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raj_5004 23rd December 2011 04:48 PM

How Do You Clean Your Car?
Guys, how many of you clean your own car? If you do, tell us the method you use, dos & donts, tips & tricks, etc.

On weekday, my society car cleaner cleans my car, but every Sunday morning, it is me who pampers her. This is what I do -

Equipment -
1) 2 buckets
2) Water supply with hose pipe at disposal
3) 5 Mirco fibre cloths
4) Car shampoo (currently using Meguiars)
5) Tyre Foam (currently using Meguiars)
6) Tyre Shine (currently using Armor All)

As much as I would love to use car polish & car wax, it is of no use as my car gets washed daily & the wax would vanish within 2 days! Secondly, if you are waxing your car, then it is said that you dont need to wash your car for the next two weeks, dusting with a good duster will suffice. But I live in a dusty place called Mumbai & a wash is essential every day.

Washing procedure -

1) Park the car in a cool shaded area.
2) Open the bonnet & use a dry MF cloth (No. 1) to dust off engine bay & clear dried leaves, etc. MF cloth attracts dust & leaves (static charge).
3) Use the hose with water at full force on the entire body to wash off the dust and loosen the grime/bird droppings, etc.
4) Pressure wash the wheels (wish I had a Bosch Aquajet pressure washer, but it costs 10 grands!), the tyres & the wheel wells.
5) Use MF cloth (No. 2) to wash the wheels & the tyres with the water at a very very low speed (conserve water). Rub the sidewalls of the tyres & each spokes of the wheel. Yes, it is tiring but do it first.
6) Fill the two buckets with water, as required. One bucket would be plain clean water whereas the other would be shampoo solution.
7) Dip MF cloth (No. 3) in shampoo solution. Clean one panel at a time. For example, the driver door. Wipe the entire door starting from the top & then moving on to the bottom. NEVER start from the bottom.
8) Once the door is finished, dip the MF cloth in the other bucket containing clean water, dip it 2-3 times, rinse it properly & then dip it in the shampoo solution & move on to the next panel. Do one panel at a time.
9) If there is grime on the body, DO NOT scrub it hard. Lightly rub it with the shampoo solution.
10) After all the panels are done, pour the remaining shampoo solution on the alloys. Make sure you dont pour too much solution on the brakes. Also, make sure you dont immediately drive off after you do this, your brakes wont work effectively. Also, there will be dirt & grime at the bottom of the bucket, so do pour that on the wheels a well!
11) Use the hose again to rinse off the car. But this time, do not use pressure. instead aim at the roof or top of the car & let water flow down carrying the foam & residues to the ground.
12) Use a different, clean & dry MF cloth (No. 4) to dry the car. Start with the windshield, move to the windows & then the ORVMs. Then clean the top of the car, move to the sides but DO NOT clean the bottom area yet. Once the top half of the car is done, then move to the bottom half. The bottom half maybe having some loosely stuck grime. if you clean them, make sure you rinse the MF cloth first before moving ahead, else you will scratch your car's paint.
13) By now, the tyres may have dried. If they have not, wipe them with MF cloth No. 2. Spray tyre foam over the tyres, avoiding the wheels & brakes. Let it soak.
13) Open the doors and the boot. Clean the door sills & pillars. Clean the floor mats with MF cloth No. 2. After you have removed the mats, dust off the carpet with MF cloth No. 1.
14) Look for any nooks & corners which you may have missed, clean them!!!
15) Get in the car, use the last & the cleanest dry MF cloth (No. 5) and clean your dashboard. This also includes the AC vents.
16) Last but not the least, after the tyre foam has dried, spray tyre shine on all the tyres.

If you are keen, google on how to polish & wax your car after this.

This may take around 45-60 minutes, but the end result, especially to car lovers like us, is priceless. Watch your car gleaming in pride...

mukeshus 23rd December 2011 06:00 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Well i only clean my car every time, only when during long drives and mud all over my Hawk, i give it for washing at a place near my Home, it is a Semi Automatic washer, costs 350/- for wash.

The cloth i use to clean my hawk is old cotton baniyans.

Also Amway car shampoo, with Sonax car polish, i do it once in 15 days.

I put cover on the car, so cleaning frequency is less, also use the polish sparingly.

AppU 24th December 2011 04:12 AM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
For my car, I take minimum 1hr 30min to clean her.

I always follow the below steps to clean my car.
1. First I take all the floor mats from car & wash it with soap foam.
2. Clean the Dashboard, door Plastics, Seat belts, parcel tray , A/C vents, Streeing wheel & Console with Colin cleaner.
3. Clean the engine bay & Pillars with water & wipe it with old Baniyan cloth.
4. I directly connect the hose to tap(Force from tap water is enough to clean the full dust of my car)
5.After washing with water, I use Amway shampoo for the full car(including alloys & tyres).
6. Again water treatment.
7. Wiping the water with clean cotton cloth.
8. Finally applying wax to Blacky[evil]

After 1:30hrs of my hard work, My car will be like a glittering star[:D]...

sandy_fluidic 24th December 2011 11:24 AM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Guys you take lot of efforts for cleaning the car.
As far my car is considered my mom cleans the car every now and then. I do have car shampoo,wax, tyre cleaner. When i wash the car i do follow all the steps as mentioned above. As i have white fluidic, it looks stunner after wash.

