of elbow grease, so roll up your sleeves, grab your soft brush and get to work. Hot soapy water should do the trick, make sure you get inside all the individual spokes, especially if you have intricate alloys.

The Exterior

It’s a good idea to wash your car on a regular basis. This will not only keep it looking clean but also makes the job easier each time you do it. It also avoids any corrosive substances, for example bird mess, from having the chance to eat through your paintwork.

Firstly remove all the loose dirt from the exterior of your car. Do this using the hose or power washer, working from the roof of the car down to the doors. This will limit the amount of dirt and debris being caught up in the sponge when you begin cleaning the car.

Get your sponge and warm bucket of soapy water then start washing the roof first. In circular motions wash the entire car, perhaps leaving the bumper to last as they can get very dirty. Try to do this either later in the evening or on a cloudy day to avoid the soap and water drying in the hot sun. The easiest way to tackle this process is to wash the car in sections. For example wash the roof, then rinse, followed by the bonnet and so on.


chamoisOnce the car is lovely and clean it’s time to dry it off. This process is what makes the car look shiny, although it must be clean before you begin. Leaving any dirt may get caught up in the Chamois Leather causing scratches as you rub the surface.

Simply rub down the car using the Chamois Leather in a circular motion until the standing water is completely removed.

Polish or Wax?

Once clean and dry it’s time to apply the car polish or wax. This does more than just make the car shine, it also removes minor imperfections in the paintwork and protects it from day to day debris and dirt.

Simply apply the polish or wax in a circular motion with a clean dry cloth. Allow this to dry and then remove it with a separate clean dry cloth. We recommend working across the car, a panel at a time to avoid missing any of the bodywork.