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


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

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

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

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

Based on over 441 reviews.


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 ????? ??? ???????


Customer score

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

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

Based on over 1,379 reviews.

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.

Interior Cleaning

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.

Nyxi Heavy Duty 4 Piece Rubber Car Mat

Nyxi Heavy Duty 4 Piece Rubber Car Mat

Customer score

Based on over 3,612 reviews.

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.

303® Automotive Interior Cleaner

303® Automotive Interior Cleaner

Customer score

Based on over 1,401 reviews.

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.

VacLife Handheld Vacuum

VacLife Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Cordless

Customer score

Based on over 15,550 reviews.

Car Cleaning FAQs

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.

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
Cookies settings
I agree
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Privacy Policy

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site or place an order. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address or mailing address.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to?keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business. If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service. Visit Google's Privacy & Terms site to learn more: Google Analytics We use Google Analytics on our sites for anonymous reporting of site usage and for advertising on the site. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link (

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions. We may also ask some other, voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared. You can choose not to have such data shared with the Guardian from these sources by logging into your account and changing the settings in the privacy section. After you have registered, and with your permission, we may send you emails we think may interest you. Newsletters may be personalised based on what you have been reading on At any time you can decide not to receive these emails and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’. Logging in using social networking credentials If you log-in to our sites using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location which will then be used to form a Guardian identity. You can also use your picture from Facebook as part of your profile. This will also allow us and Facebook to share your, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove the Guardian app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a Google log-in, you grant permission to Google to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which we will then use to form a Guardian identity. You may use your picture from Google as part of your profile. This also allows us to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Google account settings. If you remove the Guardian from your Google settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a twitter log-in, we receive your avatar (the small picture that appears next to your tweets) and twitter username.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Updating your personal information

We offer a ‘My details’ page (also known as Dashboard), where you can update your personal information at any time, and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site – simply click on the ‘My details’ link at the top of the screen when you are signed in.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.
Save settings
Cookies settings