Taking your car to the local wash on a weekly to monthly basis can become frustrating, time-consuming, and costly. Learning how to wash your car from the comfort of your home won’t only save you cash—it’ll ensure your vehicle gets the best wash possible.
Using the best tools for washing your car will help you keep your vehicle looking immaculate and will make the cleaning process quick, simple, and efficient.
Car Wash Soap
Specialized cleaning soap is a must-have, as are the buckets you’ll use to contain it and the soapy rinsing water.
If you’re strapped for cash, common household cleaners, such as hand soap and shampoo, are safe to use on your vehicle. Harsher, highly abrasive solutions, such as dish soap and laundry detergent, are a no-go, however. They’ll scrape off your car’s clear coat, and in some circumstances, even strip off the paint. Specialty-made soaps are the way to go. You can easily find them at popular retailers or a local auto parts store.
Regular towels are coarse, making them less-than-ideal for scrubbing down your car. A gentle, reusable microfiber cloth is a necessity. It’s a safe, efficient way to dry the soapy, sudsy water off your vehicle.
For your windshield and windows, consider purchasing a microfiber towel that’s specifically designed for use on glass. Most microfiber towels are washable and durable to boot, making them a cheap, long-lasting investment.
Car Wash Mitt
Mitts are an excellent alternative to the classic brush. They’re easy to use and relatively inexpensive, costing roughly half the price of an average brush. Slip them onto your hands and rub away. Mitts let you control the amount of pressure you’re using on your car. You can even use them to apply certain car waxes!
If you’re new to car mitts, this guide on the safest wash mitts for your car will help you pick out the most efficient mitts for cleaning.
Another one of the best tools for washing your car is a grit guard. Adding a grit guard to one of your buckets is a foolproof way to keep dirt, grime, and other contaminants away from your car.
As you wash, the dirt you remove from your car is transferred from your mitt or towel to the wash bucket. A grit guard separates this dirt from the good, clean water. Without a guard, the debris gets mixed right in! Washing your car with the contaminated water will reintroduce unwanted grime to your car’s surface, making the cleaning process not only longer but less effective.
Grit guards are affordable and fit most bucket sizes with ease. If you’d rather not use one, a second bucket can similarly mitigate the risk of reintroducing contaminants to your vehicle’s surface.
Clay bars are a fantastic detailing tool, capable of smoothing out rough paint and thin, shallow cuts on your car’s surface. You don’t need to use them on a regular basis—a quick, occasional use is enough to keep your car smooth, shiny, and grime-free.