A clean car is a healthy car. If you want your car to last and remain looking good and fresh for as long as you own it, sticking to a consistent cleaning routine is vital.
Ideally, it’ll be best if you remove any rubbish, vacuum the inside of your car once a week at least, and give the exterior of your vehicle a nice scrub every month or so to remove any dust or dirt.
Although doing these routine things will keep your car looking nice and help it feel comfortable to be in, sometimes you want to go one step beyond and give your vehicle a professional like clean.
Taking the time to give your car a deep clean can make it look like new, and it will also help protect it so that it can last for years. Here’s a guide on how to clean your car like a pro, as well as some recommended products to help you get the most out of this task.
If you’re genuinely looking to clean your car to a professional-like standard, you’ll need to start with a pre-wash routine. When you add this step to your car cleaning schedule, you’ll ensure that your vehicle will look showroom ready.
The purpose of a pre-wash is to remove any grit, dirt, salt, or sand from your bodywork. This protects your car when you start to give it a deeper clean. When you start using things like microfibre cloths and begin to rub and scrub your bodywork, any loose gravel or dirt can cause scratches, scuffs, and swirl marks, making your car look worse.
Using a pressure washer is the best way to pre-wash your car and remove any loose debris. This device shoots out a jet of water at high speed, which is perfect for dislodging any dirt and grime that might be clinging to the bodywork. Make sure you use the right setting with your pressure washer because it could start stripping the paint if it’s too high.
One of the best pressure washers you can get for car cleaning is the Norse SK90 Portable Pressure Washer. Motorists highly recommend this piece of kit because of how easy it is to use and its compactness. It has a 131bar pressure, making it ideal for cleaning and pre-washing a car. Plus, this device comes with many accessories that make it worthwhile for the other stages of cleaning a car. It’s also multi-functional, meaning it can also be used to clean patios and driveways easily.
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Another great tool that you can use is the FANHAO Garden Hose Spray Gun. With this attachment, you’ll be able to convert your regular garden hose into a functioning pressure washer. It’s a much cheaper option and is also far more practical to use, although you won’t be able to generate as high a pressure as a dedicated pressure washer. That said, it’s still perfect for pre-washing and rinsing a car.
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Once you’ve completed your pre-wash, one of the first things you’ll want to clean is your car’s wheels. This is because these parts are usually the dirtiest of the whole vehicle, and leaving them to last can mean that muck can splash onto parts of your car that you’ve already cleaned.
One of the best ways to clean your wheels is to apply a wheel cleaner and scrub with a strong bush. When cleaning the wheels of your car, you’ll want to get any brake dust and dirt off and focus on cleaning up the alloys and the underside of the wheel arches to look fresh.
This step may be time-consuming because of how dirty your wheels can get, so you may have to apply two coats of wheel cleaner to get that professional clean you’re looking for. One of the best wheel cleaners is the Car Gods Alloy Wheel Cleaner. This has a great fragrance and powerful cleaning ability that changes colour to let you know when it’s time to rinse it off.
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If you pair this wheel cleaner with a sturdy brush like this Amazon Basics Wheel Brush, you’ll be able to effectively and more conveniently clean wheels. The long handle of this brush makes it a lot easier to get a good scrub, which can help you dislodge tough dirt.
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Once you’ve adequately given your car a rinse to remove some of the loose dust and grit and have your wheels nice and clean, you can move on to washing your car with car shampoo. Car shampoo is a product specifically designed to be used on the bodywork of cars and other auto vehicles and works well to clear away dirt and make your car shine and sparkle.
When washing your car, you must use a dedicated car shampoo and no household cleaning solutions. This is because many of these solutions can be corrosive and may cause harm to your paint job.
There are a couple of different ways that you can apply car shampoo. One of the most popular ways is to use a sponge and gently rub it all around your car. When doing this, make sure that you use the right ratio of water and shampoo so that you get a nice thick foam when applying the product. A great sponge for cleaning a car is the GADLANE Jumbo Car Sponges because of their size and durability, not to mention that they’re ergonomic to hold and use.
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Before you start washing your car, another thing that you can do to ensure that you’re giving your vehicle the best clean possible is to use snow foam. This cleaning product gives you incredible soap coverage that’s exceptionally foamy.
