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How to wash a vehicle correctly

correctwash.jpg picture by adjeffrey69

It is important to keep your vehicle in the best condition as possible. Without the correct techniques you will find that a vehicle seems to lose its showroom finish overtime, becoming duller and more oxidised. Swirl marks may also be evident when the sun beams onto the vehicle, which are unsightly, additionally scratches from products like sponges, chamois and water blades can occur. The reason for this is because using products like sponges is because they harbour dirt plus most people just use one bucket of sometimes plain water to wash their vehicles – this dirt will lightly scratch the vehicle’s paintwork. When washing a vehicle circular motions are usually undertaken by the user, which hence creates circular scratches, which are referred to as swirls.

Here is an example of a severely swirled Honda Civic:

This can be avoided by using the safest products and techniques!


Snow Foam
Snow foam is not a necessary step to washing your vehicle but most see it as being essential. Snow foaming a vehicle is a pre-hand wash process involving coating a vehicle with a sticky cleaning foam which is left for around 5 minutes and rinsed off. This removes an extensive amount of grime before having to wash the car by hand, which increases the safety of washing the car by hand so no unnecessary damage is incurred.

Car Wash Shampoo
A good car wash shampoo is important when cleaning your vehicle, the slicker and smoother the wash mitt glides over the lubricated surface the better. There are also many varying grades amongst the market place to suit your needs more, whether you wash your vehicle weekly or monthly. A great all round use shampoo is Duragloss 901/902/903 (small-larger size codes), it is wax safe and tops up the shine and protection that your vehicle requires to stay in superb condition.

Wash Mitt
Use a microfibre or lambswool wash mitt, as a sponge can be unsafe for your paintwork. These wash mitts are super plush and soft to enhance the gliding process over your vehicles paintwork, which ensures you do not infer any unwanted damage.

dryingtowel.jpg picture by adjeffrey69Drying Towel
Use a microfibre drying towel rather than a chamois or water blade, both of these can infer scratches and other damage to your paintwork even after washing, plus you will find yourself ringing the water out every 5 seconds! A drying towel is safer for your paintwork and will glide smoothly across your paintwork. Some drying towels like the Duragloss Drying Towel can dry an entire vehicle without having to ring out, the Autobrite Deluxe Fluffy Drying towel as pictured is a huge towel with lots of drying power.


The 2 Bucket Method…
is a process used by detailers and many enthusiasts in order to keep vehicles in the best condition possible. The 2 bucket method simply comprises of 2 buckets and grit guards (the grit guards are optional but they ensure a perfectly safe wash). One bucket has water with your shampoo of choice, whilst the other has just clean water. Using a high quality microfibre or lambswool wash mitt apply the shampoo to one panel at a time, making sure that you rinse the wash mitt after washing each panel – a grit guard will also provide extra safety by ensuring the dirt transferred into the rinse bucket stays at the bottom, and cannot contaminate the wash mitt.

At the end of the process you will find that the rinse bucket has become dirty, which otherwise would be on your mitt inferring light scratches to your vehicle.

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