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How to Wash Your Car

How to Wash Your Car

If your goal is to maintain a glossy and fresh look to your vehicle’s paint, one of the most important aspects of this maintenance is your weekly washing routine. Your paint is constantly exposed to a wide variety of both environmental and industrial contaminants and pollutants. These contaminants and pollutants will build up on your paint’s surface, dulling your paint’s luster and greatly increasing the risk of scratches and swirls. A weekly washing routine will remove these hazards from your paint’s surface before they are given the chance build up and impose a more serious threat to your paint.

However, washing your car properly to ensure that all of these impurities are effectively removed can be a daunting task. If you are not careful, you may just end up instilling a slew of washing scratches into your paint and making matters even worse. Well, we’re here to make sure that you get the most out of your weekly wash!

Pre-wash considerations:

Before you begin washing your car, there are a few things you need to consider that will greatly affect the outcome of your wash.

1. The temperature of your paint surface – If your paint is too hot, the water and shampoo will evaporate more quickly, potentially causing dried shampoo residue and water spots. If the surface is too cold, the water will freeze before you are able to finish washing your car. Always make sure the surface is cool to the touch before washing.
2. Where you are washing it – Washing it in direct sunlight can cause the water to evaporate too quickly, leaving your paint vulnerable to water spots and shampoo residue. It is best to wash your car in a shaded or covered area to avoid this risk.

Items you will need:

There are a ton of different washing products and tools that you can use to wash your car, but there are only a few items that you absolutely need.

1. SONAX Gloss Shampoo Concentrate (SON-314300)– The phosphate-free formula will ensure that this shampoo is not too harsh for your car’s paint. This shampoo also generates a rich foam that will reduce the risk of washing scratches and increases the effectiveness of the wash by trapping the dirt to prevent re-depositing.
2. A SONAX Microfiber Car Wash Sponge (SON-428100)– Agitation of some form is required to ensure that you are able to remove all dirt, road-film, and other surface contaminants and a wash sponge will provide that agitation. The absorbency of one of these will not only ensure that your paint gets a healthy dose of shampoo and water, but will also trap the dirt and keep it off your paint’s surface.
3. A 3-5-gallon bucket – You need something to hold the shampoo solution in so you can reload your wash sponge with water and shampoo when the need arises.
4. A drying tool – Whether you use our SONAX Leather Chamois (SON-416300), SONAX Flexi-Blade (SON-417400), or SONAX Microfiber Drying Towel (SON-450800), you will need a drying tool of some sort to ensure that you remove the water from the paint’s surface before it can evaporate and cause water spots.
5. And of course, plenty of water!

Washing process:

Prepare your washing solution by mixing 1 capful of SONAX Gloss Shampoo Concentrate with water in your bucket. Submerge your wash sponge in the solution and let it soak to ensure that it is well saturated. You will also want to make sure that your hose is close at hand, as you will need to be able to rinse the surface quickly after washing.

When washing your vehicle, it is always best to start at the top of your vehicle and work your way down. Once the surface is wet, gravity will pull the dirt down the sides of your car, dirtying the lower panels. If you start at the top, you will wash away this dirt as you work your way down.

Starting with the roof and working one panel at a time, thoroughly spray the panel with water to ensure proper lubrication. Use your now thoroughly saturated wash sponge to gently agitate the shampoo solution on the surface of the paint. While agitating, work in small, circular motions to ensure that stubborn dirt is removed and no areas are missed. Be sure to frequently rinse your washing sponge in your bucket of shampoo solution to ensure that it is always dirt-free and saturated with your shampoo solution.

Once you have finished agitating the shampoo solution on the panel’s surface, thoroughly rinse the shampoo solution off with fresh water as quickly as possible. If the shampoo solution is left to dry on the paint, there is an increased risk of shampoo residue being left behind on the paint.

Move onto the next panel, using the same process and method you used on the previous panel. Work your way from one panel to the next until the entirety of your paint surface is sufficiently washed and rinsed.

Use your choice of drying tool to remove the excess water that is remaining on the paint surface as soon as possible. If the water is left to dry on its own, the minerals in the water will dry on the paint, causing water spots.

After washing:

Now that your car is effectively washed and dried, it is recommended that you apply a product that will further protect your paint from industrial and environmental contaminants. SONAX Premium Class Carnauba Wax (SON-211200) is an excellent choice for this. It will provide a deep, rich gloss to your paint to keep it looking great. It will also provide a durable layer of carnauba and UV inhibitors that will protect your paint from contaminants and harmful UV rays.