Taking a nice car to a mechanized or "full-service" car wash is like going to the best steakhouse in town and ordering your prime rib well done. It's a waste of money, and for bona fide car guys, it can be painful to watch because it's actually pretty bad for your car. Sure, there are some places that will properly wash your car using skilled detailers and high-quality products, but you're going to pay so handily for that service, you may as well just hire someone to come out and clean it in your own driveway. With warmer weather finally upon us, for the good of all cars everywhere, please learn how to properly wash your car at home. What does that entail, exactly?
- A mild pH-balanced cleaner
- A wash mitt made of microfiber, so it lifts dirt off instead of grinding it into your paint. I highly recommend using one for the wheels, and another for the body of your car.
- A bucket for soap suds and a bucket for rinsing your mitt
- A good-quality microfiber towel for drying
- OR: a waterless wash if you want to save water, or don't have access to a hose/driveway
If this sounds like a lot of wasted effort to you and you're like "thanks but nah, I’m just gonna hit up a car wash instead," read on. Don't say I didn't warn you.