A Beginner’s Guide to Washing and Detailing Their Car at Home

When you are shopping for a car, you want to be able to get something that can be in your life for many years to come! To make sure you can fully enjoy your car for more years, properly washing, cleaning, and detailing your car can keep it looking new. 

Washing your car used to be taking a towel, bucket, and any soap you could find. You would simply fill up the bucket with soap and water, rinse off the car, and proceed to wash it. There was no genuine care in using particular methods or specific tools. But, the auto detailing community has blown up over the years, and there has been a huge shift into creating specific products and tools.

For many drivers, utilizing these new techniques and tools can be overwhelming. There are a few things that beginners can do to make sure they can wash their car and keep the paint in the best shape.

A few products and tools all kits need

A detailer showing proper wash techniques with two bucks and a soft wash mitt
A man detailing a car | Brad Starkey via Unsplash

Now, it may seem incredibly overwhelming to detail your car using these new methods, but beginners certainly don’t need to do all of these things. Detailers talk about all of these different products and tools, but those can be overkill in the beginning. You should consider a few things for your at-home car wash kit.

  • Two buckets, one for clean soapy water and one for dirty water
  • A good wash mitt, several different microfiber towels, a few high-quality drying towels
  • Some good soap formulated for a car

If you find that you enjoy detailing your car and would like to get more serious, there are plenty of additional tools and products to consider.

The process is easier than you think

Once you have the tools you need, it’s time to start cleaning your car. Start the process by filling up your buckets with lukewarm water. Put the recommended amount of soap into one bucket and clean water in the other. Make sure you keep the buckets separated so as not to cross-contaminate. 

  1. Rinse off your car with water and get rid of any dirt and debris on the surface
  2. Dunk your wash mitt in the soapy water and get plenty of soap on it
  3. Start the wash going from top to bottom, washing in straight lines to avoid scratching the paint
  4. Wash just one section at a time, taking the care to rinse the mitt often and thoroughly to prevent bringing dirt back onto the clean paint
  5. Wash in the smaller and tight areas with care to ensure no debris is left behind that could create long-term damage
  6. Finish off by cleaning the wheel gently to avoid any scratches and thoroughly rinsing all of the soap off of your car
  7. Finally, take your drying towels, dry the vehicle from top to bottom just like washing, and in straight lines

You’re all done! You just washed your car without putting any unnecessary damage to your car’s paint. There are plenty of things you can do from here to ensure your vehicle can be protected and clean. If you are comfortable and confident enough, you could apply a wax or a sealant to protect the paint even more.

What’s next?

Now that your car is all shiny and clean, you must take the time to protect your hard work for the long haul. First of all, you will want to make sure you regularly clean your car using this method. If you don’t always have the time, utilize an automated touchless carwash to get your car clean.

This attention to detail and care can ensure you will enjoy a cleaner car for longer! But, be aware, this is a hobby that you can quickly get sucked into, and before you know it, you could be meticulously cleaning your car every weekend. Ammo makes it easy to help you maintain your hard work with a few easy steps.

Delve into the deep and informative world of automotive detailing

A soapy white car with its wipers up waiting to be cleaned at home
A soapy car at home ready to be washed | Erik Mclean via Unsplash

As with any hobby, it’s easy to get sucked into it and delve further into the wide world of automotive detailing. There is an abundance of information available to ensure you can do the job to near-professional levels. Between all of the different tools, specialty products, and techniques, you can get your car looking showroom ready in no time!

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