How to clean your car

As you’ve probably noticed, winter’s on its way. And not only does this mean that it’s freezing cold outside and that you hear Christmas music wherever you go, it also means that your car is probably filthy.

Not only does keeping your car clean protect the paintwork, it also means that you’ll get more for it if you come to sell. And at this time of year, washing as much salt off your car’s bodywork as possible will help keep rust at bay.

So, how do you go about doing a great job of washing your car?

On the outside

  • Wash the underneath of your car and the wheel arches with a pressure hose.
  • Rinse the bodywork with a hose or pressure washer, to remove loose dirt that could scratch the paint.
  • Dip a cloth or sponge into a bucket of soapy water and use it to clean down the car – don’t use washing up liquid as this is salty and can harm paintwork. Start at the top and work down. If you drop the cloth/sponge, give it a good rinse as it’s likely to have picked up a stone that could damage the paintwork.
  • Use the hose to rinse off the car, again starting from the top and working down.
  • Next, clean your wheels. If you have alloys, make sure you use proper alloy wheel cleaner created to look after the lacquered finish. Use a brush to remove any built-up dirt, then finish off with a cloth. Rinse the wheels using a hose or pressure washer.
  • Dry off the car using a chamois leather, so you don’t end up with a streaked finish.
  • Finish off by polishing and/or waxing the paintwork – this will help to protect the paintwork by helping to prevent water and dirt from sticking to it.

On the inside

  • Clear out any rubbish that’s accumulated in your car, then remove the car mats and give them a clean.
  • Vacuum the seats and floor, making sure you get into the cracks where dirt accumulates out of sight.
  •  Clean the inside of your windows using a decent glass cleaner – you’ll appreciate the value of this when you’re driving into the sun.
  • Wipe all interior surfaces such as the dashboard, steering wheel and window trims with a trim cleaner and a damp cloth, then dry.
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