How to Wash a Car

A man washing a car with a cotton rag

While some Minneapolis drivers may have a knack for knowing how to wash a car, some new car owners may be left in the dark. Also, while other drivers may understand the benefits of habitual car washing, some new drivers may not know how often to wash a car. Many Maple Grove car owners may wash their car often to keep it looking shiny and new, but there are other benefits to regularly giving your vehicle a scrub down. The service department Cornerstone Plymouth walks you through the steps on how to wash a car, as well as how to remove stickers.

What Does Your Vehicle Require?

How dirty is your car? Does it simply need a quick wash or a more intense scrub down? If your vehicle is fairly new or was recently waxed and polished, it’ll just need a wash and wax. But if your car has been exposed to the Minnetonka elements for a few months, it may need a more vigorous washing.

Rinse & Wash

What is the first step? Rinse the car off first, ridding the paint job of loose dirt and debris. A large sponge works well enough, but car washing mitts and drying cloths prove to be a bit more thorough. Once the body of the car has been washed, move onto the windows. Also, it is important to use an ammonia-free solution created specifically for cars. Finally, moving onto the tires and rims, switch to a low-strength, acid-free PH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner.

Remove Bumps & Apply Compound

After you’ve washed your car, if you’re still finding dirt and debris on the exterior, use a clay bar to carefully remove tough debris, such as tree sap. If you’re finding tiny scratches beneath the surface, apply a compound with a dual-action polisher. Typically, you’ll need 2-4 coats.

Apply Polish (If Needed)

When choosing a polisher for your car, dual-action polishers are usually your best bet because the oils in the polish provide a glossy look. For applying the polisher, you can choose between a soft cloth or an orbital buffer. Both have benefits. Using an orbital buffer is quicker, but gives you less control over the finished product. If debris comes between the buffer pad and your car’s paint job, this can lead to scratches.

Wax Your Car

Car wax doesn’t only give your vehicle an enticing shine – it protects the paint from UV rays and helps it retain its sheen. Carnauba and polymer are the most common types of wax. While polymer is more expensive than carnauba, it doesn’t haze and sets faster.

How Often to Wash a Car

The amount a car is driven affects how often to wash a car. Washing every two weeks is fine for drivers primarily only driving to work. If you enjoy off-roading in Plymouth, your car should be washed after every adventure, as soon as possible. Bare minimum, every car should be washed every six months.

Tips on How to Wash a Car

  • Cleaning Supplies: Use products specifically created to protect your car’s paint – not hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt to wash.
  • Washing: After rinsing the car, lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
  • Drying: Be sure to hand-dry the vehicle with a terry cloth towel or chamois. Air drying will leave your car covered in swirl marks.

Learn More About Car Maintenance From Cornerstone Plymouth

For more information on how to wash a car, contact our service department at Cornerstone Plymouth! We’re happy to help, whether you need further assistance cleaning your car, cleaning your floor mats, or any other service tips!

Contact Us
Cornerstone Plymouth 45.0272529, -93.4508119.