Using your hose with no
attachment, start at the top of the car and rinse the dirt with a moderate
stream of water from top to bottom. Spray a light mist of water, using your
thumb, over the body surface to soak the film of dirt, salt, dust, and grime
that has accumulated on the paint finish. By leaving the water to soak for a
minute or two, much of the dirt will easily float off the car when you go to
Never use a pressure washer! It
will grind the dirt into the clearcoat and leave micromarring (swirls). It acts
like a sandblaster used to remove paint. Now we sure don't want that!
Step 3 - First Washing
After thoroughly rinsing the
car, you are ready to get the bulk of the remaining dirt. This is a multistage
wash. Use quality car-wash soap. One of the keys is to keep the paint surface
wet at all times. Recruit a friend to help. They can keep the water running on
the surface at all times.
One reason for swirls is washing
with dirty water. Avoid swirls by using a water filtration system like the
Dirtguard auto wash system. Start on the top and work in 3x3-foot small areas
dipping your brush into the dirtgard bucket. Rub the brush against the insert
frequently. This acts like a washboard, removing the dirt from your brush. Rinse
each area with water before proceeding to the next area. Absolutely never let
the car dry. Keep wetting it down all the time. On an extremely dirty,
average-size car, I will use 4 to 5 buckets of soap and water. When you have
finished, rinse out the bucket and filter. You are now ready to proceed.
Step 4 - Rinsing
Using your hose fitted with your nozzle set at medium stream,
start with the top and work down rinsing all the dirt and soap off.
Step 5 Second Washing
Slip your mitts on your hands. They should fit like a glove.
Rinse and rub the sponge/mitt regularly on the insert in your Dirtguard. You
don't want dirt to accumulate on the mitt and scratch the paint.
Step 6 - Final Rinse
Using your hose fitted with no nozzle, free flow the water
over the vehicle starting with the top, and it will practically dry itself. The
effect of a stream from the hose causes the water to sheet off; using a nozzle
causes the water to bead, leaving more water on the surface. Do a test both
ways, and you will see the difference: simply amazing!
Step7 - Drying
Immediately after washing the
vehicle, open and close all doors, the trunk, and other parts of the car with
locks several times before parking it (this will eliminate water freezing in
locks in extreme cold). Drying is also one of the reasons you end up with swirls
if you don't do it correctly.
Use a synthetic chamois. Lay the
chamois on a panel and pull water away. I find natural chamois dry out, and the
smell is appalling.
Use a leaf blower to blow water
from the cowling, mirrors, grills, lights, power antenna, and any accessories
that hold water. Open all doors and hatches. Thoroughly blow around the inside
of the door and trunk.
Periodically apply a good
silicone spray to all weather stripping during freezing weather.
Lastly use a waffle-weave
microfiber towel to dry any remaining water. I like to use a clean dry
microfiber towel and wipe down with a spray wax like Meguiar's to give me that
just waxed shine. I can perform this wash in about an hour for an average-size
car; you should be able to get this project done in an hour to an hour and a
Jim Pyatt at