How to Wash a Car

Washing a Car

There’s more benefit to washing your car regularly than you might think! Keeping a coupe or sedan or other vehicle clean makes it look great, but that’s a given. Protecting the exterior paint, and controlling tiny imperfections and scratches are the ultimate benefits that truly protect your investment. Cactus Jack's Auto is a car wash expert: We’ve been helping Mesa drivers keep their vehicles looking their best for years. Learn more about how to wash a car the right way and how often to wash a car, below!

Plan Ahead

If your vehicle has been outside or driven regularly without a wash for a few months, it’s likely you’ll need more than just a quick wash. But if you’re the kind of driver who regularly waxes and polishes, a simple package is really all you’ll need.

Rinse & Wash

Before you start in with rags, brushes, and sponges, rinse your car off to remove loose dirt and debris. A car washing mitt and drying cloth will clean your car’s surface more thoroughly as a second step. Once you’ve finished the rub-down, use an ammonia-free solution on the windows intended for cars only. To finish, switch to a low-strength, acid-free, pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner on your wheels and tires.

Remove Bumps & Apply Compound

Tree sap and other adhesive contaminants should be buffed away with a clay bar before you also apply a dual-action polisher to smooth tiny scratches beneath the surface. This compound typically requires two to four coats.

Apply Polish (If Needed)

Dual-action orbital buffers or soft towels work best when applying dual-action polisher, which contains oils that will give your car a sleek, glossy look. Note that orbital buffers are faster, but will give you less control over the finished look. And, if debris comes between the pad and your car while it’s in motion, you could end up scratching the finish.

Wax Your Car

Finally, protect your paint from UV rays and retain its sheen with car wax. Carnauba and polymer are the two most common kinds of car wax, which ultimately do a lot more than improve appearance. Polymer wax costs extra, but it won’t haze and doesn’t require long periods to set.

How Often to Wash a Car

Are you running errands mostly? Or do you find yourself off-road more often than not? Your car washing frequency really depends on how you drive the vehicle. Aim to wash your car every two weeks, and wax it every six months if you’re just using it for regular commutes between Surprise and Glendale. If you see it covered in dirt after a jaunt down a dirt path, clean it thoroughly as soon as possible.

How to Wash a Car: Tips

  • Cleaning Supplies: Instead of hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner, use solutions that are designed to protect your car’s paint. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt to wash.
  • Washing: Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
    Drying: Don’t air-dry your car, as this can cause swirl marks. Use a chamois or terry towel to hand-dry the surface.

Get More Car Care Tips from Cactus Jack's Auto!

Stop by the Cactus Jack's Auto showroom in Phoenix, where our team has the expert knowledge to tell you how to keep one of our used cars in top condition and get smoke smell out of your interior if needed, or how to properly detail your car, or how to clean a leather car interiorContact us, and let’s get you behind the wheel of a vehicle you’ll love today if you’re in town at one of the local Surprise RV parks!

Cactus Jack's Auto 33.5101018, -112.1115231.