It's so easy to drive through that fancy little car wash when your vehicle needs a good scrub. If you're diligent about keeping your car clean, though, the cost can add up quick! Learn how to wash your car at home and save that money for something better… like a family “staycation!”
There are two types of people in this world—those who take great pride in keeping their vehicle clean and those who, well… don't. Regardless of which type you are, everyone has to clean their car sometimes! Skip the fancy car wash, ditch the annoyingly loud, beeping, quarter-eating stations and learn how to do it yourself right at home.
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We'll show you how to wash your car at home so you can save money, have a blast AND get your car cleaner than it's ever been. Say adios to your go-to car wash company because these tips will have you never looking back! Now, grab your flip flops and let's get started.
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Washing your car at home is easier than you think—all you need are the right tools and a little motivation. Here's a list with a few of our favorite items we use to get the job done.
- Water Hose
- Car Wash Sponge or Mitt
- Car Wash Liquid
- Wheel Cleaner
- Wheel Brush
- Interior Cleaner
- Vacuum (Shop-Vac or household will work!)
- Microfiber Cloths (Have a few handy.) Use code JORDAN for 10% off!
When you are gathering your supplies, make sure you ONLY use products specifically for washing vehicles. Other products may tear up the surface and damage the paint. In addition to these necessities, you may also like to have a step stool to reach the top of your car, a roll of paper towels and some disposable rubber gloves handy. Oh, and if it's a sunny day, don't forget the sunblock!
CHOOSE THE BEST TIME
While some people suggest NOT washing your car on a warm, sunny day… we think that takes half the fun out of it! Go ahead and soak up those rays if you want, but pull your car into a shady, cooler spot when you finish—a garage, carport, or any other shady location will work. This will prevent your car from drying too fast and leaving water spots everywhere.
CLEANING THE WHEELS
Once you have your cleaning tools and supplies prepped and ready to go, start by hosing your car off to loosen any dirt, debris, or bird poop. When that's done, grab the wheel brush and start scrubbing the wheels.
The wheels accumulate SO much junk, gunk and downright yucky stuff that will probably make this the toughest part of the job! You can use your normal car washing liquid for your wheels, but if they are particularly dirty, a designated wheel cleaning solution may make the job easier. Make 'em shine!
HOW TO CLEAN THE OUTSIDE
Once you have your wheels all sparkly and clean, it's time to move on to the rest of the vehicle. Remember, always use a specified car washing sponge to avoid damaging the finish!
It may be helpful to work in sections so you know where you have and haven't scrubbed. Start with one side and work your way all the way around before moving to the top. Use your step ladder to reach the top or try a long-arm car wash brush and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground!
RINSE AND DRY
When you are finished scrubbing, give it a goooood, long rinse. You can use a spray nozzle if you want, but using a regular hose works just as well, if not better, by letting the suds fall down and off the car. Make sure you rinse really well to avoid streaks.
Now, grab your microfiber towels and dry, dry, dry! Dry it as best you can and then pull into a shady spot to finish the rest.
DON'T FORGET THE INSIDE
Wait… you thought you were finished? No way! Now that we have made the outside look fabulous, it's time to tackle the inside. (*Cue horror film music.)
Start by cleaning up all trash from inside your car. Grab an empty grocery sack (or two!) so you aren't running back and forth between the car and the trash can. Next, pick up anything you want to keep, but doesn't belong in the car, and take it inside the house to put away.
Once your car is clear of items, grab that vacuum and clean it up. Make sure there aren't any small valuables that might get sucked up from under the seat. If you want to go the extra mile, grab an interior cleaner (Armor All makes a good one) and wipe down the dash, steering wheel and any other surfaces. They even make a leather conditioner if you need that!
RECRUIT FREE LABOR
Washing your car at home doesn't have to be a chore. Can anyone say family activity? Give your kids the tools they need and let them give it a go! Let this be a learning experience for them and maybe, just maybe, they'll learn how to take care of their own car when the day comes. They may even want to invite their friends over to help. Throw in a few surprise water guns as advance payment and let the memory making commence!
And now you're done! Wasn't that simple? Learning how to wash your car at home can be so much fun for you and the whole family AND save you money, helping you reach those financial goals sooner!
Have you ever washed your car at home? Tell us how it went and what you used in the comments below.
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