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How to Wash a Car

While washing your car can help keep it looking shiny and new, the benefits of a clean car don’t stop there. When car washes are done correctly, they can protect the exterior paint and control imperfections you can’t see, such as tiny scratches. Follow the Jeffrey Honda car washing guide to keep your used or new Honda vehicle looking its best. Learn how to wash a car below!

Plan Ahead

First, you need to decide if your vehicle needs a simple wash or the whole package. If your vehicle is new, or recently waxed and polished, you will probably just a wash and wax. If your vehicle has been exposed to the elements for a few months without attention, it’ll likely need more attention.

Rinse and Wash

Before you start scrubbing, you need to rinse your car to remove loose dirt and debris. Then you can use car washing mitts and drying cloths to clean your car’s surface more thoroughly. After you have washed the car’s body, clean the windows with an ammonia-free solution that’s intended specifically for car use. Then, switch to a low-strength, acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner and clean the wheels and tires.

Remove Bumps and Apply Compound

Using a clay bar, gently buff away tree sap and other contaminants attached to your car’s surface. You can also apply compound with a dual-action polisher to smooth tiny scratches beneath the surface. Compound usually needs 2-4 coats.

Apply Polish (If Needed)

When choosing a polish, dual-action polishers work best. You can achieve a sleek, glossy look thanks to the oils. Apply the polish with an orbital buffer or a soft towel. Orbital buffers are faster but give you less control over the finished look. Also, if you aren’t careful debris can come between the pad and your car while it’s in motion and you can end up scratching your car.

Wax Your Car

Car wax does more than improve the appearance of your vehicle; it protects the paint from UV rays and helps it retain its sheen. Carnauba and polymer are the two most common types of car wax. Polymer wax costs a bit more than carnauba, however, it doesn’t haze and doesn’t need to set for long periods.

How Often to Wash a Car

How often you should wash your car depends on how you drive and the environment you live in. If you’re traveling from St. Clair Shores to Sterling Heights for work, for example, aim to wash your car every two weeks and wax it every six months. If you’re often heading out for longer adventures, or taking your Honda Ridgeline off the beaten path for off-roading adventures, clean it as soon as you can afterward.

How to Wash a Car: Tips

  • Cleaning Supplies: To protect your car’s paint, you will want to use a solution designed specifically for vehicles instead of hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt to wash.
  • Washing: Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
    Drying: Avoid air-drying your car, as this can cause swirl marks. Use a chamois or terry towel to hand-dry the surface.