Clean Your Car Like A Pro

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 need any other guides for car maintenance and care, you can find plenty of articles here on Car Adviser.

In this guide

Pre-Wash

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. 

Norse SK90 Portable Pressure Washer 131Bar

Norse SK90 Portable Pressure Washer 131Bar

Customer score
4.5/5

Based on over 673 reviews.

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.

FANHAO Garden Hose Spray

FANHAO Garden Hose Spray

Customer score
4.5/5

Based on over 265 reviews.

Wheel Cleaning

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.

Car Gods Alloy Wheel Cleaner

Car Gods Alloy Wheel Cleaner

Customer score
4.4/5

Based on over 479 reviews.

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. 

Amazon Basics Wheel Brush

Amazon Basics Wheel Brush

Customer score
4.1/5

Based on over 441 reviews.

Wash

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. 

GADLANE ????? ??? ???????

GADLANE JUMBO CAR SPONGES

Customer score
4.5/5

Based on over 331 reviews.

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.

CarPlan CDW200 Demon Snow Foam

CarPlan CDW200 Demon Snow Foam

Customer score
4.5/5

Based on over 13,992 reviews.

Drying your car

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.

MR.SIGA Professional Premium Microfiber Towels

MR.SIGA Professional Premium Microfiber Towels

Customer score
4.6/5

Based on over 1,379 reviews.