How To Wash A Car At Home By Hand? The Ultimate Guide!

Car wash

If you own a car, it so satisfying to drive a car that is spotless clean!

Although you can go to the car wash, you will never get a better wash than doing it by hand.

Follow these simple steps on how to wash a car at home by hand. We’ll give a detailed step-by-step to get the best result in no time!

And you’ll see how shiny and clean your vehicle can look with minimal effort!

Tools And Products You Will Need

Before you start washing your car, make sure you have all of these items on hand. Some are optional, but trust me; if you want to make sure your car is completely clean and free of grime, getting all of these supplies will save time and headaches in your future endeavors. If you don’t already have them, buy or borrow them now before moving on to step 2.

  • Nitrile gloves to protect your hands
  • Wheel cleaner
  • Wheel brush
  • Car shampoo
  • Microfiber mitt
  • Foam cannon (with a pressure washer or garden hose)
  • 2 buckets
  • Iron remover
  • Drying microfiber towel or leaf blower.
  • Detail spray

Best Time To Wash A Car Outside

Morning is the best time because high temperatures make it hard to clean a car without water spots.

Yes, the risk in direct n direct sunlight is to get the chemical to bake on your paint and leave a horrible mark. So you want to prevent the paint of your to heat up. Avoid direct sunlight.

Pressure Rinse The Vehicle

At First, you’ll want to start with a pressure rinse (1000PSI). Pressure rinsing will get rid of most of that loose debris and make it easier to clean off anything else. Just take a garden hose and aim it at your vehicle’s surface. Run it for about 60 seconds all around your car.

Optional before rinsing your car, you can use a rinseless wash which is going to act as a lubricant. It is going to help encapsulate and lift any dirt and grime.

Cleaning Your Wheels First

As you wash your car, start by scrubbing your wheels!

Spray the wheel cleaner on your rim and tires to break that brake dust. You can use a foam cannon as well. Brush the tire with a stiff brush. Brush the rim with a straight brush. Then rinse. You can re-apply the wheel cleaner to see if there is some dirt left. Check if the foam remains white.


To help protect your wheel and make them easier to clean during maintenance washes, you can add a spray and rinse formula (silica-infused is better)

Snow Foam Pre-wash

Washing your car with snow foam, a foamy and slick soap that makes washing easy, takes very little time. The snow foam will blanket the entire vehicle with a layer of foam. That’s going to help lift and encapsulate any loose dirt and contaminant. It will act as a lubricant on your paint to help your mitt glide better.

Dilute the shampoo in your foam cannon. Spray a generous amount on your vehicle surface. Let it dwell for a few minutes before going to the 2-bucket method.

The 2-Bucket Wash Method

The idea of the 2 bucket method is not to mix the soapy water with the water to clean the mitt and minimize the amount of dirt on the mitt.

At the bottom of each bucket, drop a grit guard that will prevent your mitt from reaching the bottom of the bucket and collecting some dirt. 

I think you got it the goal is to minimize the amount of dirt and grim on your mitt to avoid scratching your car paint.

When cleaning the vehicle always go from top to bottom. The reason is that the top is always cleaner than the bottom which is close to the ground. You want to avoid to cross-contaminate as much as possible. Start with the roof. End with the lower rocker, side skirts…

Once you’re done, rinse the vehicle.

Iron and Tar remover (Optional)

Over time your car paint accumulates contamination. It can be brake dust, pollution, industrial fallout, grease, or adhesive. Usually, you can see orange specs of rust on your vehicle. So, Twice a year, you want to remove the contamination. You can use an iron remover and tar remover. You simply spay it on the paint. For the dwell time, read the instruction as it depends on the product used. The iron remover will change color and turn purple as it reacts with the iron. This is also called also bleeding and indicates that there is a chemical reaction going on. Important, you don’t want to get this to dry on your vehicle. After waiting for a few minutes, rinse your vehicle. Don’t let it dry on your paint or will be hard to remove.

The Right Way To Dry Your Car

To dry your vehicle, there are 2 ways of doing it.

  1. Touchless with a car dryer or a leaf blower. This solution is better as it avoids any contact with the vehicle paint and reduces the risk of scratches. You want to use hot, filtered and dry air for best performance.
  1. Microfiber towels that are very absorbent. The best drying towels are twisted loop towels with satin edging to remove any risk of scratch on the paint.

Don’t forget to remove any debris from the outside of your car while drying as well, as any leaves left behind will scratch up your paint job when they blow around later.

Quick Detailer spray

Quick detailer sprays are sprays that are easy to apply and that will protect your paint for several months. Nowadays the best ones are silica-infused and content ceramic or even better graphene. The application depends on the manufacturing of the spray. Usually, spray it on a microfiber towel and apply it to the paint. Then you buff it off with another microfiber towel. Just treat one panel at a time.

Some are even easier to apply. Before drying your vehicle, spray the quick detailer on your car paint and then just rinse. that‘s it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.