But guys dont you think that when you wash the car with hose, the water may drop into the panel gaps and can damage rubber sealings. As far i am concerned i dont throw water on car rather gently wash the car.

cooldhaya 24th December 2011 12:59 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Nice explanation Raj! Like Mukesh i also wash both my cars myself. Once a week , Verna on Saturday's and Aria on Sunday's. If its raining or monsoon i don't wash it weekly , i will wash it once the rains stop and the roads dry up.

I use Meguiars or Sonax car shampoo , Meguiars dashboard and upholstery cleaner , Meguiars Tyre foam , Sonax windshield washer , Formula1 or Meguiars car wax and a car vacuum cleaner i bought from Croma.

I follow my own cleaning method![;)]

1. I take a bucketful of water and all my shampoo , MF cloth and other stuff and gead down.

2. Firstly fill some water in my windshield washer , i use it a lot so i fill it once a week always.

3. Mix the car shampoo in the bucketful of water.

4. Take some water in a mug and pour in places where there are bird droppings , this will loosen it.

5. Start washing the car and as Raj said each panel at a time and from top to bottom. I wash the door sills also the same time i wash the doors.

6. Once i finish washing the entire car i wash the engine bay and alloys next. Pour the remaining water in the bucket over all the tyres and alloys.

7. Take out all the mats , dust them , vacuum clean the interiors , cockpit and upholstery cleaning will be once a month.

8. Then wash the windshield and all other glasses with my Sonax washer.

9. The tyres would have dried up by now , so will use Meguiars tyre foam now to give it a shine.

10. Then finally i take a MF cloth and wipe off all the water patches which appear on the car after it dries up , the car is now ready after a wash!

11. If i feel the car has lost its shine or gloss i will wax it after this. It takes 45 minutes to wax my Verna and around 2 hours for my Aria.

And all this cleaning process will take me 3 and half hours for my Verna and 4 hours for my Aria including waxing.

raj_5004 28th December 2011 03:52 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
1 Attachment(s)
This is what I bought to clean the tyres, wheel wells & unreachable areas of my Punto -

gdave 22nd February 2012 10:02 AM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Nice explanation Raj.
I used to follow almost same steps as you mentioned. But I use separate Cotton banyans instead of Microfiber Towels. And I do not use Tyre foam.
For Interior cleaning I use vacuum cleaner. And for the dash I use the Vacuum cleaner in blower mode to blow away all the dust from the dash and other engravings. Then I ill apply dash board polish

For the windshield cleaning I use "Collin" ( Both Interior and exterior)

And I use Formula 1 wax for waxing.

One thing I noticed, After waxing the car it attracts more dusting than if it is not waxed. What I have to do then? But It gives the car a smooth and water beading surface after waxing. But it lasts only for 1-2 weeks max.

Santosh V 23rd February 2012 06:32 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Hi Friends,

Very interesting topic & my fav topic[clap]I take close to an hour or say extra 30mins to clean my Car[:)] my question is i clean the window glasses with a piece of cloth but can i use the same cloth to clean front windshield?? Is it better to use cloth or paper for the front glass, as its very delicate & may end up in scratches am very careful while handling the front glass, please advice if I should use cloth or news paper to clean the same..


mbt_india 23rd February 2012 07:22 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
I wash my car myself everyday with plain water, early morning. Do not have a covered parking and car gets dirty pretty soon.

What I use is:
1 bucket of water (approximately 14 litres).
1 tumbler to take water from bucket and pour it everywhere on the car.
1 microfibre cloth from 3M to wipe the water.
1 microfibre hand glove from Jopasu to dry the car.

I clean only the exterior on weekdays and it takes me about 30 to 35 minutes.

On Sunday, I clean the interior (including cleaning/washing of foot mats) as well, which takes extra 10 to 15 minutes.

TSIVipul 23rd February 2012 07:26 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Well guys,being true this car wash is on the top of my 'boring' list and hence I naver wash it.
Either chauffy does it when he thinks he should or the car is sent to a car wash,I have last time touched the car for washing about 2-3 years back...

raj_5004 23rd February 2012 09:38 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
^^^ On the contrary, I love washing my car. The glow of your car after an hour of hard work is priceless!

zengetz 23rd February 2012 09:52 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
^^ I totally second that. My area is very dusty too and owning a black car is even more painful but no matter how much time is spent getting the perfect shine knowing it would be ruined in a jiffy its still worth it [;)]

I have a pressure washer which I use to wash the car every weekend. MF towels to wipe it dry.

Of late I have been getting a wash and wax done with interior cleanup every 45 days from a detailer and my weekend wash does not involve any soap.

zengetz 23rd February 2012 09:54 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?

Originally Posted by raj_5004 (Post 121935)

If you are keen, google on how to polish & wax your car after this.

This may take around 45-60 minutes, but the end result, especially to car lovers like us, is priceless. Watch your car gleaming in pride...

Warning - This involves a lot of effort and is perfect if you wish to burn off calories.

There are also instances when you get tired doing certain sections and you have a shiny car on one side and not so shiny on the other side. [lol]

Santosh V 23rd February 2012 11:19 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
Hey Guys[:)],

Looking out for answer for my question, to clean windshield should i use a cloth or paper?? I agree with Zengetz & Raj end of the day when you see your car shining its worth the effort[;)]


zengetz 23rd February 2012 11:29 PM

Re: How Do You Clean Your Car?
^^ Microfiber cloth would be best with some colin. I have seen people using paper and its proven to be one of the best ways but somehow I cant stand paper, it gives me that funny irritating feeling.

Edit : I use microfiber cloth to clean my glass too.

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