How to Wash a Car the Right Way

man cleaning car

Washing your new car, truck, or SUV regularly isn’t just about looking good as you drive down San Diego streets. You need to know how to wash your car right to protect the exterior paint and improve tiny imperfections, like scratches. In an attempt to help Carlsbad drivers maintain the worth of their cars, we’ve created this Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram guide on washing vehicles. Learn how to wash a car below!

Plan Ahead

Understand what you need to do before starting the job. For example, do you just need a quick wash or the full package? If your car is new, or has recently been waxed and polished, a quick wash and wax will suffice. With that said, if your Jeep Wrangler has been exposed to the elements due to some off-roading, it may need more attention.

Rinse & Wash

The following steps should help you efficiently rinse and wash your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram vehicle.

  • Do a quick rinse to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Using car washing mitts and drying cloths, clean and dry the surface of your vehicle.
  • Clean the windows with an ammonia-free solution that’s intended for use on cars.
  • Used an acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner to clean the wheels and tires.

car wash

Remove Bumps & Apply Compound

Moving on to the next steps may require a little more elbow grease:

  • Use a clay bar to gently buff away tree sap and other contaminants on your car’s surface.
  • Consider using a compound with a dual-action polisher to smooth out tiny scratches beneath the surface of your exterior paint.
  • You may need to do 2 to 4 coats with the compound.

Apply Polish (If Needed)

Take your time when polishing your car to give it a nice, consistent, and sleek look. Here are some tips:

  • Dual-action polishers are ideal.
  • Use an orbital buffer or a soft towel to apply the polisher.
  • Orbital buffers are faster, but give you less control. Also, if you’ve missed any debris from previous car-cleaning steps, it can get stuck under the orbital washer and scratch your car’s surface.

Wax Your Car

Car wax is more than just a substance that helps your car look good—it protects your vehicle’s paint from UV rays and helps it retain its sheen. There are two common types of car wax: carnauba and polymer. Polymer wax costs a bit more than carnauba, but it doesn’t haze and doesn’t need to set for long periods.

How Often to Wash a Car

As you could have guessed, how often you should wash your car depends on how and where you drive. If you’re just running errands, it will probably need less attention than if you go off-roading every weekend. Long commutes from Carlsbad to San Marcos could also necessitate more frequent washing; aim to wash your car every two weeks and wax it every six months. If you’re taking your RAM 1500 off the beaten path for off-roading adventures, clean it as soon as you can afterward.

How to Wash a Car: Tips

  • Cleaning Supplies: Don’t use your typical hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household cleaner. Use solutions that are designed to protect your car’s paint, and 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 Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram!

Want to know more about maintaining the sleek look of your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram vehicle? Reach out to Jack Powell Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Escondido, San Diego, we’re happy to share our best car-washing tips. We’ve also got great advice on pet-friendly vehicles and local spots for weekend adventurers.