How to Wash & Wax Your Car
It's important to ensure that your car's exterior is protected by giving it a proper wash and wax.
Here are some tips for cleaning and protecting your car's appearance:
- Washing the Car
- Using concentrated car cleaner only, add two or so capfuls to a bucket of water to clean the entire car. NEVER use dishwashing liquid, as it strips all the wax off your car. Check the bottle for directions. After you wet down the entire car, use a washing mitt or sponge and start cleaning the roof. Don't use old rags, because they often leave hairline scratches in your car's finish. It is important to start from the top and work down so that dirty water won't run off onto the panels you just cleaned. Clean one panel at a time and rinse it off so that soap doesn't dry onto the car. Also, use just enough water pressure to get the suds off. Repeat until the entire car is clean.
- Cleaning Wheels and Tires
- When your wheels and tires are cool to the touch, start by thoroughly rinsing them down. Next, spray one tire and wheel with a good quality cleaner and work it into the crevices with a soft bristled brush. Only clean one at a time to avoid drying of the cleaner. Last, thoroughly rinse the wheel. Repeat with the remaining wheels.
- Cleaning Bugs and Tar
- Bugs and tar tend to build up on the lower body sides, the leading edge and the windshield. Apply a little bug and tar cleaner to the bug sponge and rub it onto these areas to remove the debris.
- Drying the Car
- Use a damp chamois or soft terry cloth towel (preferably just out of the washer) and remove excess water from the entire car. Start at the roof and work down to the lower panels.
- Waxing the Car
- Remove the car from direct sunlight. Wait for the car to cool. Start by wetting the wax applicator, often included with the can of wax. Next, put the wax on the applicator and frame out the area where you want to apply it. Then, fill in the middle portion. This way, you can avoid getting wax into the seams and jambs. Wax one panel of the car at at time. After a few minutes, the wax will have dried to a dull haze. Wiping in one direction, use a clean terrycloth to remove the film of wax. Use a polishing cloth (preferably a clean cloth diaper) buff in the opposite direction to a high shine. After you've done one panel, turn both towels to an unused section and start on the next panel. Repeat until you've completed the entire vehicle.
With care and the proper cleaning products available at Pep Boys, you can keep your car looking like it just came from a professional detailer.