At this time of year, even really short journeys can leave your car splattered with mud and grime. Driving a dirty car not only lowers your pride in the vehicle, but can also be dangerous, as your vision out of the side and rear windows and mirrors is reduced.
If you don’t want to fork out for a carwash service, but you don’t have access to a hose at home, it’s still possible to keep your car clean. Here’s how to wash your car without a hose!
1. Pick the right day
While rain isn’t the ideal condition for washing your car, neither is bright sunlight. This is because the heat of the sun will dry out the car too quickly, leaving it with water marks. A dry but overcast day is ideal, and fortunately not a rare occurrence here in the UK!
2. Gather your equipment
You will need two buckets, a sponge or other type of car washing mitt, car shampoo, a wheel brush, and some microfibre cloths.
3. Wash of the first layer of dirt
If your car is very dirty, you need to take a sponge or car washing mitt and bucket of warm water, and rinse off the worst of the grime. Start on the roof of the car and work downwards, to avoid dirty water running down over the areas you have just cleaned.
4. Mix a bucket of car shampoo
Take the second bucket, and mix in the car shampoo according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You don’t want to use more shampoo than you need, as this will make the task of rinsing more onerous. Don’t be tempted to use dishwashing liquid instead, as this contains chemicals which strip the protective wax layers off the paintwork.
Re-fill the second bucket with clean water, and use this to rinse out your sponge or cleaning mitt between applications. This will prevent you spreading accumulated dirt and grit over the car, and damaging the paintwork.
5. Clean each section of the car
Work your way over the car in sections, rinsing off the sponge frequently as you go. Again, wash top-down to avoid runoff contaminating clean paintwork. Take particular care around the windows, lights, number plates, and mirrors, as these are essential to safe navigation of the roads, and you may even be fined if you have badly obscured plates or windows.
6. Remove visible suds
If there are visible soap suds left on the paintwork, refill a bucket with clean water, and thoroughly rinse out the sponge. Wipe away the last traces of soap. Alternatively, you could use a rinseless car washing product, which shouldn’t leave any trace behind.
7. Dry off with a microfibre towel
Take a microfibre towel and dry off each section of your car. If you leave it to dry naturally, you will end up with watermarks which will spoil all the hard work. Every few washes, consider applying a wax or polish to keep the paintwork in tip top condition.
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