Most pressure washers will have an attachment for snow foam, but you can also buy this separately. When using snow foam, it’s best to apply, leave to set, and then rinse off after a few minutes. This should help remove a massive amount of dirt and is a great thing to add to your wash. One of the best snow foam products is the CarPlan Demon Foam. This product includes a gun to help you apply the foam and acts as a 2-in-1 shampoo, which can help save you time while you still get the ultimate clean.
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You may not think it, but drying your car is just as vital as how you wash it, as it can heavily impact the final appearance of your car’s exterior. To give your car a professional clean, you’re going to want to dry your car by hand. This is because leaving your car to drip dry in the sun will leave unsightly watermarks and even some streaks and swirls. Plus, if you start driving your vehicle while it’s still wet, dirt and other debris will stick to it, making your previous washing effort pointless.
To dry your car, you will want to use a towel to wipe away and absorb any excess water. You’ll want to follow a systematic process when drying your car, focusing on each car panel at a time to ensure that there are no drops of water and that you shave a shiny finish.
For an even more effective dry, you can also use a microfibre cloth, with one of the best options for your car being the Mr.Siga Professioanl Premium Microfibre Towels. These towels are highly absorbent and super soft, meaning they’re less likely to scratch or damage your paintwork. They’re also lint-free, so no fluff should be left behind.
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Once your car is appropriately dry, it’ll be ready for you to apply polish and wax if you choose. Although they aren’t essential to give your vehicle a professional clean, they will be able to protect your car from light scratches and other damages. You can learn more about how to protect your vehicle and keep your paint in good condition here on Car Adviser.
The exterior look of your car isn’t the only thing you need to keep clean, and working on the inside of your car is equally as important to give your car a professional look clean.
Generally speaking, if you regularly keep up with tidying your interior, then you won’t need to complete a deep clean that often; however, it’s still helpful to do it every once in a while.
The first thing that you’ll want to clean is the floormats in your car. If they’re still in good condition, you can remove them from your car and give them a good vacuum, using either your household vacuum or a dedicated portable vacuum for your car. If your car mats are a little faded or worn, replacing them with a fresh pair may be a good idea.
Getting a brand-new floormat will transform how your interior looks and can give it a needed lift to make it look like it’s in great condition. If you drive an SUV or a larger vehicle, this Universal Nyxi Heavy Duty Rubber Car Mat is a great option. This mat is durable and will keep your car clean for a long time. That said, the best floor mats you can get are the ones designed specifically for your car’s model.
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When cleaning the interior, you’ll also want to give your dashboard and other surfaces a clean. A multi-purpose cleaning spray can be used for most interiors, although do check what’s best for your car, as some can cause damage to your seats and upholstery. To play it safe, you can get the 303 Automotive Interior Cleaner. This is multi-purpose, tough on stains, and leaves your cabin with a lovely lemon scent.
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Once you’ve given your interior surfaces a nice clean, the final thing you need to do is to vacuum your seats and other areas. To give your car a professional clean, it’s best to make sure you vacuum between gaps and crevices, as this is where a large portion of dirt and debris can form.
For the best clean, get a portable vacuum that can easily be manoeuvred with one hand and that comes with multiple attachments that make it easier to get into these hard-to-reach places. One great option is the VacLife Handheld Vacuum because it’s powerful, cord-free, and has a crevice nozzle that’s perfect for getting into the hard-to-reach places of your car.
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There are many different reasons why it's a good idea to clean your car regularly and maintain it so it's free from debris. The main one is that a clean vehicle usually lasts longer and avoids damage. This is because a build-up of dirt can cause scratches and rust to appear on the bodywork, and it can also clog up some components, with can impact the car's performance.
A car that's been kept clean and well looked after will also maintain its value far better than a car that's been dirty and has had its paintwork ruined by scratches or its seats compromised by stains.
Plus, it's also a good idea to clean your car's interior because it makes it safer. A dirty car filled with stains could cause bacteria to grow, which isn't great for your health. Plus, a dirty car is also much more likely to smell, which can make your car far less comfortable to be in.
Keeping your car clean should be something that each car owner should do every day. Doing small things like removing any rubbish or wiping away crumbs or spills every day will help ensure that your car is in good condition and prevent a massive build-up of mess and dirt. Cleaning up any mess as it happens is a great mentality and makes it much easier to keep a car clean.
That said, it's also recommended that you vacuum your car and properly clean the interior of your car every two weeks at the very least. For the outside, it's wise to give your vehicle a rinse every two weeks, too, and to give it a professional quality clean four times a year to help it look good and valuable for as long as possible.