DIY Car Washing Tips at Home

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You know, there is a cost-effective way to keep your car in top condition if you can’t send it for regular washing or want to save money. That is DIY car washing at home

It allows you to clean your car the way you want as you will have full control over the cleaning process. But you will also need some tips to clean it effectively to ensure all the areas are covered.

In this blog, you will get to know about DIY car washing tips to clean your car from its interior to its exterior at home.

Preparation Before Cleaning

Before you start washing your car, you need to prepare some things for a successful cleaning process.

1. Choose the Right Location

First, you should choose a suitable location for your car. You can park it under a shaded area otherwise the soap will dry out quickly. This will also leave streak marks.

But ensure you are not washing your car on a surface with gravel or dirt as it will leave scratches or other damage marks. The surface should be flat, allowing you to access all the areas easily.

2. Gather Your Supplies

After finding the right location, gather the supplies that will be required for car washing such as:

  • PH balance car wash soap

  • A bucket

  • A hose with a nuzzle

  • Microfiber wash mitts or towels

  • Wheel cleaner

  • Glass cleaner

  • Interior cleaners

  • Tire brushes

  • Any specialized product such as clay bars, foam cannons, detailing brushes, etc that you may require.

If you have a full-time housekeeper, they can also assist you in gathering supplies and washing your car.

3. Preparing Your Car by Cleaning and Removing Items From Inside

Don’t just pour water on your car before finding the right location and gathering your supplies.

First, look for any dirt buildup, bird droppings, scratches, and other contaminants on the car exterior or areas that require special attention and pre-treatment before washing.

After that, remove all the personal items, trash, and removable accessories from the inside. It will make the cleaning process easier and the interiors will not get wet or damaged.

You can also hire a part-time cleaning service to help you in preparing your car for cleaning.

Before cleaning, close all the windows and doors then rinse the car to remove loose dirt and debris.

Exterior Cleaning

Cleaning the car's exterior is important because it enhances the car's appearance and maintains its cleanliness.

1. Initial Rinse

You first need to remove loose dirt and debris from the surface. Then take a hose with an adjustable nozzle that will make it easier to clean your car thoroughly.

Make sure to cover all the surfaces including the roofs, windows, hood, trunk, and sides.

Clean it from the top and work your way down to clean all the areas, especially those where heavy dirt builds up or lower sections of the car including wheel wells.

2. Pre-rinse Treatment

If solid dirt, bird droppings, or other contaminants are present on the exterior, you first need to do the pre-rinse treatment

Prepare the pre-wash solution or foam and apply it to loosen dirt. Leave it for a few minutes but don’t let it dry. This process will make the washing process effective.

3. Wash the Car

Before you start the car washing process, prepare the soap solution by adding water in a bucket and an appropriate amount of car wash soap by following the instructions on the product.

After making the solution, dip the microfiber mitt in that solution and start washing. Pay attention to every section, area, and surface.

Clean from top to work your way down gently in a circular motion. This will lift the dirt and grime from the surface. Make sure to rinse the mitt frequently to prevent scratching the paint and dirt buildup.

4. Wheel and Tyre Cleaning

You should apply the wheel cleaner to the wheels and tyres of your car, especially if they are dirty to clean them.

Use a tyre brush to scrub and a wheel brush to clean wheels efficiently. Rinse them with water to remove and clean the loosened dirt.

5. Rinsing and Drying Thoroughly

After doing all the above things, wash each section of your car exterior to ensure complete coverage. Rinse it with water to remove the soap residue.

After rinsing, dry your car with a clean microfiber towel. Pat the surface gently and carefully to absorb water. This will prevent streaks and water spots from occurring on the surface.

Simple Interior Cleaning Process

Car washing also includes the cleaning of its interiors. Who doesn’t feel good while driving a clean car? That is why you can also easily clean the car interior at home and have a pleasant driving experience.

1. Vacuuming Carpets and Seats

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the interior surfaces such as the floor, carpet, and seats. Use its attachments to clean tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas.

Pay attention to all the crevices, seams, and areas where the dirt and debris seem to accumulate faster. Clean under and between the seats.

For cleaning seats, use an upholstery brush for fabric and gently clean it. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use carpet cleaners that are designed for automotive use to make them fresh and clean.

2. Cleaning Dashboard and Consoles

Use a damp microfiber cloth to clean the dashboard and consoles gently. Clean it with an automotive interior cleaner to remove all dust and grime. Don’t forget to clean the door panels, steering wheel, and gear shifter.

Use a soft-bristled brush to remove stubborn dirt and hard-to-reach areas. Also, clean the buttons, knobs, and vents for detailed wash.

If you are cleaning the leather surface, use leather cleaner to prevent cracking and use a car upholstery cleaner to clean upholstery surfaces, but make sure to follow the product instructions carefully.

3. Detailing Windows and Mirrors

Thoroughly clean the windows, windshield, and mirrors using the glass cleaner and microfiber towel. But first, spray the cleaner on the towel before cleaning them.

Removing all the dirt, fingerprints, and smudges will give them a streak-free finish. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners as they can damage the windows or rubber seals.

Advanced Car Cleaning Techniques

If you want a higher level of cleanliness and more detailing, you can use advanced car cleaning techniques. They give more shine and protection to your car.

