How to Wash Your Car at Home And Cut Costs On Detailing

When you wash your car, going that extra mile could save you money in the future

By Lily Williams

In these testing times, escaping to wash your car for an hour or two is one of the more productive ways to steal back some me-time from a hectic modern life. When washing your car, It’s just you, your car, and the finish.

This is why you should wash your car at home, at every opportunity. Not only can it be a way to mitigate the stresses of life, but it can also be a gratifying experience if you do a really good job. So, get out there and give your whole car a really deep clean.

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Here are 9 tips and tricks to help you wash your car at home and cut costs on detailing by Lily Williams, an expert from the Busy Bee Cleaning Service. One of New York’s premier commercial and home cleaning services, committed to providing the most professional and thorough janitorial services New York City has ever seen.

1. Always Hand-Wash Your Car With a Soft Sponge

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  • According to the experts, the best method to wash your car is a hand-wash.
  • Yet, don’t just use dish detergent (which is the most popular choice). Invest in an actual car wash solution as this cheap option always leads to more car washes in the future and much worse.
  • So why not use dish soap? Because it strips away protective wax coatings.
  • If you do wash with dish soap, you need to wax with soft sponges, not kitchen sponges straight away. The wrong sponge can scratch and some waxes cost a fortune.
  • Don’t waste money. Buy the right stuff first time, rather than buying more items to cover earlier short cuts. And always protect your car’s paint. If you don’t, expect big trouble in the future.

2. Remember Karate Kid. Wax On, Wax Off

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  • If you have used a proper car wash solution, then you don’t need to wax your car every time you wash it.
  • However, you should wax your car every few months to help protect your vehicle from the great outdoors.
  • This is especially true heading into the winter months when your bodywork will suffer from snow and salt.
  • One thing a lot of people do is let their kids wax the car. If you’re serious about the health of your paintwork, do it yourself as often as you can.

3. Clean Your Vents With an Air Compressor When you Wash Your Car

  • Fantastic, your bodywork glistens. Yet that’s not the end of it. This is very important. Clean your vents.
  • You can either use an old toothbrush or a foam paintbrush to clean between the plastic parts of the vents.
  • Alternatively, you could be like a professional and blow out the whole vent system (including the ducts and the vents) with compressed air.
  • Plus, if you’re after that new car smell, replacing your air filter is one of the best things you can do.

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4. Find and Remove All of the Trash

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  • If you have kids, pets, long commutes, you’ll likely have some trash in your car.
  • This is the time you grab some trash bags and get rid of all that trash.
  • Remove water bottles, tissues, napkins, ticket stubs, or anything else that might be hiding in the crevices.
  • Check under your seats, in cup-holders, and between the seats and the consoles.
  • To alleviate this problem in the future, start carrying trash bags or a small container when traveling.

5. Detail the Upholstery

  • There’s no point the outside of your car being pristine if your upholstery is a mess.
  • First up, completely remove your floor mats and vacuum underneath.
  • Then, vacuum your upholstery (especially if it’s fabric). Making sure you get into the nooks and crannies of seams and near the seat-belt connectors.
  • Go that extra mile and pour some baking soda over the surface of your upholstery. That’s if you want to catch more dirt and have a nice, clean smell after.
  • If your fabric is stained, there are several things you could do. For seat stains, use a diluted all-purpose cleaner, a scrub brush, and some elbow grease; you’ll be surprised at what comes out.

6. Clean the mats when you wash your car

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  • With the upholstery done, it is time to turn your attention to the carpeted floor mats.
  • Some are machine washable. If they are great, if not, get scrubbing with a diluted all-purpose cleaner.
  • If your mats are rubber, simply attack them with your hose for a while. If they’re really, really gross, attack them with a scrub brush and detergent.
  • Whatever you do, make sure they’re clean.

7. Save Some Money And Create A Custom Air Freshener

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  • This step might be to arts and crafts for some. Yet, the way your car smells on the inside is important. If you want a pine smell, or something mainstream, just buy an air freshener. If you want something custom, follow these steps.
  • Get baking soda, order the essential oil fragrances that appeal to you, and keep hold of one of those mason jars with a screw lid.
  • Then with a nicely cut piece of left-over fabric, follow this recipe to create your custom-scented air freshener.

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8. Clean your headlights when you wash your car

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  • The last thing you want is a crud covered headlight.
  • You can clean your headlights with dish detergent or window cleaner.
  • Alternatively, and I’ve not tried this yet, you can clean your car’s headlights with toothpaste, water, and an old cloth. Toothpaste sure is a miracle cleaner.

9. Get rid of rust when you wash your car

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  • Rust is a menace that will slowly destroy the value of your car.
  • This DIY project requires an investment: a paint that’s similar to your car’s original color and a “rust-killer” or primer.
  • Despite this DIY project requiring an outlay it really is worth it. So take the time to fix this now and save yourself a real headache later.

Remember that besides cleaning, you’ll want to do several other things when you wash your car. These include checking your wiper blades, tires, and air filters. Plus, if you want more protection, visit a professional for an under-body coating.