There’s car washing and then there’s proper car washing.

There is much more to washing than just water and soap. Car washing isn’t just keeping a car clean. Caring for a car’s exterior is a major part of your car’s preventative maintenance.

Quickie car washes may seem like a great option to go but it isn’t the wisest if you care about your car’s exterior. If you’ve been going to one of these quickie car washes and have seen some little scratches on your car’s finish, wonder no more. It may be that they are still using the big abrasive brushes. And if you opt for the “ touch-less” car washes, there still might be areas of the car that gets neglected or tough contaminants left behind.

Even with manual car washing, there is still a chance you may not be doing it right. As to how and how frequent you wash your car are things that must be considered.

When we wash our cars we remove the dirt, dust, and grime from our car’s exteriors. There are other problem contaminants that we may be leaving behind which can do serious damage. Examples of such are brake dust and other roadway chemicals that cling to the lower portion of your car. Brake dust alone is very sticky and highly corrosive. Then there are organic hazards that do damage to car paints such as bird droppings and bug remains. Keeping a weekly car washing routine helps remove all the dirt and grime before they can do any permanent damage to your car.


  1. Wash mitts or sponges. Plush mitts and sponges are better than flat rags. They are gentle on paint and their nap accommodates the debris and keeps them from rubbing against the paint.
  2. Car soap/ shampoo.
  3. Two pails- one for soapy water and the other for rinsing sponge or mitt after every use.
  4. Lint-free drying cloths and optional squeegee. Do not use the same cloth used for tires and hood on the car body.


1. Pre-wash rinse 

Prep your car for soaping by rinsing the car’s exterior thoroughly. Using high-pressure water jets help remove most of the loose contaminants before soaping up. Rinsing your car first helps remove the big pieces of dirt which can scratch your car when you’re soaping up. Always use a car soap/shampoo which is gentler on your car’s paint/finish as they have more lubricants to help soapy water slide off easily so you don’t scratch the paint but do not remove car wax. Laundry and dish detergents strip the car’s protective coatings and therefore not ideal for car washing.

2. Tires First 

Washing the tires first prevents mud and sand from transferring to the car body which may be overlooked and cause scratches when you’re washing the car body.

3. Soaping-up 

Start washing the car from the top, working your way down. Remember the lower part of the car has the most dirt and any left over from the pre-wash rinse may be picked up by your sponge or mitt and cause scratches if you start from the bottom going up. In the same way, wash from front to back.

Always rinse your sponge or mitt in the pail of clean water to remove any dirt picked up by the sponge or mitt before soaping it up again.

4. Rinse

Use free-flowing water when rinsing your car. This allows water to sheet off the car and helps in thorough rinsing.

5. Drying up 

Never skip this step! Quickly dry your car to avoid water spots forming on. All water has mineral or sediments which can form on the edges of water droplets. These form the water spots when water is left to dry on the paint surface. Dry the mirrors and windows first. Do a second pass to really dry the car and have it prepped for waxing. Use a soft absorbent and lint-free cloth. Avoid re-purposing old bath towels for this purpose as the nap on towels become hard when they dry up and can cause swirls and scratches on your paint finish.

Does your car need a good cleaning? Not enough time in the day to get a car wash? Grime2Shine is the premier mobile car detailing service in Temecula. Just give us a call at (951) 331-9286. We’ll meet you wherever you are and get your car looking brand new again.