1. Polishing Chrome and Metal

Polishing helps to make the car's surface look smooth and glossy. They make it shiny and remove fine scratches or swirl marks. Polishing the chrome and metal will remove oxidation but use a metal polish.

Apply the polish to the microfiber cloth and apply gentle pressure. For the final buffing, use a different clean and dry microfiber cloth to give a gleaming finish. But use the polish that suits your car’s paint type.

2. Waxing and Sealing the Paint

Your car gets an extra layer of protection by applying a coat of wax or sealant. Ensure that you follow the product instructions and then apply it for best results. There are various types of wax such as paste wax, liquid wax, and spray wax.

Apply it with the applicator pad and let it dry for a few minutes. Then, do the final buffing with a clean microfiber cloth. You should use high-quality wax to enhance the shine of your car.

3. Clay Bar Treatment

A clay bar is used to remove any embedded contaminants on the paint surface to provide a smooth finish.

4. Ceramic Coating

If you want to provide long-lasting protection to your car’s paintwork, then you can use a ceramic coating.

They protect it from dirt, water stains, and UV rays. This allows you to clean your car easily while maintaining its appearance.

5. Waterless Car Wash Products

There is also a way when you can clean your car without the need for water. This makes the car washing cleaning process convenient.

You can use waterless car wash products as they safely remove dirt and grime. It is an eco-friendly alternative and is best for those where water access is limited or restricted.

6. DIY Eco-friendly Cleaning Solutions

For car washing, you can even use eco-friendly solutions as they are cost-effective and better for the environment.

You can use homemade solutions such as vinegar solution to clean windows and mirrors. For removing tough stains, use baking soda paste.

You can use a DIY all-purpose cleaner by mixing equal parts of water, distilled white vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap and essential oil in a spray bottle and shake well.

This will not only easily clean the interior surfaces but also give a pleasant scent. So, here are some DIY eco-friendly solutions you can use instead of regular car cleaning solutions.

Recommended Reads: Sustainable Solutions: Green Commercial Cleaning for Eco-Friendly Businesses

Specialty Cleaning Tips

Here are some specialty cleaning tips that you may require to clean your car efficiently and effectively.

1. Removing Tough Stains

For removing tough stains from upholstery or carpets, you should use a stain remover that is designed particularly for automotive use.

Apply it after reading the instructions on the product. First, test it on any hidden area to ensure it is safe.

2. Dealing with Pet Hair

The family with pets can understand the problem of pet hair. It is very challenging to remove them from your car. But here is a solution for you to remove them easily at home.

First, dampen the brush and then run it over surfaces, upholstery, and carpets to collect the pet hair. Or you can use a vacuum cleaner specifically designed to remove them.

You can use a detailing brush or long attachments to remove the pet hair from hard-to-reach areas to make the car washing process easier.

3. Odour Eliminator

You can have a pleasant odour in your car and remove the unwanted smell by using a baking soda solution. Apply it on the affected areas and leave it for a few minutes before vacuuming.

You can also place odour absorbing elements such as activated charcoal or baking soda to remove the bad smell.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While car washing you can make some common mistakes which you should avoid to protect your car from any damage.

1. Using the Wrong Products

Ensure that you use the cleaning products that are designed for automotive use. Avoid using household cleaners as they can damage the car paint, finish, and interior materials.

Also, use a soft microfiber towel instead of rough towels made with abrasive fibers to avoid scratching the paint.

2. Washing in Direct Sunlight

Wash your car in shaded areas instead of direct sunlight. This will prevent the soap and water from drying quickly and not leave spots and streaks.

3. Neglecting Hidden Area

Hidden areas such as door jambs, under the hood, vents, and the trunk are often neglected. But you should also pay attention to them because dust and grime accumulate faster on them.

Routine Maintenance Tips

You should regularly maintain the cleanliness of your car to achieve long-lasting results. Apply the spray wax or sealant regularly to provide a protective layer to your car paint and to keep it fresh.

Follow the routine maintenance schedules to ensure your car stays in top condition. The maintenance tips include checking and cleaning under the hood, any signs of wear and tear, tyre maintenance, regular oil changes, etc.


DIY car washing is the best way to feel rewarded and satisfied. You can follow all the tips and techniques to keep your car in prime condition.

These tips help you to clean your car easily at home by not skipping any areas for cleaning. Thoroughly clean the car exterior and interior including the hidden and hard-to-reach areas.

You can use advanced car cleaning techniques if you want but try to avoid common mistakes that generally make your work tough and time-consuming.

Follow the routine maintenance tips and then you are good to go. So, you can also car wash at home by following these car washing tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 What household products can I use to clean the inside of my car?

Ans The household products you can use to clean the inside of your car are vinegar, baking soda, alcohol, olive oil, microfiber cloth, fabric softener sheet, cornstarch, or club soda.

Q2 Which soap to use for car wash?

Ans To wash your cash you should use car washing soap that is designed to handle your car's paint.

Q3 Can I wash my car with laundry detergent?

Ans No, you should not wash your car with laundry detergent as it may contain degreasers and other chemicals that can harm your car's protective top coat.


By: Deepali

Tue, Jun 11, 2024

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